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Beauty and Brains – The BlackBerry 9630 World Edition Karishma Sundaram | , 11 a.m. March 3, 2009 2009-03-03

BlackBerry devices are stylish and functional smart phones; some with greater emphasis on style and ergonomic design like the Curve, or others with more of an accent on features and functionality like the Bold. It is about time that there was a BlackBerry that reached a happy medium, incorporating the best of both worlds, and perhaps this is exactly what the BlackBerry 9630 World Edition does. 

Nicknamed the Niagara, for reasons best known to RIM, first outwardly impressions of the BlackBerry 9630 World Edition are very similar to the Curve. The phone is slender, although slightly larger than the Curve. The button detail is stylish and ergonomic with the curved keyboard edges that make text entry such a painless pleasure on these phones, which is reminiscent of the much sturdier BlackBerry Bold. 

As of now the information about this latest product from the BlackBerry line up is rather sketchy, however the expectations are running high with a lot of hype surrounding it. The phone will be released by Verizon, and perhaps the most vital part of the whole deal is the myriad connectivity options that this handset packs in. Connectivity options will include CDMA 1x support, EV-DO Rev. A, along with quad-band GSM, GPRS and EDGE. There will also be 2100MHz UMTS. Unfortunately WiFi is not part of the package, which is incomprehensible as the phone has almost every other imaginable connectivity option. The lack is apparently carrier-related, as some pre-production phones had that particular capability. We are assuming it will have Bluetooth, but this unconfirmed as of now. 

The operating system version that has been declared is the 4.7.1, however there is the possibility that since the phone is expected to launch sometime in May or June, it may actually sport the 5.0 version. Hopefully this will be the case. 

Apart from these specifications, the BlackBerry 9630 World Edition phone will have a 3.2 megapixel camera. While it is nothing to be unduly excited about, the Internet browser will now incorporate JavaScript support. This is a definite improvement considering the rather ineffectual and dated browsers on earlier models, although it still probably cannot handle the more advanced website technology that reigns supreme in the virtual world. 

The reason the newest model carries the tag of a ‘World Phone’ is that Verizon has decided to target its marketing strategy at the international travelling business executive. The phone will be functional anywhere in the world, what with CDMA and GSM packaged into a single device. 

According to Research in Motion (RIM), all the phone models that have operating system versions post 4.7 will ship with the Application Centre; which means that whether or not the phone has 4.7.1 or 5.0 as its operating system, it will definitely have the Application Centre. 

The Application Centre is analogous to Apple’s iPhone App Store and Google Android’s Market. Users will be able to browse through various different applications on offer from their carriers. Application Centre resides on the device itself, forming an efficient interface from which to look at each application, and view the related marketing information easily. 

The BlackBerry 9630 World Edition is a confirmed rumour, but still shrouded in mystery as of now. It remains to be seen what the actual product will look like.

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