The new Bold still features the well-known BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard, but also boasts a 2.8-inch VGA (640×480) capacitive touch display.
Hearkening back to the design of the original BlackBerry Bold 9000, the Bold 9900 is somewhat wider than the 9700 and 9780, allowing for slightly larger keys on the keyboard.
It also sports a 1.2GHz processor, 768MB RAM, 8GB internal storage with a microSD slot that supports up to 32GB external storage, and a 5 megapixel camera that can record 720p video.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is also the first of RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 OS devices to launch locally.
Vodacom’s executive head of corporate communications, Nomsa Thusi, previously told MyBroadband that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 will be available from 7 September 2011 from participating Vodacom outlets at a recommended retail price of R7,694 on prepaid.
Thusi also said that it will be available on their 24 month BlackBerry Talk 100 contract for R449 per month.
The full press release follows below.
Research In Motion (RIM) and Vodacom today launched the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone in South Africa.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone yet at only 10.5mm, and the first to offer the perfect union of a high performance keyboard and touch display integrated within the iconic BlackBerry Bold design. The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 is also the first BlackBerry smartphone to include built-in support for NFC (Near Field Communications), a new technology that is enabling many new and exciting capabilities, including the ability to pair with NFC-enabled accessories or read SmartPoster tags with a simple tap of the smartphone.
Distinguished by its beautiful design, amazingly effective keyboard and brilliant touch display, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 is crafted with premium materials including a brushed stainless steel frame that puts the finishing touch on a truly outstanding smartphone.
Vodacom’s Managing Executive – Sales, Zunaid Dinath, said: “We are excited to bring the first BlackBerry 7-based smartphone to our customers in South Africa in the form of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 which will provide our customers a rich and integrated communications experience”.
BlackBerry 7, the operating system for the new BlackBerry Bold 9900, introduces a next generation BlackBerry browser with a significantly faster, more fluid web browsing experience that is among the best in the industry. Combining the dramatically improved performance of the advanced WebKit browser engine together with the powerful hardware enhancements in the BlackBerry Bold 9900 delivers browsing results that are up to 40% faster than BlackBerry® 6 based smartphones and up to 100% faster than BlackBerry® 5 based smartphones (testing was performed by RIM in July 2011 and measured average page load speeds using pre-release BlackBerry 7 software).
Additional enhancements to this next generation BlackBerry browser have also optimized zooming and panning for smoother web navigation and optimized HTML5 performance for incredible gaming and video experiences.
The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 also features Liquid Graphics technology, combining a dedicated high-performance graphics processor with a blazingly fast CPU and stunning high resolution display to deliver a highly responsive touch interface with incredibly fast and smooth graphics.