BlackBerry “9670” Clamshell Ready for Its Close-Up: Video, Details
New videos of an upcoming, yet unannounced, BlackBerry with clamshell form factor show off both the device hardware and software
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
The fact that BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) is working on a new BlackBerry “flip phone” with a clamshell form factor is no surprise; images of the mysterious device have been floating around the Web for months. But this morning, the as-of-yet unannounced smartphone, currently referred to as the BlackBerry “9670” or BlackBerry “clamshell,” got an in-depth hands-on treatment.
Two videos posted on driphter.com, one focused on the hardware and another on RIM’s new OS, BlackBerry 6, show a variety of new device details. The software clip also provides the first video-look at a non-touch-screen version of BlackBerry 6.
Notable details include the fact that the BlackBerry 9670 clamshell runs on a standard BlackBerry 1150mAh “F-M1” battery—the same battery that powers RIM’s new Pearl 9100. It features similar external charging panels to the BlackBerry Bold 9700, which are meant for use with a BlackBerry Charge Pod. And it sports a full QWERTY “Bold-style” keyboard, which begs the question of whether or not the clamshell will become part of the Bold family.
The BlackBerry 9670 clamshell looks very much like an upgraded version of RIM’s first BlackBerry flip phone, the Pearl Flip 82xx, with a full QWERTY keyboard—as opposed to the Flip’s “SureType” keypad—and larger displays, both internal and external.
And since it’s running BlackBerry 6, the device very likely has at least 512MB of application memory. (512MB is thought to be the app memory cut-off for BlackBerry 6, i.e., devices with less than 512MB probably won’t be able to run RIM’s new software once it’s released later this year.)
The software clip also provides a good look at the BlackBerry Address Book app within BlackBerry 6, and though the functionality is much the same as earlier RIM software, it appears to use forms/fields and a prettied-up interface in place of the boring old contacts screens found in the current BlackBerry OS, v5.0.
I can’t say I’m all that excited about this specific device—honestly it looks a bit awkward to me and I’m not really a clamshell-smartphone kind of guy. But I’m very anxious to get my thumbs on BlackBerry 6, and the new video gives us what may be the best available look at the software to date.
RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9800 slider device will also run BlackBerry 6. And both devices are expected in the coming months. (The Bold slider could land in the United States as early as July.)
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.