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BlackBerry on Tuesday announced a new smartphone, the 9720. The 9720 carries forward the look and feel of BlackBerry’s aging Curve line of devices and features a QWERTY keyboard. The device runs BlackBerry 7, the smartphone-maker’s outgoing platform.
Key features of the 9720’s hardware include a 2.8-inch touch screen accompanied by a handy trackpad for easier on-screen navigation. The smartphone has a 5-megapixel camera, which can capture video, and an FM radio. BlackBerry claims the 9720 offers stellar battery life.
BlackBerry OS 7.1 has a slightly updated user interface that BlackBerry says incorporates some elements of today’s more advanced touch-based platforms. For example, it allows owners to unlock their device by swiping on the screen, or launch the camera directly from the lock screen. BlackBerry 7.1 includes BlackBerry Messenger (with its own dedicated hardware button), the company’s vaunted messaging platform. On the 9720, BBM is able to connect voice calls over Wi-Fi for free. It also includes BBM channels, but doesn’t include video chatting or the ability to share screens, which require BlackBerry OS 10. The device has access to thousands of apps in the BlackBerry World app store.
The device comes with BlackBerry Multicast, which is a social networking tool that lets owners type messages and easily post them to BBM, Twitter or Facebook — or all three at once. Multicast also includes support for sharing images captured by the camera.
BlackBerry calls out the 9720’s enterprise acumen, as well. The device is compatible with both BES and BESX, which allow businesses to manage every aspect of the device, its settings, apps and user permissions. BlackBerry OS 7 has been approved for use by governments around the globe.
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Source: Associated Press