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RIM's 'Magnum' To Be Holy Grail Of BlackBerries?

One reason Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices have been so successful with business users is because they have great keyboards. That hasn't stopped business users from moving over the iPhone in droves, in part, because of its touch interface. BlackBerry hopes to hold onto its customers with the Magnum, which features both a touch screen and a keyboard.
One reason Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices have been so successful with business users is because they have great keyboards. That hasn't stopped business users from moving over the iPhone in droves, in part, because of its touch interface. BlackBerry hopes to hold onto its customers with the Magnum, which features both a touch screen and a keyboard.RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9700 has been a successful phone so far due in no small part to its great keyboard and attractive form factor. RIM's two touch-based devices, the Storm and Storm2, have sold plenty of units, but still haven't stemmed the tide of users choosing the iPhone instead. The Magnum might just do the trick. Why? Because it gives users what they want.

Many people still dislike typing on glass. They want the feel of a real keyboard under their thumbs, but they also want a touch-based device and a more intuitive user interface. The Magnum appears to marry a device such as the Bold 9700 with the Storm2. It has a full QWERTY keyboard and a large touch screen above it. Imagine a Bold that's been stretched a bit so the screen is larger, but still with a keyboard below it.

According to spy shots and leaked spec sheets, the device has a 2.6-inch touch screen with 480 x 360 pixels. That's a bit on the small side compared to the competing touch-based devices, but the keyboard is full-sized. The device ditches the typical trackball/optical mouse completely in favor of on-screen controls for navigation.

The device is said to have quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band HSDPA 3G, supporting the 850/1900/2100MHz bands. That means it will work on AT&T's 3G network and the 3G networks of many European network operators. It will also have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

It will support microSD cards for media storage, but surprisingly has only a 2 megapixel camera with LED flash. Where's the 3.2-megapixel shooter that is on all the higher-end BlackBerries?

Beyond the hardware, what I really want to know is what sort of user interface and system software it is running. Has RIM made improvements to the UI? Is it less text menu-based and more GUI-based?

RIM hasn't announced this device, nor even hinted as to its existence. However, RIM's Wireless Enterprise Symposium is scheduled to kick off on April 26. As the company hasn't made any significant product announcements for months, that would be the perfect opportunity for the company to launch a product such as the Magnum.

[Via TopTechReviews]

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