BlackBerry Gets a Bold Refresh with Wi-Fi Calling

blackberry-bold-9700Research In Motion today makes the next BlackBerry Bold version official. The Blackberry Bold 9700 runs OS 5.0, keeps the stunning 360 x 480 display, adds touch-sensitive trackpad and supports calls over Wi-Fi. Some folks have said this is the first BlackBerry with the Wi-Fi calling using UMA, or Unlicensed Mobile Access. But I seem to recall that T-Mobile offered a BlackBerry Curve when rolling out its UMA service back in 2007 — maybe I have one of those memory leaks all the PCs seem to experience?

In any case, I do think it’s the first BlackBerry to offer UMA support on AT&T’s network. And that’s kind of interesting since the carrier is testing a femtocell deviceI explored some of this femtocell vs. UMA bit in a recent GigaOM Pro report (subscription required), and each solution has merits. But enough about different wireless communications methods. What else did RIM pack into the Bold 9700?

  • Sleek design measuring 4.29″ x 2.36″ x 0.56″ and weighing only 4.3 oz
  • 2.44” light-sensing display 480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi
  • Highly tactile full QWERTY keyboard BlackBerry OS
  • 3.2MP camera with variable zoom, autofocus, flash and video recording
  • Built-in GPS for maps and other location-based applications, as well as photo geotagging
  • Media player for videos, pictures and music, plus support for BlackBerry Desktop Manager for both PCs and Macs, and BlackBerry Media Sync
  • 256 MB Flash memory
  • 1500 mAh battery for six hours of talk time, 19 days standby, 35 hours of music playback
  • microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 16GB cards today and is expected to support 32GB cards when available (a 2GB card is included)
  • Premium and easy-to-access phone features, background noise suppression technology, and high-quality speakerphone
  • One version with support for UMTS/HSDPA 2100/1900/850/800 MHz and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM
  • Another version that supports UMTS/HSDPA 2100/1700/900 MHz and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM

AT&T customers will pay $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, while T-Mobile hasn’t yet announced pricing details. Both carriers say that the phone is due to hit in the coming weeks and will be available before the holidays.

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