RIM has just announced two new smartphones, which are sure to be among the last before they switch to BBX. The BlackBerry Curve 9380 and Bold 9790 have been spotted before, and as expected are basically entry-level versions of the OS 7 devices RIM launched earlier this year. The BlackBerry 9790 has a 1 GHz processor, which is only a slight notch behind the 9900. It keeps the NFC, 8 GB of local storage, and the 5 megapixel camera has been graciously given the gift of autofocus. The touch screen is a bit smaller at 2.4 inches (the same as the Bold 9700) and knocks down the resolution to 480 x 360. The all-touch Curve 9380 dials back the screen size to 3.2 inches and a 480 x 360 resolution. Processor speed is 800 MHz, backed up by 512 MB of RAM, which puts it squarely in line with the Curve 9360.
Neither of these take a particularly big hit in specs compared to their bigger brothers, which makes me worried that they won’t be cheap enough to properly fill the entry-level gap in RIM’s OS 7 lineup. Of course, we won’t know that for sure until the carriers announce their pricing, but if they can manage to sell these for close to free on a contract, I think the BlackBerry Bold 9790 and Curve 9380 will appeal to those on a budget who care more about messaging than apps.
I’m actually on my way down to Waterloo now to talk with the product managers and give these phones a go first-hand. Stick around for some hands-on impressions!