New BlackBerry Curve Ditches Trackball

Is this the beginning of the end for the venerable, breakable, noisy... OK, dump it.

If you were to argue what is the iconic aspect of a BlackBerry I’m sure many would say the Qwerty keypad but for me it’s that little trackball, or it was…

Shots have leaked (don’t they always?) of a new BlackBerry – the ‘Curve 8520’, codenamed ‘Gemini’ – and while we don’t know the specs as yet what CrackBerry has discovered is something dubbed the “optical trackball”.

Deemed to be the long term replacement to the (s)rolling, wobbly, noisy, loveable yet more often than not cause of RIM handset failures(/s) trackball, its optical successor is said to work akin to the touchpad seen on laptops with the finger free to skate over it to navigate the menu structure. How it will work on longer menus – something the trackball did so well – I don’t know, but as with trackpads I suspect it may ‘run-on’ when you get to the edge.

Elsewhere, the snaps of the OS (currently v4.6.1.195 – though it is expected to ship with 5.0) confirm we’ll get WiFi and EDGE so 3G surprisingly looks a bust (unless it’s just the US edition) while the camera won’t feature a flash so don’t expect anything revelatory there.

Despite this the stylish, if seemingly midrange, Curve 8520 could well be the smartphone to lead all future physical keyboard BlackBerrys into a new era…

via CrackBerry

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