A wealth of new details has emerged about Research In Motion’s alleged next-generation touchscreen handset in a hands-on courtesy of BGR. The device, code-named “Monaco” and “Monza,” appears to be a vast improvement over RIM’s first touch-only device, the BlackBerry Storm.
The different code names are said to correspond with two different versions of the device, one for the Verizon Wireless CDMA network (Monaco) and another (Monza) for the global GSM model.
The new handset will supposedly launch with the name BlackBerry Touch. Unlike it’s predecessors in the BlackBerry Storm family, the Touch does not include the derided SurePress feature. The phone is also markedly thinner and faster than previous touchscreen devices from RIM. The Touch is said to run on the BlackBerry 6.1 operating system, which supports multi-touch functionality similar to that found in the BlackBerry Storm 2.
The updated OS version is quite similar to version 6.0, says BGR, with the most major difference with 6.1 residing with how the device handles syncing. Rather than require users to type in a numeric PIN code, BlackBerry Touch users will be asked to set up a BlackBerry ID that will be used to log into the BlackBerry network.
According to Electronista, the new OS will bear a “strong resemblance” to Google’s Android OS, and will likely be connected to the BlackBerry Project, which provides backup support as well as a tracking service for lost phones.
The BlackBerry Touch is said to come come loaded with a 1.2GHz processor and sport a 480×800 screen, which is larger and more crisp-looking than previous RIM touchscreen handsets.
In addition to the Touch, RIM is allegedly planning to release three other new devices in 2011: The BlackBerry Bold Touch, BlackBerry Curve Touch and the BlackBerry Tourch 2. The Touch device is said to hit stores sometime in May.