By Patrick Avenell

FLORIDA, USA: Research in Motion (RIM) last night announced two new BlackBerry Bold smartphones at its world conference in Florida, in the United States. The new phones both feature a full QWERTY keyboard, capacitive touchscreen and the new BlackBerry 7 operating system.

Features of both the new Bold 9900 and 9930 handsets include 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera, built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 1.2GHz processor. Both handsets have 8GB of on-board memory, expandable via MicroSD to 32GB. Video recording is 720p.

Described as the thinnest BlackBerrys on the market, both Bolds are 10.5 millimetres thick, weighing 130 grams.

The only listed difference between the two new models is in wireless network support. Whilst both have Quad-Band GSM/EDGE support, the 9900 is Tri-Band HSPA+ and the 9930 is Dual-Band CDMA.

Here’s RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis to tell us how great this release is.

"The new BlackBerry Bold smartphones and BlackBerry 7 OS are inspired by millions of customers around the world who want the ultimate combination of performance, functionality and style," he said.

“These fully-loaded and beautifully crafted smartphones offer a highly refined user experience with blazingly fast performance, a brilliant touchscreen and an outstanding typing experience.”

The global release for these phones describes the BlackBerry 7 OS thus:

“It provides an easier and faster user experience with improved browsing, voice-activated searches, the ability to manage personal content separately from corporate content, as well as additional personal and productivity apps out of the box.”

Research in Motion said in Florida that these new Bolds would be available from carriers around the world “this summer”, which means winter in Australia.

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If there was to be one functional criticism of the Bold’s specifications, it would be that whilst other phone manufacturers are releasing smartphones with 8- and 12-megapixel cameras, BlackBerry are retaining the 5-megapixel specification.

With social media users constantly uploading images to Twitter and Facebook, and BlackBerry’s apps supporting this are without peer, it is disappointing that RIM hasn’t matched HTC and Nokia, amongst others, in this specification.

BlackBerry Bold 9900.