So, the trickle of Blackberry juice is now a flood. Just weeks after RIM launched its high-end Torch 9810, 9850 and Bold 9900 handsets, today it revealed the refreshed mid-range Curve 9360 (aka the 9350 or 9370, depending on carrier and region). When compared to the Bold 9900, which can be seen as a richer cousin with a similar form factor, the new Curve clearly comes with key hardware sacrifices in order to meet a lower (but still TBC) price point, including an 800MHz processor (instead of 1.2GHz), no touchscreen, and a 360×240 HVGA+ display rather than the Bold’s full VGA panel. Compared to previous Curves, however, the 9360 is a significant upgrade. It sports the new BB OS 7, a 5MP camera and a physical design that RIM hopes will entice the “youth demographic” as well as the millions of international users who have helped to turn the Curve into RIM’s internationally bestselling range. The question is, is this device enough of an upgrade, considering it’s been two years since the last refresh in the Curve series? Read on for our initial hands-on impressions…
Want to get your BBM on in style without spending a fortune on RIM’s latest trio? Say hello to the new 11mm (0.43 inch) thin BlackBerry Curve, now official in 3 variants — the dual-mode GSM / CDMA 8370, the GSM / UMTS 8360 and the CDMA-only 8350. These long rumored handsets feature an 800MHz CPU, 512MB RAM, a tiny 2.44-inch HVGA+ (480×360 pixel) display, a five megapixel EDoF camera (with LED flash and VGA video recording), Bluetooth, WiFi b/g/n with UMA, GPS / aGPS and NFC. While there’s no sign of that new-fangled touch screen technology, you’ll find BlackBerry 7 under the hood, along with an 1000mAh battery to keep it ticking all day long, 512MB of built-in storage (1GB on the 8370) and microSD card support (up to 32GB). RIM is still mum on pricing, but the new BlackBerry Curve is “expected to be available from carriers in Canada this month and from other carriers around the world beginning in September” — including Vodafone, based on the video (and PR) after the break. We’ll have a hands-on later today so stay tuned for more.
RIM's BlackBerry Torch 9850 goes official for Sprint and US Cellular (update: Bold 9930 for Sprint, too!)
What’s a BlackBerry launch without a bit of love for RIM’s CDMA partners? Infinite sadness, that’s what. While the outfit (understandably) couldn’t showcase the BlackBerry Torch 9850 at its London launch event this morning, the CDMA sibling to the Torch 9860 is making its official debut in the US of A. Destined for US Cellular and Sprint here in the States, the 9850 (shown right) will ship with a 3.7-inch WVGA (800 x 480) touchpanel, BlackBerry 7 OS, a “waterfall” screen design that tickles the edges ever-so-slightly, and not one inkling of a physical keyboard. As with the 9860 — which is destined for AT&T, Rogers, Telus and Bell — you’ll get a five megapixel “zero-shutter lag” camera, 720p movie mode, inbuilt GPS and a 1.2GHz processor. There’s no mention yet of a price or release for the SIM-less duo, but you can bet that we’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
Update: Sprint’s just pushed out a full presser of its own (embedded after the break), which also confirms that the Bold 9930 — shown above on the left — will also be making its way onto The Now Network. We’re told to expect “fall” availability for both BB 7 OS phones, but specific pricing isn’t expected until that already-ambiguous time frame draws nearer. As for the 9930, it’s boasting an all-too-familiar design, with a 10.5mm-thick chassis, 2.8-inch capacitive touchpanel, the “widest QWERTY keyboard available on a BlackBerry smartphone” and a trackpad to boot. Moreover, NFC support is thrown in, as is a magnetometer for AR apps.
Update 2: A trusted source just informed us that the Torch 9850 will soon go for $199 on contract (and after rebate) at US Cellular, or $549 with no strings attached.
It’s not exactly the most exciting device in RIM’s pipeline, but the Curve “Apollo” is shaping a solid workhorse of a BlackBerry. The still-unannounced smartphone popped up on Tinh te, with the Vietnamese tech showing off some solid hands-on time with the device, putting it through its paces on video, and ending up genuinely impressed with the aesthetics and speed of the hardware. According to the site the new Curve is 11mm thick (a couple millimeters thinner than the 8900 it’s juxtaposed with), packs a 800Mhz Marvell Tavor CPU MG-1 processor, and has a touch-insensitive 480 x 360 screen. Swipe that thumb touchpad after the break for a video tour of the phone, then dig the source link for more close up images.
CrackBerry has just dropped word via “numerous sources” that RIM will be revealing the next iteration of its mobile OS at the fast approaching BlackBerry World conference — and no, it’s still not QNX. Despite consistent rumblings that upcoming devices like the Bold Touch, and Monaco would be launching with OS 6.1, it seems that RIM has decided to re-brand the update completely as BlackBerry 7, perhaps to increase the value proposition and differentiate new devices being announced along with it. However, the site also speculates that current phones running BB6 may not get any BB7 action right off the bat — which could make sense, given that new features like NFC are only present in upcoming devices. All this is naturally unconfirmed, but if this is indeed yet another version of the BlackBerry OS, well, that certainly won’t help the platform get any more developer love.