The much anticipated 3rd generation of the BlackBerry Bold was announced today at BlackBerry World ’11. It will feature both a touchscreen and the trademark BlackBerry physical keyboard, and run the recently announced BlackBerry 7 OS.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones (the former modeled for GSM, the latter CDMA) feature premium iPhone 4-like materials and look stunningly similar to the original (1st gen.) Bold. Both models have a lustrous exterior with a brushed stainless steel frame and a high-gloss glass-weave backplate. They are also the thinnest BlackBerry smartphones yet, at only 10.5mm.
Unlike the BlackBerry Torch, an underpowered smartphone released last summer, the new Bold line is built for speed. These smartphones are built on a new performance-driven platform featuring a 1.2 GHz processor, ‘Liquid Graphics’ capacitive touch screen, and support for high speed 4G/HSPA+ wide area wireless networks. The also include 768 MB of RAM, a GPU, 8GB of on-board memory (with the capacity for 32GB) and NFC support.
The screen itself is beautiful, which will undoubtedly do the new BlackBerry 7 OS justice. The display, VGA (640×480), is about 2.8″ and sports an optical trackpad for easy navigation in the web browser or when pounding out messages.
You won’t find a front facing camera on the new Bold, but you will find a 5MP rear-mounted camera with support for up to 720p HD video recording and playback. At a time when most smartphone makers are producing 8MP cameras and front facing alternatives for self portraits and video chatting, it’s disappointing that RIM didn’t look further ahead and add better photography elements to the 3rd gen Bold.
RIM said this morning that the new BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 will be available from “carriers around the world” beginning this summer. Boy Genius Report is reporting a June/July release date.