BlackBerry Bold 9650, Pearl 9100 Finally Get Official at WES 2010
RIM's latest smartphones, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and the 3G Pearl 9100, are expected to become available in May.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) unveiled the latest two BlackBerry smartphones on Monday morning as expected at its ninth annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) in Orlando, Fla.
The BlackBerry Bold 9650 and BlackBerry Pearl 9100 are no surprise; images and technical specifications for both devices have been floating around the Internet for months. And those presumed specs proved to be mostly accurate.
The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is a revamped version of RIM’s BlackBerry Tour 9630, with a new optical trackpad, Wi-Fi support, a faster processor and more application memory at 528MB—the most app memory of any current BlackBerry. The Bold 9650 works on both CDMA (EVDO) and GSM (HSPA/UMTS) networks. And it’s expected to become available in May on both Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the United States.
The Pearl 9100 measures just two inches wide and weights 3.3 ounces, and it is the smallest BlackBerry smartphone yet, according to RIM. It too sports RIM’s new optical trackpad for navigation. It has a 360×400 display and GPS. And the Pearl 9100 also supports for 802.11n Wi-Fi—another first for a RIM handheld. RIM only announced the GSM version of the Pearl 9100, which should hit AT&T and T-Mobile in May, but a CDMA version for Sprint, Verizon and others will likely become available in the future.
The most notable thing about the Pearl 9100 is the fact that it will be available with two separate keyboard styles: a SureType keyboard not unlike the one found on the first generation Pearl 81xx; and a T9, or traditional, number-centric keyboard. RIM’s BlackBerry keyboards are some of the best in the industry, so it’s significant for the company to unveil a new style. However, the company interestingly chose to bury the information in its press release on the subject.
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.