Back in July of 2009, we came across an emerging start up with a terrific contacts and communications management solution we thought might rival Xobni’s product. Sensobi’s app was just a beta at the time, but we were so impressed with the app’s improvements over the standard BlackBerry contacts app that we wanted our readers to have a taste as well. We gave away some beta invites and it turned out we were right — readers were just as impressed with Sensobi as we were. Less than two years later, Sensobi’s founders reached out to let us know the company has been acquired by GroupMe. We congratulated them, of course, and they couldn’t say enough about all of the amazing feedback BGR readers had provided to them over the years. As a thank you, Sensobi insisted that we giveaway 500 free copies of Sensobi Contacts Pro before the new version is released to the general public. The app is well worth the $9.99 retail price in BlackBerry App World, we think, but nothing beats free. So, BlackBerry users, click the read link below from your BlackBerry smartphone to install Sensobi Contacts Pro — the first 500 clicks will score a free copy! If you miss it, check out the free and paid versions of Sensobi Contacts in BlackBerry App World. More →
Today, AT&T released BlackBerry 6 to the Bold 9700 and Curve 3G handsets. The update brings both the Bold and Curve up to Research In Motion’s latest operating system — which sports an overhauled user interface and improved performance. Those interested in getting the latest and greatest code on their AT&T device can visit AT&T’s BlackBerry software update page to download the latest bits. Enjoy.
While official word has yet to come from T-Mobile’s camp, we’ve heard from multiple sources that the carrier has finally released BlackBerry OS 6 for its BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone. The update isn’t yet live on the website, but 9700 owners who connect to BlackBerry Desktop on their PCs should be able to install the update. The release build is version 188.8.131.528, as has been known for quite some time, and this is the first version of OS 6 made available to Bold users by T-Mobile. More →
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday made RIM’s latest BlackBerry operating system available for the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and BlackBerry Curve 3G smartphones. BlackBerry 6 is now available for both devices and will be pushed to customers as an over-the-air update beginning Tuesday evening at 8:00PM Eastern Time. Customers may also update their smartphones using the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software. Updates compared to version 5 of the BlackBerry OS include a redesigned UI, universal search functionality and RIM’s highly anticipated HTML-capable browser. More →
If you’re rocking the BlackBerry Bold 9650 or Curve 9330 and are on the Now Network, listen up. Sprint has begun pushing BlackBerry 6, with its new and improved UI, to owners of the aforementioned handsets. The update is being delivered over-the-air, but, as always, you can hit up BlackBerry’s site, download the new bits, and update your device via Desktop Manager. If you’re not running an unofficial BlackBerry 6 build, or even if you are, what are you waiting for? More →
Today, Research In Motion announced that the cryptographic kernel of its BlackBerry 6 mobile operating system has earned the FIPS 140-2 security certification. FIPS, or Federal Information Processing Standard, is a classification used by the U.S. — and others — to validate the security of a computer system’s cryptographic services. The certification officially green-lights the OS for use by government employees handing “sensitive but unclassified” information. Just another security feather for RIM’s proverbial cap.
We normally don’t cover BlackBerry operating system leaks, but we figured we’d make an exception. Why? Well, since we showed the world BlackBerry 6 on our 9700, people have been begging, emailing, and stalking us for it. The OS that just leaked is newer than the one we have been running on our Bold, and we have not yet downloaded and installed it, but this time, you can let us know what you think of it, and we’ll be the ones on the sidelines waiting. Sound good? More →
Just minutes ago, Research In Motion finally made the BlackBerry Bold 9780 official. You can pick up RIM’s “boldest BlackBerry” starting in November, like had been rumored. It will launch globally next month and we’d bet that every carrier that offers the Bold 9700 will carry the refreshed model. The specifications are just as had been reported: same basic handset as the Bold 9700, 512MB RAM, 5-megapixel and BlackBerry OS 6 are the upgrades. We’ve been using a 9780 for a couple months and we definitely think the added RAM coupled with RIM’s latest operating system works well, but we can’t notice many differences from our 9700 running BlackBerry OS 6. Full press release after the break.
UPDATE: T-Mobile has announced pricing and availability — the Bold 9780 will launch on November 12th for $129.99 with a new 2-year contract. More →
As you can clearly see, no, we didn’t snag the royal purple BlackBerry Style, but Sprint and RIM were nice enough to hook us up with a steel grey (also known as black) unit, and we’re up and running. After a quick Enterprise Activation, the emails are flowing like wine. But there are no beautiful women instinctively flocking like the salmon of Capistrano — yet. Here are some of our first impressions on the device we exclusively showed the world way back in April:
- It’s not as big as we figured it would be. The BlackBerry Style is a little thick, but not overly hefty, and definitely manageable.
- The keyboard is… not as great as we hoped, and expected, it to be. It’s good, more than usable, but it feels a bit like the Torch’s keyboard — not enough travel tactility. Maybe we’re spoiled by our Bold 9780, but even though the keyboard isn’t as good, it’s most probably better than your current phone’s QWERTY keyboard, so that’s a plus.
- The screen is just what you’d expect; you don’t really notice the fact it’s a lower-than-optimal resolution due to the fact that the screen size is much smaller than on the BlackBerry Torch. Also without a touch layer, the display looks a little thinner and sleeker. Colors look good, crisp, and clear.
- The external display by default when closed is a clock, and when you receive messages, you can simply page through them without having to open the handset, just like on the Pearl Flip. Definitely a nice feature.
- Here is what we’re not in love with in our limited time with the Style… talking on the phone. With the device flipped open, the ear speaker doesn’t fit right against your ear and face. It’s on a diagonal angle because the phone’s hinge sits under the body of the phone. For example, instead of the hinge forming a straight V-shape, the flip part sits under the main part of the phone, and this recessed hinge design doesn’t offer the most comfortable phone talking experience. We’ll let you know if we get used to talking on it more in our review.
- The camera is pretty decent, seems as if it’s the same sensor as the one in the BlackBerry Torch and the BlackBerry Bold 9780.
- There is a non-button in place of the left convenience key button and it’s kind of irritating. Not because there is anything wrong with it, but because it looks like a button would work there, and you’re left with only the right convenience key as a result. [Update: it’s the cover for the microSD slot]
All in all, for a $99 (with contract) BlackBerry smartphone rocking 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, a 5 megapixel camera, BlackBerry OS 6, a QWERTY keyboard, and more, it does feel like an improvement over the Curve series in many ways. Especially for the younger, hipper demographic, the BlackBerry Style doesn’t feel too much out of place in that context. We just wish Sprint and RIM would have launched a slightly less expensive BlackBerry data plan (just email and BBM) with the Style — those high schoolers, and their parents, wouldn’t be able to resist the new 9670. It goes on sale October 31st on Sprint.
The release of the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is right around the corner, officially. Canada’s Bell Mobility has announced that they will be offering the Bold 9780 beginning on November 2, 2010. The handset, which will be available in both black and white, packs a 2.44-inch HVGA display with 480 x 360 resolution, BlackBerry 6, Wi-Fi, 5 megapixel camera with flash, 512 MB of RAM, tri-band UMTS radio 850/1900/2100MHz, and a quad-band GSM radio 850/900/1800/1900MHz. Subsidized pricing was not disclosed in the memo obtained by BGR; the device will retail for $499.99.
Now… when will this bad-boy show up Stateside?
If you are keeping up to date on your BlackBerry rumors for the day, you might have seen this photo floating around that was originally sent in to BerryReview of the BlackBerry “Storm 3″. If you got really excited at the possibility of that phone being the Storm 3, we have to let you know that the device in that photo, is not the BlackBerry Storm 3. Here is what you can expect in the Storm 3 — we have seen the device and multiple sources have informed us of the below specifications:
- Almost physically identical to the BlackBerry Storm 2. Literally. On first glance, we thought our guy was just showing us the current model.
- The device is a tiny bit slimmer, feels about the same weight, but also seems to be a bit lighter.
- The camera looks to be the same as the Storm 2, but we have to believe it is a 5 megapixel shooter. One source said 5 megapixels, the other didn’t know.
- 512MB of RAM
- OS 6
- The SurePress screen lives!
- Nothing we saw said anything about a Mobile Hotspot feature, but as that leaked slide indicated, it might be a feature coming after the device ships…
We weren’t able to snap a photo of the handset, but all in all, we have to say, we’re pretty disappointed. The fact that RIM continues to beat around the bush and offer up almost irrelevant product refreshes while the entire mobile smartphone market continues to push the envelope of user experience, specifications, design, and features worries us. So, we have to ask, is there anyone interested in a BlackBerry Storm 3 on Verizon that’s basically more or less the same phone you bought last year?
UPDATE: Well, the plot thickens. We have been told by an anonymous tipster that the Storm 3, as we have seen and heard it, might actually be a simple Storm 2 refresh. Almost a silent refresh, very different from the BlackBerry Storm 3 device. We’ll keep digging, but it gets weirder and weirder with RIM these days…
Today, Verizon Wireless and RIM announced the availability of the BlackBerry Curve 3G. The device sports that oh-so-familiar BlackBerry form factor, 512 MB RAM, 3G, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth, GPS, and a micro-SD card slot with support for up to a 32 GB card. The Curve 3G will be available in all business channels on September 16 and will be available in Verizon stores in the “coming weeks.” The device is priced at $29.99 when signing a 2-year contract and is “BlackBerry 6 ready.” More →