BlackBerry Bold 9930 launches on Verizon's website today, coming to Sprint August 21

Summary:Just in time for Back-to-School, RIM brings the new BlackBerry Bold 9930 to Verizon and Sprint. It combines a 2.8" touchscreen with a QWERTY keyboard in the thinnest BlackBerry design yet.

Research In Motion finally delivers a new smartphone on-schedule: the new BlackBerry Bold 9930 is available online now and arrives in stores August 25. CNET's Nicole Lee is also reporting that Sprint is also carrying the same phone though it won't be available until August 21. The not-so-good news is that the device will launch at a higher price than other phones at $249.99 even with a two-year contract from either carrier, and won't be 4G/LTE-capable as suggested in a leaked Verizon video.

The Bold 9930 promises to be the thinnest BlackBerry yet at just 0.41-inch, with a 2.8-inch 640 x 480 touchscreen, full back-lit QWERTY keyboard with trackpad, a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, dedicated GPU, 768 MB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage under the hood. Although it only works on Verizon's 3G network (CDMA), the Bold 9930 is a world phone that business travelers will appreciate, promising to function in more 200 countries thanks to its Quad band support for UMTS, HSPA, GSM, GPRS and EDGE.

When there is no cellular network in range, the phone can keep the mobile user connected on Wi-Fi and through Push to Talk (though this feature will be unlocked in a future over-the-air update); Bluetooth 2.0 is also available to pair up the device with accessories and to transfer files. With a 5-megapixel rear camera and camcorder that can shoot up to 720 p HD videos, the Bold 9930 will not be replacing a point-and-shooter any time soon, but at least its internal storage is expandable by micoSD cards (up to 32 GB).

Besides sporting a sleeker hardware design, the Bold 9930 will be one of the first (and last) to run the new BlackBerry OS 7, which is optimized for HTML 5, Liquid Graphics, a more social version of BlackBerry Messenger with new games, as well as voice-activated search. Enterprise administrators would be happy to know they can wipe BB7-running phones remotely, and that sensitive company information won't be able to be copied into personal apps on the device.

Despite all the woes that are plaguing RIM at the moment, its phones still appeal to a broad spectrum of users, which explains why both Sprint and Verizon are eager to carry the same phone. For students who prefer BlackBerry's QWERTY keyboard and BBM, this Bold 9930 will be available just-in-time for this school year to keep track of all their emails and friends. For BlackBerry users eager to ditch their old BBs for something new, the Bold 9930 offers a new look (great matte finish with a metallic rim) and technologies (mini touchscreen plus OS) in a familiar form factor. Those looking for the GSM variant of the Bold 9930 will have to wait as details on the Bold 9900 have yet to surface.

[Source: Verizon press release, Verizon's website]

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Topics: BlackBerry, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, Verizon

About

Gloria Sin is a New York-based freelance journalist who writes about the tech toys that you can't live without for ZDNet. She has little patience for poorly designed user experiences, and is not afraid of opening the guts of her own machines for repair or hacking her gadgets for new uses.She has written for FastCompany.com, Popular Scienc... Full Bio

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