BlackBerry preps 8520 handset


Research in Motion (RIM) is to release a new low cost BlackBerry handset in the coming months, which will see its troublesome track ball navigator replaced with a track pad sensor.

The new BlackBerry 8520 handset, which has had the working title Gemini, is expected to be available from September and will have similar software and specifications as the BlackBerry Curve 8310 and 8320 including a full QWERTY keyboard, two megapixel camera, video recording and Wi-Fi.

The track ball is the most notable change, being replaced with a track pad which navigates the screen by being brushed in the direction a user wishes to move.

The device is expected to cost less than previous BlackBerry handsets, and will be aimed at the lower contract and prepay price range. It will not include 3G and GPS capabilities, which is standard on handsets such as the Bold and Javelin.

The device is expected to be available for all networks excluding 3. Details on pricing are yet to be announced.