RIM announces new Bold smartphone, BlackBerry 7 OS

BB 9900 aa

ORLANDO (Florida): RIM announced the new BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 at its BlackBerry World event last week, which the company claims is the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone yet.

Framed by a stainless steel rim with a glass fibre battery cover, the device features a number of new hardware features including a 2.8in 640 x 480-pixel capacitive touchscreen and a much improved keyboard, which RIM claims is the best keyboard the company has produced on a BlackBerry device.

Under the hood, the Bold 9900/9930 has also had a major overhaul, and features the new BlackBerry 7 OS which, amongst other things, has a new experience which RIM calls “Liquid Graphics” — a fancy name to call the new hardware-accelerated graphics.

The Liquid Graphics experience extends to the BlackBerry 7 Browser, the device’s built-in webkit-based Internet browser which, thanks to the improved hardware and software improvements including a new JavaScript compiler, is a claimed 1.6x faster than the browser on BlackBerry 6 OS-based devices.

Together with the 1.2GHz processor and the improved GPU, the device also features 768MB RAM, 8GB onboard memory that is expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card, 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording, 2.4GHz/5GHz a/b/g/n WiFi, digital compass, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Also integrated into the hardware is a near-field communications (NFC) chip, which is being touted as “the next big thing” in mobile devices. It allows users to make payments or receive web links and other information by simply tapping the device against a supported NFC tag.

BlackBerry 7 OS also brings with it a feature that RIM calls BlackBerry Balance, which separates the user’s personal content from his/her corporate content on the BlackBerry.

This means that, for example, a user will not be able to copy content from their corporate email and paste it into their personal email or Twitter feed.

Despite the separation between the corporate and personal information, the interface gives the user a unified email box which allows email management without having to switch between the two mailbox views.

Also integrated into the BlackBerry 7 OS is BlackBerry ID, which allows the user to have a single sign-on to access all the saved contacts and data from device to device.

BlackBerry ID is similar to the service offered by Google that allows Android users to easily transfer their data and preferences with them from one device to another.

With the BlackBerry ID, a user only needs to enter his/her user name and password when moving to a new device to get back the customisations and contacts on their new BlackBerry smartphone.

Related Stories: Surprises at BlackBerry World Extending BBM onto the Social Platform RIM bullish about prospects in Asian markets

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