T-Mobile will add the BlackBerry Bold 9780 to its smartphone lineup, beginning Nov. 17.
T-Mobile’s first BlackBerry smartphone with RIM’s newly redesigned BlackBerry 6 operating system, the 9780-a candybar style handset with a 2.4-inch display over a touch-sensitive optical trackpad and a four-row QWERTY keypad-will be priced at $129.99, after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a two-year service agreement.
Before launching BlackBerry 6 on its Torch handset, RIM left a heavy handed trail of details about the OS, hoping to lead away consumers from Apple and Google while sating those it already had. The OS has five separate views users can switch between. It has a home screen that’s “cleaner and sleeker” as well as “fresh but familiar,” according to a member of RIM’s user experience team. There are quick-access areas built into the home screen, for easily adjusting things such as the alarm. And the Web browsing experience is improved, with tabbed browsing, document downloading and faster-loading pages.
Bold 9780 users can also enjoy the OS’s integrated feeds for social networks and RSS feeds, as well as the handset’s tri-band 3G and WiFi connectivity, support for WiFi calling, and GPS with location-based services from TeleNav. There’s a 624MHz processor, 512MB of internal memory, support for a 32GB memory card-though it comes with a 2GB card-and a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, zoom and video recording.
RIM being RIM, there’s support for real-time access to up to 10 e-mail accounts, from Yahoo to Gmail to corporate accounts. BlackBerry Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger and Google Talk, among other messaging apps, are preinstalled, and the 9780 supports access to YouTube, so users can shoot, view and upload video.
The 9780 measures 4.3 by 2.4 by 0.56 ounces and will come in two color choices- black or white.
While a BlackBerry 7 OS is expected to follow BlackBerry 6, a RIM executive has said that eventually RIM will transition its smartphones to a QNX-based operating system, such as the one run by the PlayBook-RIM’s entrant into the tablet frenzy.
Another tablet contender, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, will also be offered by T-Mobile, beginning Nov. 10.