Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS 7 powered BlackBerry Bold 9900 -- T-Mobile’s first 4G-enabled BlackBerry -- will hit the shelves on Aug. 31 with the carrier already offering preorders for its business customers.
RIM, which is struggling to survive in a smartphone market largely dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, has released BlackBerry OS 7 devices with Verizon's BlackBerry Bold 9930, AT&T's BlackBerry Torch 9810, Sprint's BlackBerry Torch 9850 and now BlackBerry Bold 9900 with T-Mobile.
Powered by a 1.2-GHZ Snapdragon high speed processor, the Bold 9900 is the thinnest of all its BlackBerry siblings with a thickness of 0.41 inches. But analysts aren't optimistic about its success, owing to the limited number of apps available on BlackBerry World.
The phone comes with a QWERTY keyboard with touch-sensitive controls and optical trackpad. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is capable of 720p HD video recording, has a 5-megapixel camera, 8GB of internal memory, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS.
T-Mobile’s BlackBerry Bold 9900 will be available for $299.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and requires a two-year service agreement.
With these new BlackBerry Bold models RIM plans to bring the "thinnest" smartphone to the consumer. But the iconic design of BlackBerry may not remain for long as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG have also designed similar-looking devices running on Android OS.
Motorola XPRT has the form factor of BlackBerry Bold, as do the HTC Status and LG Optimus Pro. The latest review of the XPRT rated it as an excellent BlackBerry alternative. The phone retails at $130 with a two-year contract from Sprint. Consumers familiar with Droid Pro know that the Motorola XPRT looks identical. The XPRT model is mainly targeted at business or IT professionals, and is ideal for sending email and text messages faster.
Even LG's upcoming LG Optimus Pro smartphone, depending on carriers, may support near field communication, which is useful for such things as making mobile payments. With NFC support for LG Optimus Pro, BlackBerry hopes to capture consumers in the U.S. But there is no word on pricing or when the phone will be released.
HTC Status is another Android-based smartphone with a dedicated Facebook share button that was made available on July 17 for $49.99 with a two-year contract.
Here is a comparison of all these smartphones:
LG Optimus Pro
BlackBerry Bold 9900
120.4 x 60.9 x 13 mm
119.5 x 59.7 x 12.9 mm
114.4 x 64.6 x 10.7 mm
115 x 66 x 10.5 mm
3.1-inch 320 x 480 pixels TFT capacitive touchscreen
2.8-inch 240 x 320 pixels TFT capacitive touchscreen
2.6-inch 480 x 320 pixels TFT touchscreen
2.8-inch 640 x 480 pixels TFT capacitive touchscreen
2 GB storage, 512 MB RAM
150 MB storage, 256 MB RAM
512 MB ROM, 512 MB RAM
8GB storage, 768 MB RAM
HSDPA 10.2 Mbps/ HSUPA 1.8 Mbps
HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 384 Kbps
HSDPA 14.4Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth version 2.1 with A2DP, micro USB version 2.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth version 3.0, micro USB version 2.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth version 3.0 with A2DP, microUSB version 2.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth version 2.1 with A2DP, EDR, microUSB version 2.0
5-megapixel 2592?1944 pixels with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging
3.15-megapixel 2048x1536 pixels with geo tagging
5-megapixel 2592 x 1944 pixels with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face detection
5-megapixel 2592x1944 pixels with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilization
Android OS, v2.2 (Froyo)
Android OS, v2.3.3 (Gingerbread)
Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
BlackBerry OS 7.0
1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 PowerVR SGX530 GPU, TI OMAP3620-1000 chipset
800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7227T chipset
Qualcomm MSM7227 800 MHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz
Li-Ion 1860 mAh, up to 9 hours of talk time
Li-Ion 1500 mAh
Li-Ion 1250 mAh
Li-Ion 1230 mAh
Touch-sensitive controls, Multi-touch input method, Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, Proximity sensor for auto- turn-off
QWERTY keyboard, Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
QWERTY keyboard, Gorilla Glass display, Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
QWERTY keyboard, Touch-sensitive controls, Optical trackpad, Proximity sensor for auto turn-off, Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate