Two new BlackBerry Bold smartphones were unveiled today, as Research in Motion (RIM) bids to fight back against the twin threat of Android and Apple and regain its place at the smartphone makers’ top table.
The Bold 9900 and 9930 are the thinnest BlackBerry phones so far, coming in at a super svelte 10.5mm and are powered by the all-new, all-singing, all-dancing BB7 operating system.
According to RIM President and Co-CEO, this means they’ll offer users “faster performance, enhanced browsing and richer multi-media”. Browsing is reputed to be some 40 per cent faster than handsets that ran the company’s older OS 6 software.
Both Bold phones feature brushed steel frames and are touch and type numbers. That means you get the standard-issue, “high performance” physical keyboard for which BlackBerrys are known, as well as a high-resolution touchscreen.
They’re also home to a five megapixel camera, a 1GHz processor to keep everything ticking over super smoothly and are the first ever BlackBerrys to offer Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for contactless payments.
Whether the handsets will be enough to turn things around for RIM in Europe and the US is a moot point. But some industry watchers are impressed at least.
Commenting on the Bold 9900, Pete Cunningham of analysts Canalys dubbed it the “best BlackBerry RIM has ever made”.
He added: “By combining touchscreen capacity with a high-quality and comfortable-to-use keyboard, the Bold 9900 will appeal not only to its existing user base but also to customers that enjoy a touchscreen device but with the accuracy a keyboard delivers.”
Alongside the new additions to the Bold line, today also saw three Torch branded smartphones brought forth into the world. For the skinny on what they offer you, check out our report.