BlackBerry unveils BlackBerry 7 OS


BlackBerry has unveiled its new BlackBerry 7 OS, calling it its “biggest launch ever”.


The first five devices to launch with this OS were unveiled in a presentation at the Soho Hotel in London. All devices will come packing a 1.2GHz processor, 768MB of RAM, five-megapixel camera with 720p HD video and a liquid graphics screen.


The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 – or Bold Touch – are RIM’s slimmest phones ever, at just 10.5mm thick. It’s RIM’s first go at the QWERTY/touch candybar format that’s emerged recently.


The Torch 9810 is the successor to RIM’s QWERTY slider, the Torch 9800, which packed a touch-screen with full-sized slide-out keyboard.


Finally, the BlackBerry Touch 9850 and 9860 (depending on region) represent RIM’s second go at a full-touch range, apparently with an ‘all-new’ touch-screen design – hopefully a regular ol’ capacitive sort unlike the less-than-popular Storm line.


On the software front, BlackBerry 7 packs a browser that’s meant to be 40% faster than the browser on OS 6, with support for HTML5 and JavaScript. Published benchmarks showed it was faster than the browser on any other OS – we’ll test that fully too. At the very least, it should cane the browser on other BlackBerrys.


The new OS will pack better social features, with a new Facebook  app and always-on Facebook Chat - like HTC”s Facebook phones, the Salsa and the ChaCha. As previously reported, the newer more powerful BBM6 will make its debut. 


All five devices – and future 7 OS BlackBerrys – will come with the Wikitude browser for a days of augmented reality goodness. Just point the ‘Berry at some 175 million plus points of interest in over 175 countries to get an overlay of information.


Though recent alarmist reports highlight RIM’s flagging share in the smartphone market, we’re told that 11% of the UK population uses a BlackBerry – or seven million to be precise. Of course, this probably counts people who use 'Berrys given to them by work – and who may actually use a different phone when out of the office.


Across the world, 67 million people own BlackBerrys, while the company says it has added a million users across Europe, Africa and South East Asia in the last three weeks.


We’ll have a full hands-on with photos and previews of all devices soon. 


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