RIM's BlackBerry Bold line is set for a major upgrade with the imminent arrival of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 Smartphones. Combining the familiar full QWERTY keypad with a new "Liquid Graphics" touch screen, the 9900 and 9300 will run on the new BlackBerry 7 OS and pack 720p HD video, built-in NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, a 1.2 GHz processor and the thinnest BlackBerry form factor yet – 10.5 mm (0.41-inches).
On the hardware side, the new Bold's get a 1.2 GHz Processor, 768 MB RAM, 8 GB on-board memory (plus microSD slot supporting up to 32 GB cards), a 5 megapixel camera and 720p video recording. There's also a built-in accelerometer and a compass (magnetometer) for location-based services and augmented reality overlays like the Wikitude browser, and support for high speed 4G/HSPA+ networks.
The 2.8-inch Liquid Graphics capacitive touch screen display has a 640x480, 287 ppi resolution (the iPhone 4 has 326 ppi by way of comparison) and offers "up to 60 frames-per-second performance with instant UI action/response" according to RIM.
The key specs:
NFCThe inclusion of support for Near Field Communications (NFC) is an inclusion worth noting. NFC is a short range wireless protocol that allows you to make payments with your phone, as well as read "smart tags" embedded in everyday objects like posters, share business cards, swap photos and a huge range of other possible functions.
It's a technology that's taken a while to gain momentum, but we expect to hear a great deal more about it in the future. Andrew Bocking, RIM's VP Handheld Software Product Management talks about NFC in the video below.
The 9900 and 9930 Blackberry Bold touch smartphones and the BlackBerry 7 OS will launch "around the world beginning this summer," but unfortunately there's no legacy support, so current devices won't be able to upgrade to the new OS.