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BlackBerry Bold Touch will offer 'solid' styling and new battery design

The BlackBerry Bold Touch isn't supposed to be unveiled until early in May, but it's already in the hands of bloggers, who are praising its physical design and battery life.

BlackBerry-maker RIM better have something special up its sleeve for the unveiling of the BlackBerry Bold Touch next month: the handset has been the subject of a barrage of leaks in recent weeks, including specs, photos and videos. Now it's falling into the hands of bloggers too.

Boy Genius Report has taken a few pics of its hands-on with the device, promising faithfully that "it most certainly looks better in person compared to the product renders -- and that's pretty spectacular seeing how appetising those renders looked".

It goes on to highlight the Bold Touch's "solid" design and "very responsive" touchscreen, while suggesting that the device's new battery should mean that its battery life doesn't plummet due to the inclusion of the touchscreen alongside RIM's signature physical keyboard. BGR reckons the device is likely to go on sale in June or July, after being shown off at RIM's BlackBerry World conference in early May.

We know lots about the BlackBerry Bold Touch thanks to those previous leaks. It looks like the existing Bold 9000, with a 2.8-inch touchscreen with 640x480-pixel resolution, a 5-megapixel camera, 768MB of RAM, and support for wireless tethering. That latter feature should make it a good companion for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which goes on sale this month in the US.

Rumours have also suggested that NFC technology may be built into the Bold Touch, and RIM's other new handsets. That means mobile payments, but possibly other services relying on touch technology too. The device will run the very latest version of the BlackBerry OS, 6.1.

BlackBerry World is going to be a big deal for RIM, and by extension for BlackBerry owners wondering if they should jump ship to iPhone, Android or Windows Phone 7. Several analyst reports have recently predicted that BlackBerry will fall to being the least popular of those smart-phone operating systems in the next few years.

That's why it will be important for RIM to not only unveil some good devices at BlackBerry World, but also to give some big-vision information on how BlackBerry will evolve to keep pace with its smart-phone rivals in the future.

Image credit: BGR