And we’re here! #BB7FanNight is officially upon us in Toronto, Ontario at the Fifth Social Club. The crowd is abuzz over all the new devices RIM has kept up their sleeves for the past few months. Despite incessant leaks, rumors, shots, etc. they have done a great job maintaining excitement towards their largest global launch of phones that are surely aimed to shake up the smartphone game going into back to school time.
On hand tonight are as seen in order below: The BlackBerry Torch 9810, BlackBerry Torch 9850/60, and finally, the new flagship the BlackBerry Bold 9900/30.
As I was gawking at the phones in all their touchscreen wonder, I had the chance to meet Annu Dawar, the senior product manager in charge of making BlackBerry 7 what it is today, who was kind enough to give me a rundown of the BlackBerry 7 experience.
What you can expect from the BlackBerry 7 OS: the biggest bang feature in BB7 is Liquid Graphics; it is all about fast performance, quick response times, and fluid animations. Liquid Graphics (or LG) is a culmination of the 1.2 GHz Processor, 768MB RAM, dedicated graphics processor (GPU), entirely brand new software graphics architecture. Essentially, when you pick up a phone with LG you feel as though there is a turbo charger under the hood of the phone. Something as simple as scrolling through emails – which would normally render the notorious hour glass – is lightening fast, making it seem as though emails were scrolling backwards. The WebKit browser is extremely responsive with LG; pinch-to-zoom follows your fingers with timing and accuracy – right down to panning, which is utterly seamless.
Augmented Reality: is simply something that needs to be seen to be believed; it’s actually awesome. RIM partnered with Mobilizy to provide Wikitude for BlackBerry 7. You can locate YouTube videos that were made by GPS location, your BBM contacts, and create points of interest right from your phone.
BBM6: is the evolution of the staple communication tool; RIM has taken the app and opened up its API’s to make it even more social than ever before. Now you can keep track of all your contacts doings in real time; from gaming and Foursquare check-ins, to their global whereabouts on Wikitude – all with the sole intentions of aiding in the viral growth of applications.
Is the bad mama-jamma, most talked about new edition to the OS. It allows wireless mobile payment to a retail establishment; yup, you read that right… no more wallets – it also enables companies to allow employees badge access with their device. The possibilities are absolutely endless and are all based on how the 3rd party developers use the API’s given by RIM. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 will be the first NFC-capable BlackBerry released to the masses.
Overall: BlackBerry7 is RIM putting their strong hand up, confidently declaring themselves a strong competitor in the war known as the smartphone world. This is exactly what the Dr. ordered and should re-instill confidence in those who have started to sway from the brand. Alas, only time will really tell, but I am left happy with what I’ve seen.
Here is a *hat-tip to you RIM, you done good.