Following up on their launch of the BlackBerry Curve 9380, Telus is prepping to launch an entry-level version of the BlackBerry Bold 9900. The BlackBerry 9790 made a stampede-worthy debut in Jakarta, but as far as Canada goes, TELUS isn’t alone. We’ve seen live Bold 9790 units drifting into Rogers stores, and Bell is likely to be launching on December 2 as well.
The BlackBerry Bold 9790 isn’t as big of a step down from the 9900 as the Curve 9380 was from the Torch 9850 / 9860, and that’s reflected in the price; the 9790 will be going for $130 on a three-year contract, which is only $40 cheaper than the 9900. The touchscreen measures 2.4 inches and 480 x 360 pixels, a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus, runs on a 1 GHz processor with 768 MB of RAM, and has the same OS 7 experience we’re seeing on RIM’s latest smartphones. There’s also NFC and a magnetic compass included for augmented reality apps. You can get a look at our hands-on video over here.
I’m not entirely convinced RIM needs a QWERTY smartphone that sits between the properly entry-level Curve 9360 and the top-end Bold 9900, but some people might prefer the smaller form factor. It would be nice to see this phone on the little guys like Wind Mobile and Mobilicity in Canada, since folks generally buy devices from them without subsidies, which means significant cost for buying a device up-front. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for any news about a U.S. release, but for those up north, you can find the Bold 9790 in the TELUS online store over here.