Research In Motion (RIM) officially unveiled the BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone on Tuesday.
The newest BlackBerry device, known as the Torch 9800, is the first handset from Canadian smartphone manufacturer to run the BlackBerry 6 operating system.
Like most of the BlackBerry range, the 9800 retains RIM's trademark Qwerty keyboard but takes a vertical sliding form factor; allowing for a 480x360 pixel, 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display replacing RIM's ill-fated SurePress system found on the Storm and Storm 2.
The device will be available in the US from 12 August but a UK release date is yet to be confirmed, though a company spokesperson did say that a release announcement and carrier details for the EMEA region will arrive in the coming weeks.
Among its other notable specs the device will offer:
*Up to 3.6 Mbps HSDPA connectivity *5-megapixel camera with flash, autofocus, digital zoom and facial recognition *GPS *Wi-Fi b/g/n support *624MHz processor *4GB internal memory, expandable by a further 32GB by using a microSD card *BlackBerry 6 OS *Tethering support
The BlackBerry 6 OS features a redesigned home screen (including new icons, graphics and animations), Multitouch support (e.g. pinch-to-zoon) for photos and browsing, graphical context sensitive pop-up menus and a host of redesigned core apps (like a much-improved messaging client) and new YouTube, RSS, and social networking apps. The OS also adds the ability to sync the device over Wi-Fi.
A BlackBerry representative also confirmed that the BlackBerry 6 OS would be present on all future handsets and offered as an upgrade for 9700 and 9105 owners.
For full details take a look at the Torch 9800 page on the official BlackBerry website.
**Update** Check out ZDNet UK's hands-on pictures of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 from the UK launch.