BlackBerry Curve 9300 (Finally) Gets Official: Upgraded Curve 8520 with 3G, BlackBerry 6 OS
The BlackBerry Curve 9300 has finally been announced, and it will run BlackBerry 6 "in the coming months."
By Al Sacco
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) on Monday morning officially acknowledged and announced the new BlackBerry Curve 9300 smartphone, an upgraded version of its entry-level Curve 85xx device.
The new Curve, which is nearly identical in appearance to it 85xx-series predecessors, will be the first 3G, GSM BlackBerry Curve smartphone. And it will also be one of the first BlackBerry smartphones to run the new BlackBerry 6 mobile OS that RIM announced along with the BlackBerry Torch 9800 slider last week.
The Curve 9300 is expected to become available in the United States and elsewhere this month. T-Mobile today said it would sell the device, but didn’t specify when. AT&T, which already offers the Curve 8500, is also a likely subject. Pricing details are unknown, but the Curve 9300 should retails for $100 or less with a new, two-year service contract. And a CDMA version of the new handheld, the Curve 9300, is expected on Verizon and/or Sprint late this year or early next.
The BlackBerry Curve 9300 will ship with the “BlackBerry 5” OS, but it’s “BlackBerry 6 ready,” according to RIM, and the new OS software will be available for the 9300 “in the coming months.”
The Curve 9300 is really nothing gadgets enthusiasts will pine over; its specs aren’t particularly impressive and it looks just like a device that was released in 2009. The device has a 2.0 megapixel camera, but no flash. And its screen resolution is the lowest of any current BlackBerry at 320×240.
However, it does sport both Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and GPS, as well as RIM’s optical trackpad for navigation and a full QWERTY, Curve-style BlackBerry keyboard.
The Curve 85xx series has been extremely successful at getting BlackBerrys into the hands of first-time, or entry-level, smartphone users. And the Curve 9300 is really meant to do the same job, while offering RIM’s latest OS software.
Since images and technical specifications for the Curve 9300 hit the Web months ago, the device announcement doesn’t really come as a surprise. But what’s particularly interesting about the news is the fact that Curve 9300, which only has 256MB of application memory, will run BlackBerry 6. Rumors have suggested that only BlackBerrys with 512MB of app memory or more would get BlackBerry 6. It’s possible that the Curve 3G will get a stripped-down, “lite” version of BlackBerry 6, but the news does seem to suggest that current in-market BlackBerrys could also get the new BlackBerry OS.
Learn more about the BlackBerry Curve 3G on RIM’s website. Then check out the new OS, BlackBerry 6, in action here and here.
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