Blackberry has just launched their new flagship device for 2011 – Blackberry 9900, a touch screen bold. After the failure of Torch last year RIM has changed its strategy and decided to bring touch screen factor to the successful bold series. The main features of Blackberry 9900 are 1.2GHz ARM processor, 768MB RAM, 720p HD recording, 8GB memory and a brand new Blackberry OS 7. The new OS was first labeled as a minor update to OS 6 but on the launch it has been released as new OS 7 and is not compatible with Blackberry Torch. This strategy can backfire RIM because Torch is less than 18 months and no update to OS 7. RIM has said that company is going through the transition from old software to new QNX based smartphone OS. Blackberry OS 7 is not the future of blackberries but just an update to stay competitive in an ever growing smartphone market. The main difference between OS 7 and 6 are the support for NFC, digital compass, accelerometer and proximity sensor. User experience is really fast, fluid and responsive. Blackberry 9900 has 2.8in touchscreen with a resolution of 640 x 480 (287ppi). The graphics on the screen are really smooth and the new OS 7 is really impressive. Touch screen is impressive but the keypad on 9900 is the better than previous bold handsets.
Overall, 9900 is really impressive in design and hardware specifications. With the addition of NFC, RIM is definitely moving forward. But all depends on how this transition works towards QNX blackberries. So you can’t write off RIM yet. Blackberry 9900 is on sale in Canada. In UK it is available now from Vodafone UK. It is expected to be available in US from 21 August 2011. Stay tune for more updates.
Update : At last 9900 arrived in UK. You can pick this touchscreen bold at any vodafone stores. It comes free on a £41 contract for 24 Months. Personally I think it is overpriced but after checking the handset it is worth it. You can see the difference from Blackberry 6 browser. It is light and slim. It has a feel of smartphone. Touchscreen experience is smooth. Typing on 9900 is smooth. The best keyboard yet on a blackberry. This is a real upgrade to original Bold 9000. This is what RIM needs to strike back at iphone and Android devices. Overall, Blackberry 9900 rocks.
Update : BlackBerry Bold 9900 is available from all major mobile carriers in UK. Three, T-Mobile & Orange UK have launched the new Bold series today on October 6, 2011.