A year ago it wasn’t easy to remain optimistic about RIM. You know this if you were reading RIMarkable and BBGeeks at the time. As both Robb and I lamented, the 2010 line of BlackBerry devices offered little to no tangible upgrade over the 2008 and 2009 models, which in themselves were behind their times. It left in the air RIM’s future as a smartphone competitor. We heard plenty about the QNX operating system and how it would change everything, but that was still a ways off. RIM needed something inspiring to bridge the gap.
Earlier in the year we caught wind of RIM’s plans for 2011. From a physical standpoint it looked like more of the same. The new line would include an updated flagship device, a full touchscreen device, a new Curve, and an update to the Torch. Nothing new, nothing revolutionary. Yet RIM made a few subtle changes to each model. The full touchscreen device ditched SurePress, which doomed the Storm from the start. The flagship device got a small touchscreen in addition to the full QWERTY keyboard. The Curve got a graphics update. But, most importantly, they all got faster processors: 1.2 GHz to be exact, which are among the fastest on the market.
While the software didn’t figure to change much — they called it BlackBerry 7, but it was really more like 6.1 or 6.5 — the processor might have made the difference. After all, my biggest complaints about the OS 6 models centered on lag. Everything just ran slow, as though the processor just wasn’t powerful enough to handle the tasks assigned to it. As it turns out, that is exactly the case. The result is a line of BlackBerry models that should make RIM proud. They’ve delivered practical, usable devices that, as has been their calling card for more than a decade, help users get organized and stay in touch.
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