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By 23 August 2011 | Categories: news

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Following the announcement of five new BlackBerry smartphones at the beginning of this month, BlackBerry holding company Research In Motion (RIM) today announced another three new BlackBerry smartphones featuring the latest version of its mobile operating system (OS), BlackBerry 7 OS. The Canadian smartphone and tablet maker unveiled its new BlackBerry Curve 9350, BlackBerry Curve 9360 and BlackBerry Curve 9370 smartphones. Only the Curve 9360 is destined for South Africa, with no official launch date or price available.

The new sleeker (11 mm compared to the Curve 9300’s 13.9 mm) BlackBerry Curve smartphones boasts GPS, the latest release of BBM (BlackBerry Messenger 6), Wi-Fi 802.11 n connectivity, a 5 MP camera (compared to the old Curve’s 2 MP) with flash and video recording (VGA, not HD Ready). Internal storage amounts to double that of the old Bold 9700 and Bold 9780 (256 MB) models, coming to 512 MB and can be boosted via the microSD/SDHC slot supports cards up to 32 GB in size.

This newly announced Curve trio operates on the new BlackBerry 7 OS and are powered by an upgraded 800 MHz processor. The displays have also been improved to 2.44" HVGA (480 x 360 pixels) Transmissive TFT LCD with a high pixel per inch (ppi) count of 246 (the previous generation’s display resolution was 320 x 240). Built-in support for NFC (near field communication) is also on-board, enabling users to the ability to pair with NFC-enabled accessories and read SmartPoster tags.

Next-generation BlackBerry 7 OS

BlackBerry 7 introduces a next generation BlackBerry browser that combines the dramatically improved performance of the advanced WebKit browser engine, with the hardware enhancements in the new BlackBerry Curve smartphones. Because of this it delivers a significantly faster, more fluid web browsing experience.

Additional enhancements to this next generation BlackBerry browser have also enabled smoother navigation and optimised HTML5 performance for enhanced web-based gaming and video experiences.

BlackBerry 7 OS also includes a number of other pre-loaded applications and integrated functionality for increased productivity and collaboration right out of the box. The Premium version of Documents To Go is included free of charge, offering users powerful document editing features as well as a native PDF document viewer.

BlackBerry Protect is also pre-loaded, offering customers the peace of mind that personal data can be backed up and secured in the cloud. With BlackBerry Protect, users can locate their misplaced BlackBerry smartphone using GPS or remotely turn up the ringer for an audible notification if their handset is close-by. The popular universal search capability has also been improved with support for voice-activated search, so users can now simply speak to begin searching their device and the web for information.

“These new models will build on the incredible success of the BlackBerry Curve line and further expand the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at RIM.

According to Rob Orr, VP for Product Management at RIM, the Curve range has always been very approachable and for many it’s their first smartphone experience. “The new BlackBerry Curve 9360 takes the hardware, software and communication to the next level. Our industrial designers have done a marvelous job and the Curve’s name is now reflected in its design, with a curved sloped on the front and back,” he continued.

Availability

According to RIM South Africa, only the Curve 9360 will be making its way to the local market, but pricing info isn’t available yet.

In related news RIM will also reportedly be rolling out a new music subscription service, dubbed BlackBerry Music soon.

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