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Vodacom to Release New BlackBerry Curve 3G in September 2010

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We have just received confirmation from Vodacom that the country's largest mobile network will indeed be bringing the newly-announced BlackBerry Curve 3G to South Africa.

It is estimated to arrive in September, and should be a viable replacement for the older Curve 8520 model (the Curve 3G is model no. 9300).

So why should you care about this new phone? Well, if you, like me, are anticipating a move to the BlackBerry for its economical usage and functionality, then this is an ideal choice if you aren't wanting to splurge on the more expensive Bold 9700 or Torch 9800.

The Curve 3G is ready for the newly released BlackBerry OS 6 software (the Curve 8520 is not upgradeable to this newer version). It also includes 3G capability for faster internet browsing on the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), and has a built-in GPS radio for navigation with BlackBerry Maps and other navigation apps (the Curve 8520 doesn't have these two features).

It's only fault could be the 2-megapixel camera, but in my opinion, if you already own a good-quality digital camera, there isn't much need for something powerful on a mobile phone (although RIM could've done better with this camera, seeing as most smartphones ship today with at least a 3.2 megapixel camera).

So, set your calendars for September 2010, when the new BlackBerry Curve 3G is expected to hit South African Vodacom stores nationwide.

New BlackBerry Curve 3G (9300) Announced [BlackBerry Weekly]

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Research in Motion today announced a new BlackBerry model hot on the release of their new flagship model, the Torch.

This new model fits into the immensely popular Curve range, and finally brings 3G support to the series in what may be a full world-wide roll-out.

The model is called the Curve 3G (model no. 9300), and whilst it ships with the older BlackVerry OS 5, it is OS 6 ready, unlike its older siblings the Curve 8520 and 8530.

The 9300 also has GPS built-in, unlike its predecessor, and coupled with its support for an update to the latest BlackBerry OS 6, is in my opinion an all-round great phone. Unfortunately, however, the camera is stil 2-megapixel.

Byte Lounge has already contacted Vodacom in South Africa to find out when this phone will arrive, and we will post the latest as soon as we get a reply from them.

In the meantime, though, what do you think of this phone? Let us know in the comments below.

RIM Introduces the BlackBerry Torch Mobile Phone [BlackBerry Weekly]

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Image courtesy of Techland
At a special media event held today, Research in Motion, makers of the popular BlackBerry smartphones, announced a new mobile to their lineup, the BlackBerry 9800 "Torch".

This new phone takes a step away from the company's usual breed of mobile phone form-factor, delving into the area of the slider phone. Essentially, the Torch is a QWERTY-styled slider, and is the first ever BlackBerry smartphone that has a QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen -- the best of both worlds, one can say.

The phone was unveiled in a joint-venture between RIM and American telecoms operator AT&T, so if this device releases internationally, its name may differ due to international regulations in certain countries.

Specs:



  • 4.4" (5.8" open) x 2.4" x .57"


  • 5.68 ounces


  • 3.2-inch 360x480 capacitive touch-screen


  • Backlit full QWERTY keyboard


  • Optical trackpad


  • 624MHz processor with 512MB flash


  • 4GB of built-in memory


  • 5-megapixel camera w/ flash, image stabilization and video recording up to 640x480


  • GPS


  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n


  • Bluetooth 2.1


  • Wi-Fi Sync: view your iTunes or WMP library from your BlackBerry in OS 6. Create or edit playlists and select music for download from your BlackBerry.


  • 1300mAh battery with 5.8 hours of talk time, 30 hours of audio playback and 6 hours of video playback


  • Source: Techland
    Interestingly, the Torch also includes the newly-released BlackBerry OS 6, which includes improved social media management, RSS feed incorporation for easily accessing your favorite blogs, and a new Universal Search tool.

    BlackBerry OS 6 Coming This Week? [BlackBerry Weekly]

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    This week, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is expected to unveil their latest update to the software that powers the smartphones you know and love – the BlackBerry OS.

    But there's a lot of work RIM has to do in order to bring the ageing operating system on-par with its younger, more sophisticated counterparts from competitors Apple and Google.

    As GigaOM writer Colin Gibbs wrote, "BlackBerry OS has failed to support the kind of rich-media that lures consumers". And this could never be true. Whilst the latest BlackBerry devices are able to play a host of video and audio files, the user experience leaves much to be desired.

    And coupled with the emerging trend that pushes most mobile users into engaging via the Internet, the OS's native browser does not compare to the experience provided by the likes of Apple with it's intuitive and almost desktop-like Safari Mobile browser.

    Furthermore, BlackBerry OS 6 will have to compete with the much-hyped and now finally released iOS 4 that powers the latest iPhones, and is soon to back the iPad. This could be the one major factor that RIM can win in; at present, Apple has been receiving a lot of bad press over the iPhone, especially concerning iOS 4 running on older iPhone 3G models; reports have been coming in fast of the devices freezing and not functioning as they used to when upgraded to iOS 4.

    What I'd like RIM to do with the BlackBerry OS in version 6:
    • Overhaul the user interface; bring it into the new age of mobile, and make it more intuitive to use.
    • Improve the native browser; bring it on-par or make it even better than Apple's Mobile Safari.
    • Allow the upgrade to be compatible with older BlackBerry smartphones; in other words, don't make it exclusive to newer, yet-to-be release phones.
    • Make synchronising with computers easier.
    What would you like to see in the new OS? Drop a line or two in the comments section below.

    BlackBerryWeekly
     
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