BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 Phone Combines Touch, Type and NFC in Slim Bold Body

It's been a long time coming, but finally there's a touchscreen BlackBerry in the same Bold body we all love (or hate.) Coming in a 4G HSPA+ 9900 flavor and CDMA EV-DO 9930 variant, the handset also runs on a newly-improved BlackBerry OS, numero 7.

But back to the phone's hardware for a second. Both models have 2.8-inch touchscreen (capacitive) displays with 640 x 480 resolution, and run on a 1.2GHz processor with 768MB of RAM. There's also 8GB of onboard memory, along with a microSD card slot for storing more data on—such as the photos and 720p video you can shoot on the 5MP camera.

With an added twist, the bold 9900/9930 is also the first BlackBerry to use NFC for contactless payments. The usual other connections are also included, such as GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, along with an accelerometer, digital compass and proximity sensor. More details can be read below in RIM's press release, otherwise stay tuned for a summer release for these two slimmed down Bolds. [Marketwire via BGR]

RIM Introduces New BlackBerry Bold Smartphones

New BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 Smartphones are the Thinnest and Most Powerful BlackBerry Smartphones yet, Featuring the Renowned BlackBerry Keyboard Together with a Brilliant Touch Screen and the New BlackBerry 7 OS

WATERLOO, ONTARIO—(Marketwire - May 2, 2011) - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today unveiled two new BlackBerry® Bold™ smartphones. The high-performance BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones feature a stunning and iconic design that integrates an incredibly easy-to-use BlackBerry keyboard with a brilliant, high resolution, capacitive touch screen. These exceptional smartphones are built on a new, performance-driven platform powered by the BlackBerry® 7 operating system and designed to deliver the ultimate in communications, multimedia and productivity for users around the world.

"The new BlackBerry Bold smartphones and BlackBerry 7 OS are inspired by millions of customers around the world who want the ultimate combination of performance, functionality and style," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO, Research In Motion. "These fully-loaded and beautifully crafted smartphones offer a highly refined user experience with blazingly fast performance, a brilliant touch screen and an outstanding typing experience."

Thin, Sleek, Iconic Design

Distinguished by an iconic design and the industry's best keyboard, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones feature the premium materials and finishes that characterize the BlackBerry Bold line. Both models have a lustrous exterior with a brushed stainless steel frame and a high-gloss glass-weave backplate. They are also the thinnest BlackBerry smartphones yet, at only 10.5mm. The quality materials and optimized design of the new BlackBerry Bold smartphones are instantly evident when held in the hand.

Performance-Driven

These BlackBerry Bold smartphones are built on a new performance-driven platform featuring a 1.2 GHz processor, Liquid Graphics™ touch screen, and support for high speed 4G/HSPA+ wide area wireless networks.

The Liquid Graphics touch screen, a key new feature powered by BlackBerry 7, delivers fast, smooth performance for highly responsive touch-based navigation, web browsing, pictures, video and graphics intensive games*. Offering up to 60 frames-per-second performance with instant UI action/response, Liquid Graphics gives customers a visually rich and immersive experience that's responsive to the touch. In addition, the smartphones feature brilliant displays with an eye-popping 287 dpi to deliver crisp, stunning visuals.

The new platform also provides support for 4G networks; the 9900 supports HSPA+ connectivity, and the 9930 supports CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and HSPA+ global roaming on GSM/UMTS networks.

NFC

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones include built-in support for NFC (Near Field Communications), a new technology that will enable many rich and exciting experiences. Through NFC, users will be able to, for example, pair the BlackBerry Bold to an accessory or read information such as a web link from smart tags by simply tapping their BlackBerry Bold to an NFC tag (eg. Smart Poster).

Augmented Reality

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones feature a built-in compass (magnetometer) to support location-based services and augmented reality. APIs will allow third party developers to take advantage of the new functionality within their applications. The new smartphones will also include Wikitude, the leader in mobile augmented reality, which overlays contextual information on what the user sees through the smartphone's camera viewfinder.

HD Video

The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones support up to 720p HD video recording and playback. Users can easily share their videos directly from the smartphone or sync videos, as well as music and photos, to their computer using Media Sync in the BlackBerry® Desktop Software.

BlackBerry 7

The BlackBerry 7 OS is designed to power the new performance-driven BlackBerry Bold platform. It provides an easier and faster user experience with improved browsing, voice-activated searches, the ability to manage personal content separately from corporate content, as well as additional personal and productivity apps out of the box.

The BlackBerry Browser has been significantly enhanced in BlackBerry 7. In addition to the general performance gains of Liquid Graphics, which helps deliver faster rendering and seamless panning and zooming, the BlackBerry 7 browser includes a new JIT (just in time) JavaScript compiler to improve the load time speed of web pages. The new browser also includes support for additional HTML5 elements, such as HTML5 Video.

Building upon the Universal Search feature introduced in BlackBerry 6, BlackBerry 7 expands the capability to include voice-activated search. This new capability makes it even easier and more convenient to search for content on the smartphone or web.

BlackBerry 7 also integrates BlackBerry® Balance™, which separates personal content from corporate content on the smartphone, giving users the freedom and flexibility to use the handset for personal email, Facebook®, Twitter®, multimedia, games and other apps while satisfying the very real need for corporate data to be highly secure and manageable. BlackBerry Balance works in conjunction with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server 5.0.3, which provides a number of unique IT policy controls such as wiping only corporate data from the handset or blocking work related content and apps from being copied or forwarded to personal contacts.

With BlackBerry 7 on the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones, users will also get the full version of Docs To Go® with all "premium" features enabled out-of-the-box so that users can easily work with Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly on the smartphone. Docs To Go also includes a native PDF viewer.

Availability

The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 smartphones are expected to be available from carriers around the world beginning this summer.

For additional information please visit www.blackberry.com/touchbold

APPENDIX

BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 Specifications

115 x 66 x 10.5 mm, approximately 130 g
2.8" capacitive touch screen display – VGA (640x480), 287 dpi resolution
Ultra-easy QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad
1.2 GHz Processor, 768 MB RAM
8 GB on-board memory, plus microSD slot supporting up to 32 GB cards
NFC technology
5.0 MP camera, supports 720p HD video recording
Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), Digital Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity Sensor
Built-in GPS / aGPS
Dual-Band Wi-Fi® - 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4 GHz and 802.11 a/n at 5 GHz
Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR support
Wireless Network support:
9900: Tri-Band HSPA+, Quad-Band GSM/EDGE
9930: Dual-Band CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A, Dual-Band HSPA+, Quad-Band GSM/EDGE
1230 mAh removable, rechargeable battery
BlackBerry 7 OS
* Features OpenGL 2.0 support for developers.