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By 29 August 2013 | Categories: news

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BlackBerry has announced the local availability of the new BlackBerry 9720 smartphone in South Africa. The 9720 (114 x 66 x 12 mm; 120 g) is currently only available from Vodacom for R2 600, but other local authorised mobile carriers and retailers will be carrying stock as of the first week of September.

Unlike the company’s BlackBerry 10 running handsets such as the Z10 (review), the new 9720 operates on BlackBerry 7.1 and supports the firm’s popular BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).

Powering the smartphone is a single core Marvell Tavor MG1 processor clocked at 806 MHz, which is supported by 512 MB RAM.

Thanks to an update to BlackBerry 7.1, users will also be able to multicast their messages, which involves quickly typing a message once and simultaneously posting it to their contact on BBM, Twitter and Facebook. Users can also capture a photo and post it to multiple social networks at the same time, right from within the camera app.

Touch-and-type on the go

The 9720 delivers a touch-and-type experience that is similar to the one on offer with the midrange BlackBerry Q5 (review) and top end BlackBerry Q10 (review). It couples a physical QWERTY keyboard with a 2.8" (360 x 480; 214 ppi) IPS capacitive touchscreen.

Just like the BlackBerry Curve 9320 (review) of old, the new BlackBerry 9720 boasts a dedicated BBM button, enabling users to quick launch the IM application.

Also onboard is a 1450 mAH removable battery, Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 n, a 5 MP EDOF (extended depth of field) rear-facing camera, as well as built-in FM Radio. Users only have access to 512 MB worth of internal memory for storing multimedia and apps, but luckily they are able to expand upon this by up to 32 GB via microSD memory card slot.

In related news, BlackBerry recently announced that it is now pondering whether to sell the company outright, continue to navigate the rough smartphone seas in the BlackBerry 10 ship, or cosy up to a mobile partner.

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