BlackBerry debuts the 9720, a Qwerty BlackBerry 7 OS device for emerging markets

BlackBerry updates lineup for emerging markets with the BlackBerry 9720.

BlackBerry has officially announced its latest Qwerty smartphone, the BlackBerry 9720.

BlackBerry 9720. Image: BlackBerry
Image: BlackBerry

The new device, which runs BlackBerry 7.1 OS, will be available in the "coming weeks" from retailers and carriers in Asia, EMEA and Latin America.

BlackBerry has not released pricing yet, however, the device has drawn comparisons to its BlackBerry 10 OS Qwerty, the Q5 , with suggestions it would be a low-cost number designed for emerging markets. The official specs appear to back that up.

"It's perfect for customers upgrading from a feature phone or entry-level Android or Windows Phone device, as well as existing BlackBerry smartphone customers, that want a richer experience and jump up in style and performance," Carlo Chiarello, executive vice president for products at BlackBerry, said in a statement.

The 9720 comes in five colours and sports a 2.8-inch touchscreen and trackpad as well as the Qwerty keyboard.

BlackBerry claims a battery life of seven hours talk time. The 512MB onboard storage can be boosted to 32GB via a microSD memory slot, while the device's single rear camera takes snaps at five megapixels.

The device also features a dedicated BBM key for BlackBerry Messenger, BBM Voice wi-fi-enabled chatting app, and a built-in FM radio.

Pricing and availability will be announced in due course, according to a BlackBerry spokeswoman.