New BlackBerry phones hitting AT&T and Sprint on Aug. 21, Verizon on Aug. 25

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Research in Motion’s new BlackBerry Bold and Torch smartphones will be officially released by AT&T and Sprint on Aug. 21 and by Verizon on Aug. 25.

AT&T will carry the BlackBerry Torch 9810, which runs on AT&T’s current 4G (HSPA+) network and features a slide-out keyboard and a 3.2-inch touch screen.

The Torch 9810 looks pretty much the same as the Torch 9800 that it will replace, but the refreshed units will add a higher-resolution display (up to 640 by 480 from 480 by 360) and more memory (8 gigabytes up from 4 gigabytes). AT&T has yet to provide a price for the Torch 9810.

Sprint will stock both the BlackBerry Bold 9930 and BlackBerry Torch 9850 phones.


The Bold 9930 will sell for $249.99 with a two-year contract and will be RIM’s thinnest phone at just 0.41 of an inch. A 2.4-inch touchscreen will sit atop a full keyboard, and the smartphone will include 8 gigabytes of memory, have near field communication technology built in, and run on Sprint’s 3G network.

The Torch 9850 will also run on Sprint’s 3G network, but this model loses the keyboard, opting instead for a 3.7-inch touch display that RIM says is its largest. The Torch 9850 will sell for $149.99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) with a two-year contract.

Like Sprint, Verizon will sell a 3G version of the BlackBerry Bold 9930 for $249.99 with a new two-year data plan.

Each of the new BlackBerry phones will run RIM’s BlackBerry 7 mobile operating system, which will be the newest version of the BlackBerry OS and be optimized for the various touch screens the phones will have.

But, BlackBerry 7 is also a stop-gap until the QNX mobile OS, seen on the PlayBook tablet, hits RIM’s phones. So while BlackBerry 7 is said to be a step up from the BlackBerry 6 running on current models, it won’t be around for long if RIM stays the course and heads to QNX.

What do you think of BlackBerry’s new phone lineup so far? Let us know in the comments.

[Correction Tuesday, Aug. 16, 10:38 a.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrecly said the BlackBerry Torch 9810 would run on AT&T’s 4G LTE network. In fact, the Torch 9810 will run on AT&T’s HSPA+ network, which AT&T brands as a 4G network because of its ability to hit up to 4G speeds. AT&T has yet to release a 4G LTE device as of yet.]


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles