RIM announced the latest BlackBerry 7 devices and it looks like they’re showing off a new Bold and 2 iterations of the Torch. The latest devices feature the following core benefits:
- Faster browsing
- Proprietary Liquid Graphics technology for seamless touch screen navigation
- Voice activated universal search
- New augmented reality experiences that can be seamlessly integrated with BBM 6
- A comprehensive list of pre-installed apps, including: BBM™ 6, BlackBerry® App World™, BlackBerry® Balance, BlackBerry® Protect, and more
The first thing that struck us when we saw the list was a lack of mention of the Touch Curve, but that may be coming later. It’s also a little strange that the full touch device with a trackpad, the Torch 9850, got the same branding as the slider keyboard. You would think that they should be separate so that when someone says “did you get the new Torch?” you actually know what device they mean. Consumers hate model numbers but RIM can’t let go of them for some reason.
Here is the lineup of devices:
BlackBerry Bold 9900 Series: The Bold 9900 and 9930 are the thinnest BlackBerry smartphones ever, and the first Bold devices to combine the iconic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard with a brilliant touch display, as well as the first BlackBerry smartphones to include built-in support for NFC.
BlackBerry Torch 9810: The faster and more fluid new BlackBerry Torch 9810 builds on the popular design of the BlackBerry Torch 9800, featuring a large 3.2”, high resolution touch display and a distinctive BlackBerry slide-out keyboard.
BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860: The new all-touch BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860 features a 3.7” display, the largest ever on a BlackBerry smartphone, making it fully optimized for displaying photos, videos, and powerful gaming experiences.
With regards to both of these new devices, it looks like the new Bold Touch is the most compelling as it has a nostalgic keyboard and the Bold series carries an impeccable reputation. The problem with new devices like the Torch 9850, is that it never has any good apps on it when it launches. If it has the largest ever screen on a BlackBerry, perhaps it might be a pain to port apps for. That also brings up the issue with Augmented Reality. Sure, RIM did an awesome job of releasing the APIs, but they’re only worthwhile if developers other than Wikitude are using them. Only time will tell.
We’ll be reporting from the BlackBerry 7 fan night (#BB7Fannight) tonight so we’ll have more to say about these devices later. Stay tuned!