With Android and iOS taking the lead, Research In Motion (RIM) is in trouble as it slowly continues to leak customers quarter after quarter. The company is trying to push back strong with three new BlackBerry models which are available on all the major carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. I am still not truly convinced these new devices are superior to competing platforms, but these are definitely the best BlackBerry devices to date.
BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930
The new BlackBerry Bold is the thinnest to date coming in at just 0.41 inches thick. Following its legacy, the device features a QWERTY backlit keyboard and an optical trackpad. However, the BlackBerry Bold boasts a touch screen display as well. Under the hood is a 1.2 GHz processor, 758 MB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, and support for up to 32 GB microSD expansion. The 5 megapixel camera supports 4x digital zoom and 720p HD video capture. LED flash, face detection, image stabilization, and geo-tagging are complements.
The 1230 mAh battery will keep your BlackBerry Bold running for 5.9-6.6 hours of talk time or 12.8 days on standby. Other included technologies are a microUSB port, 3.5 mm stereo jack, speakerphone, Near Field Communication (NFC), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and GPS.
This device is perfect for long-time BlackBerry users who want a hint of touch-screen action. Those looking to pick one up can grab the BlackBerry Bold 9930 through Sprint or Verizon Wireless for $249 with a new two-year agreement. A 4G enabled BlackBerry Bold 9900 will be available on T-Mobile towards the end of this month for $249 after a $50 mail-in-rebate and a new two-year agreement — an AT&T model is coming later this year.
BlackBerry Torch 9800/9810
There are two BlackBerry Torch models: one with a slide-out keyboard and one without. Lets start with the former. This phone weighs 5.68 ounces and is 0.57 inches thick, which is probably reasonable for a slider phone. Since there are several differences between the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and the BlackBerry Torch 9810, I suggest skimming the following lists.
BlackBerry Torch 9810
- 3.2 inch screen with 640×480 pixel resolution
- 5 megapixel camera with HD video capture
- Runs on BlackBerry 7 OS
- 8 GB of onboard storage, 768 MB of RAM
- 5.9-6.5 hours talk time, 12.3-12.8 days standby
BlackBerry Torch 9800
- 3.2 inch screen with 480×360 pixel resolution
- 5 megapixel camera without HD video capture
- Runs on BlackBerry 6 OS
- 4 GB onboard storage, 512 MB of RAM
- 5.5-5.8 hours talk time, 14-18 days standby
While most competitors are making a leap to qHD resolution displays, the BlackBerry Torch only has a 3.2 inch screen with a mediocre resolutions on both variants. RIM touts light and proximity sensors, which are nothing new. A LED flash, auto-focus, and image stabilization is standard on both. The 9800 lacks geo-tagging, face detection, and a zero shutter lag which the 9810 has to offer. Both devices support microSD expansion with up to 32 GB cards. WiFi 802.11 b/g/n is available on both. GPS, a 3.5 mm stereo jack, and a speakerphone is standard too. Though run time varies, both models run on a 1270 mAh battery.
This phone might be a good fit for those who are just not ready to make a full leap to keyboard-less touch-screen-only phones. These two BlackBerry Torch variants, much like the original Torch, have a on-screen virtual keyboard as well as a physical slide-out keyboard. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 with 4G should make it to AT&T stores this month.
BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860
The second BlackBerry Torch entirely does away with physical keyboards. After cutting down on unnecessary bulk, it weights just 4.76 ounces and is 0.45 inches thin. Although still not comparable to a qHD resolution, a 800-by-480 pixel 3.7 inch display is the next best thing. The smart phone runs on a 1.2 GHz processor, 768 MB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage, and support for 32 GB microSD expansion. An accelerometer, digital compass, GPS, proximity sensor, WiFi, and ambient light sensor are inside. The 5 megapixel camera offers 720p video capture plus LED flash, auto-focus, face detection, image stabilization, geo-tagging, and digital zoom.
Based on form factor alone, this device will need to stand up against Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Unfortunately, it seems like a far-fetched reality. I will definitely get my hands on one for review soon, so stay tuned for that. Those looking to buy one can find the BlackBerry Torch 9850 at Sprint for $150 after a $50 mail-in-rebate and a new two-year contract. AT&T customers can get their hands on one later this year as well.