Research In Motion on Monday beefed up its Blackberry line with the new Pearl 3G and Bold 9650 smarthhones. The company also announced the BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5.
BlackBerry Pearl 3G
The new BlackBerry Pearl 3G is the smallest BlackBerry smartphone yet.
Measuring less than two inches wide (50 mm) and weighing only 3.3 ounces (93g), it still manages to pack in support for high-speed 3G (UMTS/HSDPA) networks, Wi-Fi (b/g/n) and GPS along with a processor that drives high=quality images on the high-resolution display. It also features an optical trackpad for smooth navigation, dedicated volume and media keys, a 3.2 MP camera with flash for quality pictures on the go, and support for up to 32 GB of personal content.
Key features of the new BlackBerry Pearl 3G smartphone include:
- Candybar design measuring 4.25" x 1.96" x 0.52" (108mm x 50 mm x 13.3 mm) and weighing only 3.3 oz (93 grams)
- 624 Mhz processor with 256 MB Flash memory
- Optical trackpad that makes navigation fast and smooth, plus a comfortable keyboard that enables quick typing
- Media player for videos, pictures and music (music plays up to 30 hours), plus dedicated media keys integrated along top of the handset
- 3.2 MP camera with zoom, autofocus, flash and video recording
- Built-in GPS for location-based applications such as BlackBerry Maps, as well as photo geotagging
- Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) - first BlackBerry smartphone to support 'n'
- microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB cards
- Premium phone features, including voice activated dialing, speakerphone and Bluetooth (2.1) with support for hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits (including systems that support the emerging Bluetooth Message Access Profile standard) and other Bluetooth accessories
- Access to BlackBerry App World, featuring a growing catalog of mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones
- Support for BlackBerry Media Sync for easily syncing photos as well as iTunes and Windows Media Player music with the smartphone
- BlackBerry OS 5
- Support for tri-band UMTS/HSDPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks
- Removable, rechargeable 1150 mAhr battery that provides approximately 5.5 hours of talk time on 3G networks
The new BlackBerry Pearl 3G smartphone will be available in two models and several lustrous colors. The 9100 model features a 20-key condensed QWERTY keyboard and the 9105 model features a 14-key traditional phone keyboard. Both models include SureType software that can complete words as the user types. The BlackBerry Pearl 3G smartphone is expected to launch with various carriers beginning in May.
BlackBerry Bold 9650
RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone is a powerful and feature-rich smartphone for CDMA users.
It supports 3G (EVDO) networks in North America and (HSPA/UMTS) abroad and has a full-QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad and built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), which makes it possible to talk on the phone while browsing the web or sending and receiving email. The BlackBerry Bold 9650 also includes 512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB microSDHC cards, with a 2 GB card included.
Other key features of the BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone include:
- Stylish design (4.4" x 2.4" x .56" and 4.8 oz.) with glossy black finish and chrome highlights
- Large (2.44") high-resolution display (480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi)
- 3.2 MP camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording
- Advanced media player for videos, pictures and music, a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack and support for the Bluetooth Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
- BlackBerry Media Sync for easily syncing photos as well as iTunes and Windows Media Player music with the smartphone
- Easy mobile access to Facebook, MySpace and Flickr, as well as popular instant messaging services including BlackBerry Messenger
- Support for BlackBerry App World, featuring a third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones
- Full HTML web browser, streaming audio and video via RTSP
- Built-in GPS with support for geotagging, BlackBerry Maps and other mapping applications
- Premium phone features including voice activated dialing, speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.1).
- Support for high-speed EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America, as well as UMTS/HSPA (2100Mhz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad
- Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for 5 hours of CDMA talk time
The BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone is expected to be available from carriers in the United States beginning in May.
BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5
RIM also announced a deal with computer networking giant Cisco that will let businesses turn Blackberry smartphones into extensions of workers' desk phones that handle calls using low-cost Internet telephone at Wi-Fi hot spots.
BlackBerry Mobile Voice System 5 "provides a wireless extension of the corporate phone system to allow voice over Wi-Fi calling at work, public hotspots and home," according to the company.
BlackBerry MVS 5 works with Cisco Unified Communications Manager to provide a business user with the ability to use their regular desk phone number and extension from their BlackBerry smartphone. With the new version 5, an employee will be able to use a single work phone number shared between their desk phone and BlackBerry smartphone and make and receive enterprise calls on their BlackBerry smartphone over a Wi-Fi connection, adding to the existing capability available over cellular networks.
With BlackBerry MVS 5, calls made through BlackBerry MVS are routed through the corporate phone system/Private Branch Exchange (PBX), which helps with adherence to company policies and enables potential savings on long-distance and international roaming charges. Employees also benefit from the convenience of a single work phone number shared between their desk phone and BlackBerry smartphone.
IT features built into BlackBerry MVS 5 include:
- Wi-Fi network access controls to set which Wi-Fi networks employees can access
- Network preference settings with the option of prioritizing the use of Wi-Fi or cellular for making phone calls
- Authentication to help ensure that only authorized BlackBerry smartphones have access to the corporate phone system
- Incoming call filtering based on allowed and blocked caller lists
BlackBerry MVS 5 is expected to be available later this year.