updated 06:50 pm EDT, Tue March 17, 2009
A pre-release BlackBerry 9630 "Niagara" handset has made it into the wild, giving CrackBerry a chance to capture several comparison images and a video. The physical dimensions of the upcoming smartphone fall between the 8900 and Bold, while design elements have also been adopted from both of the current models. Internally, the processor and radios match the components of the Storm, along with a new 3.2-megapixel camera.
Although the 9630 housing is smaller than the Bold, reducing the width by roughly a quarter inch, the company did not shrink the size of the keyboard. The battery cover also appears improved from previous image leaks, although the operating system was still in the early stages of development and described as "practically unusable."
The yet-unannounced handset is expected to offer a 480 by 360 pixel display, matching the Curve 8900, along with GPS and EVDO support. Verizon or Sprint are likely candidates for a domestic release, as the handset will run on CDMA-based 3G networks.
[Images, video courtesy of CrackBerry]