BlackBerry Curve 9220 / 9320 now official: BB OS 7.1, 2.44-inch display, same ol'

The 9320 has visited more countries during its short gestation than some phones get to see in their whole lives, but it's finally arrived. The specs are pretty much what we guessed, with the socially-focused BB OS 7.1 onboard, a 3.2-megapixel camera and typical Curve features like a 2.44-inch 320 x 240 non-touch LCD display, 'super charged' 1450mAh battery, FM radio and a small, lightweight 103 gram QWERTY form factor. Same specs, different day, but then there's also microSD expandability beyond the 512MB of eMMC, which can't be taken for granted, plus a new feature in the form of a dedicated BBM key on the side. As for the 9320's cheaper sibling, the 9220 shown above, we've already been hands-on at BlackBerry World and spotted that one of its main sacrifices is the camera: it's only 2-megapixels and there's no flash. That's all 11,000 rupees ($210) and a police escort gets you.

Update: There's a potential treat for FCC watchers after the break -- because we think the Curve 9320 may have just received its wireless green card.

Update: UK carriers have just announced their intentions. Three will offer the device from PAYG for £140 ($225) from May 14th, while T-Mobile will also have a 24-month contract option at £15.50 per month.

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RIM introduces the BlackBerry Curve 9320 - A Stylish, New Smartphone for the Socially-Connected

Waterloo, ON - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced a stylish new smartphone for socially-connected customers. The new BlackBerry® Curve™ 9320 smartphone features all the core BlackBerry messaging and social-centric features that keep people connected, and it offers global 3G connectivity backed by long battery life to allow users to make the most of their day.

"The new BlackBerry Curve 9320 is designed to make it incredibly easy for users to stay socially-connected," said Carlo Chiarello, EVP, Smartphone Business at Research In Motion. "The new BlackBerry Curve 9320 will be especially popular with customers upgrading to a smartphone for the first time and existing Curve customers looking for a step up in speed and functionality."

The BlackBerry Curve 9320 has everything a customer needs to stay in touch with the people and things that matter most to them. It features a dedicated BBM™ key, bringing the power of RIM's popular mobile social network up in an instant, as well as the best keyboard in its class for quick and easy typing. It includes a built-in FM radio, allowing users to tune into their favorite local stations, and listening to the FM radio does not require a data plan or use data services. Designed to allow both 3G connectivity and long battery life, customers can get up to 7 hours of talk time or up to 30 hours of FM radio listening or music playback with headphones.

Customers can easily interact with their social network in real time, using preloaded apps for Facebook® and Twitter®. The new Social Feeds 2.0 app is also preloaded, allowing users to post updates to multiple social networks simultaneously and capture updates from news sources (RSS), social apps and instant messaging apps all in one consolidated view. The integrated camera includes a flash and supports video recording, and pictures can be tagged with their location thanks to the smartphone's built-in GPS.

The BlackBerry Curve 9320 comes with the new BlackBerry® 7.1 OS, which supports features such as Mobile Hotspot and Wi-Fi® calling where available.* Parental Controls is a brand new, on-device feature that provides parents and guardians with simple options to help protect children by restricting access to specific functions, features and applications.

Pricing and availability of the BlackBerry Curve 9320 will be announced in conjunction with RIM's distribution partners. For more information please visit: http://worldwide.blackberry.com/blackberrycurve/9220-9320

* Please check with your carrier for availability.

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BlackBerry Curve 9320 now official: BB OS 7.1, 2.44-inch display, BBM button