Along with a number of other handset announcements, Sprint and Research in Motion introduced the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i at CTIA Fall 2008 on Wednesday. This should be particularly sweet news for Nextel Direct Connect users, who haven't seen a new BlackBerry model since the RIM BlackBerry 7100i, which was introduced back in 2006.
There's plenty more good news. In addition to supporting the iDEN network for use with Direct Connect and Group Connect push-to-talk services, the BlackBerry Curve 8350i also features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, and GPS. The smartphone will run the latest BlackBerry OS 4.6 and features DataViz Documents to Go, an improved media player, a 2-megapixel camera with video capabilities, and a microSD expansion slot.
The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i is slightly bigger than the other Curve models. You do get a full QWERTY keyboard, a 65,000-color, 320x240 pixel resolution display, and a 1,400mAh lithium-ion battery, which is the largest capacity cell that RIM offers to date.
Neither Sprint nor RIM revealed pricing or an exact release date, but the Curve 8350i is expected to be available by the end of the year.