RIM unveils BlackBerry Bold 9790 and Curve 9380


Research In Motion has officially revealed the latest handsets to its struggling lineup: the BlackBerry Bold 9790 and BlackBerry Curve 9380.

First up is the Bold 9790, which looks basically the same as the Bold 9780, with a full physical QWERTY keyboard. The screen is slightly larger, at 2.44-inches, with a 360 x 480 resolution. Inside, you’ll find a 1GHz single-core processor and 8GB of internal storage. A microSD card slot supports up to 32GB of expanded storage. Finally, you’ll find a 5MP camera on the back.

The lower-end Curve 9380 offers more of a deviation in design from previous Curve devices in that it scraps the physical keyboard for a 3.2-inch display with a 480 x 360 resolution. Oddly, RIM hasn’t unveiled the guts of this device, but we hear it will have 1GB of internal storage and a 800MHz processor. It too has a 5MP camera capable of shooting video. And RIM touts its social media features, which include pre-installed Facebook and Twitter apps — something available on a range of previously-released BlackBerry handsets.

Both the Bold 9790 and Curve 9380 run on RIM’s BlackBerry 7 operating system, which is an improvement over BlackBerry 7 OS, but still feels antiquated and overly complicated compared to iOS and Android. RIM has not yet revealed a release date for either device, but says both will be available from “various carriers in the coming weeks.”

If you know BlackBerry, then you know neither of these devices are going to make much of a splash in the smartphone market. Our guess is that they are simply holdovers until RIM release its first BBX device — which could be just around the corner.

Late Monday, we got a glimpse of the BlackBerry London — an unconfirmed handset, which is rumored to be the first BBX device from RIM. If authentic, the BlackBerry London is a sharp departure from any previous BlackBerry handsets, with a larger touchscreen, hard edges and greatly improved internal components, which are said to include a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, an 8MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera.

At this point, RIM needs to stray as far away as it can from its current path — and the BlackBerry London (or whatever it will be called) could very well be the vehicle to carry them towards the smartphone promised land.


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