This week T-Mobile made it official and announced that the popular BlackBerry Bold 9700 mobile smartphone from Research Mobile in Motion is now available on T-Mobile USA. The handset, which features the Wi-Fi calling option, is available for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
The original Bold handset had launched a year ago from RIM for AT&T, and has been a well received handset. The new Bold 9700, which will also be released on AT&T, features a QWERTY keyboard that makes texting and twittering easy – even for those world leader’s who should be well versed in using a BlackBerry but claim otherwise to the Chinese media – and this updated handset also seems to have gone on a slight diet. It has lost some of its width, but still provides a large screen for surfing the Web and doing all that smartphone stuff.
Palm Brings Out the Pixi
The second device to run the webOS from Palm has been released, and it has the potential to be something magical, or at least its name suggests so. This is the new Pixi smartphone, and it offers many of the same features as the Pre, which was released earlier this year for Sprint Nextel customers. The Pixi offers the same miniaturized keyboard along with a touchscreen.
The significant differences between the Pre and the Pixi (what’s with the “P” names? Let’s hope this isn’t a trend) are that this new smartphone has downsized – yet another trend we’re seeing this year. The handset is a bit sleeker, but more importantly is actually a bit cheaper too. The Pixi is available for Sprint users for $199.99, and comes with a $100 mail-in rebate, bringing the final price to just under $100 before taxes. As reported online, the trade off for this more affordable and sleeker phone is one that lacks the Wi-Fi wireless networking of the Pre, and a downgraded screen, as well as a lower-resolution camera.
The camera we could accept, but smartphones need a large screen to be useful for surfing the Web, sending e-mails and running apps. So we’re not sure the 2.63-inch touchscreen – the key word being “touch” – is ideal for everything this phone promises. And that brings us to the next point, one that has also been addressed in length on other blogs, and that is the software.
While many are making a big deal out of the number of apps available, and don’t get me wrong as this is an issue, Rome wasn’t built in a day. There are apps, but these pale in numbers for those for more established operating systems and I believe the apps will come. But anyone expecting to have hundreds of apps that can do everything should greatly reduce their expectations.
That said, the webOS software is already very polished, and many users are finding it to be far more sophisticated than Microsoft’s current Windows Mobile 6.5. This could indeed be a sign of good things to come, let’s hope this Pixi delivers the magic.
Maybe This Isn’t the Droid You’re Looking For
Yes, I had to quote – or rather paraphrase – Obi Wan from the original Star Wars film. But that certainly could be the case. According to various news sites the Google Android OS-based handset, which was supposed to be Motorola’s “New Hope” has proven as popular as Ewoks, selling only 250,000 units in its first week, while compared to 1.6 million iPhone 3GS units that were sold in its first weekend.