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Photos: New BlackBerry Bold-ly goes for European design

But latest iteration of the BlackBerry Bold smartphone is a "little less bold" than before...
By Natasha Lomas, Contributor on
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1 of 4 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

But latest iteration of the BlackBerry Bold smartphone is a "little less bold" than before...

"A little less bold" is how RIM's co-CEO has described the latest incarnation of its Bold smartphone (pictured above).

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 was unveiled today and has something of a European flavour too - being the first device from RIM entirely designed in its R&D facility in Bochum, Germany.

The device will be available in the UK from early November.

Photo credit: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

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2 of 4 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Speaking at a press briefing in Bochum today, Mike Lazaridis said the one common request of users of the original Bold was 'can't you make it a little smaller'? "It was a little too bold for some," the co-CEO joked.

Both smaller and lighter than the original, and with a more modest silhouette, the 9700 has other tweaks too. There's a higher resolution display and a bigger megapixel camera: up from two megapixels to 3.2 megapixels.

BlackBerry Bold

Photo credits: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

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3 of 4 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

The trackball has also been swapped for a trackpad which Lazaridis said is better suited to singled-handed operation using the thumb.

The company claims the battery offers six hours of GSM talk time, and 19 days of standby time. "The battery will probably outlast you", Lazaridis claimed.

According to Lazaridis, the things that really matter to smartphone consumers are coverage, battery-life, reliability and security.

BlackBerry Bold

Photo credits: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

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4 of 4 Natasha Lomas/ZDNET

Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Parliament - pictured above with Lazaridis - also spoke at today's launch of the new Bold.

Asked about his work/life balance, Lazaridis said he "never" turns his BlackBerry off - but added: "I have learned how to use the filters on here very carefully."

RIM's Bochum facility (pictured below), which opened last year, is currently working on RIM's next device, according to Lazaridis.

He said the company plans to raise headcount there from around 200 people currently to about 500 over time. The expansion beyond the company's Canadian HQ is due to RIM building more and more devices, Lazaridis added.

RIM's Bochum facility

Photo credits: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

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