First BlackBerry 7 OS Smartphones Unveiled

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Waterloo, Ontario -

Research In Motion

(RIM) plans worldwide summertime shipments of its latest two touchscreen smartphones, both promoted as the company's fastest and thinnest smartphones to date.

Both feature RIM's new BlackBerry 7 OS, and both are the company's first to support 4G technology. Both also combine hard QWERTY keyboard with 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen.

 The company's current two touchscreen smartphones are AT&T's tri-band 3G HSPA Torch touchscreen slider and Verizon's touchscreen-only 3G Storm2.

 The 0.41-inch BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones features 1.2GHz processor and 4G HSPA+ technology. The 9930 operates on 3G CDMA Rev. A networks in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands and on the foreign 2.1GHz band.

The 9900 operates on 4G HSPA+ networks in U.S. and international 4G bands, with a version planned to operate on T-Mobile's 1700/2100MHz 4G network with international 4G roaming on the 900MHz and 2.1GHz bands. T-Mobile said it would offer the device later this year as its first 4G BlackBerry.

 RIM is also developing a 9900 version that will operate in 4G HSPA+ mode on AT&T's 850/1900MHz bands and the foreign 2.1GHz band.

Besides using a 1.2GHz processor to accelerate performance, the two new models also speed up performance through the use of a Liquid Graphics touchscreen and a JIT (just in time) JavaScript compiler. Both are features of the new BlackBerry 7 OS.

 The JIT JavaScript compiler improves the load time of web pages. The Liquid Graphics touch screen is said to deliver fast touch-based navigation, web browsing, pictures, video and graphics intensive games with video up to 60fps.  The screen also feature 287 dpi resolution.

Other BlackBerry 7 OS features include voice-activated search to search for content on the phone and on the web, BlackBerry Balance technology to manage personal content separately from corporate content, and additional personal and productivity apps out of the box.

BlackBerry Balance separates personal content from secure corporate content, giving corporate users the ability to use their handsets for personal email and other personal-use apps. BlackBerry Balance works in conjunction with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.3, enabling corporate IT departments to remotely wipe only corporate data from the handset and block work-related content and apps from being copied or forwarded to personal contacts.

The phones are also the company's first with NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, which lets the phones read data from a smart tag when the phones are tapped against the tag.

Another key new feature for BlackBerry touchscreen phones is dual-band 802.11 WiFi, with Wi-Fi b/g/n at 2.4 GHz plus 802.11 a/n at 5 GHz

Other features for both models include:

  • 720HD video capture and playback,
  • brushed stainless steel frame with high-gloss glass-weave backplate.
  • VGA (640x480) touchscreen with 287 dpi resolution.
  • optical trackpad
  • 8GB on-board memory, plus microSD slot supporting up to 32 GB cards
  • 5-megapixel camera,
  • built-in assisted GPS,
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • and 1230 mAh removable, rechargeable battery

 The 9930 isn't RIM's first touchscreen phone to combine 3G CDMA Rev. A for U.S. networks and 3G HSPA technology for international 3G roaming, but it is the first to add 4G HSPA+. RIM's first touchscreen phone with HSPA, currently available from Verizon, is the BlackBerry Storm 2. Its predecessor, the Verizon Storm, featured 3G HSDPA.

In other announcements, the company launched:

  • a BlackBerry Video Chat app for the PlayBook tablet, enabling video chats over Wi-Fi networks.
  • a Facebook app for the PlayBook.
  •   and a multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution (BES) for IT departments, delivering the management, security and controls of BES and BES Express for BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook and expected to incorporate secure device management for Android and iOS based devices and tablets.


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