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BlackBerry 9800 leak videos may show "death grip"

updated 11:30 am EDT, Mon July 19, 2010

New BlackBerry may already have iPhone 4 problem

RIM may have suffered an unintentional humbling today through a set of videos (available below) demoing the yet-to-be-launched BlackBerry 9800. While showing off the new WebKit and media browsers, clips given to Salomondrin has shown what appears to be the "death grip" symptom in action: while held in certain positions, the phone drops to one or two bars. The phone is a pre-release model but is using what should be the final design.

If real would be a potential blow to RIM, which just this weekend had insisted it didn't have reception problems like those manifested in the iPhone 4. In the demo, the phone shows significant changes regardless of how it's held.

Regardless of wireless performance, the videos show significant improvements through BlackBerry OS 6. The WebKit browser is not only much faster and more accurate than the slow existing browser in OS 5 but outperforms the previous benchmark, Apple's Safari. A run-through of the Acid3 test, which includes HTML5 rendering, gives the phone a total score of 209 where the iPhone with iOS 4 gets 192. Android 2.1 on an HTC Droid Incredible gets just 151; Android 2.2 should improve this as it uses more of the rendering engine from Chrome on the desktop.

More modest are RIM's improvements to the media player, which has been better-optimized for touch without having to use the click-down SurePress screen. OS 6 does add DivX support for fans of the format.

Barring delays, RIM is expected to ship the BlackBerry 9800 in August or September and to make it an AT&T exclusive for at least the short term.

by MacNN Staff



  1. imactheknife

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    eat that RIM job

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969


    about time

    Its to bad that phone isnt out yet. Looks like it will finally provide a answer to the iPhone. If it was out I might buy it. To bad its not, I'll be getting the iPhone4 in a couple weeks and will be locked in for 3 years.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This whole "death grip" issue for every cellphone<

    is getting too much publicity. Signal attenuation always existed for many cellphones and it won't disappear any time soon. Now every cellphone will be squeezed to death like a sponge to see how many bars you can make it drop. It's mainly a useless test. Learn to alter your grip.

  1. Bearcat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So much for being "a world leader in antenna design". Suck it RIM!!!!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    There is a difference between a death grip and a death touch.

    Based on fundamentals of antenna/ware, its reasonable to believe that you could cause interference with an antenna on any phone. At this technological stage we apparently can't get around that.

    The difference between RIM, HTC, etc. and Apple is that with Apple there is one small area which will completely interfere with the antenna. Compare this to a blackberry where it is a much larger area. Yes, a user can hold their hand in a way to interfere with both phones; however, based on what I've read and seen a user is more likely to accidentally interfere with the iphone antenna and that is the issue. In other words, it is not that the iPhone 4 is the only phone with this issue, it is that this issue is most prominent on the iPhone 4... to the point where it has caused concern which was not prevalent prior to the iPhoen 4 on any of the phones Apple has not targeted.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They really

    shouldn't hold the phone that way.........

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RIM will get a pass...

    Look, we all know that RIM will get a pass on this, along with all the other phones that exhibit the so-called death grip. We just need to live it. Those who have become obsessed over antennagate will not be mollified by new evidence. They have invested their rage in this issue and nothing will change their minds. They're locked in to their positions.

    The issue is already starting to fade from the headlines. Just about everybody has had their say on the matter. There's not many more articles the tech media can come up with one way or the other. The die-hards will continue to rant away on forums, making snarky, sarcastic comments about the issue but they've always been background noise, something forum denizens have learned to live with.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If the phone was using ATT, that could just explain everything!

    Or perhaps its just a software issue with the way the bars are drawn!

  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not may show, DOES SHOW!!! Free cases from Rim!

    Not may show, DOESS SHOW!!!. Free cases from Rim!!!
    Come on Rim, get with it!
    We want to know why your phones signal drops!
    Quick call out the F.B.I.!
    Hey Rim why haven't you responded yet! Your not fast enough with an answer.
    Don't deny it, you have the same issue, where's your answer!
    You've been in the phone business for 20 years why don't you have and answer for this problem?

    This is the kind of stupidity that has gone on with Apple so Rim should also answer up as they are no better than Apple, HTC, Nokia, Samsung and a long list of others which is probably every phone on the market today.

  1. facebook_Kevin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2010


    Noting New Here...

    All phones do this to an extent even your 90s Motorola Razer. If you ever pull the phone away from your head fast most of the time you see it raise a bar depending if it was on a threshold or not.

    The difference is that the iPhone looses more signal (not bars necessarily) to the fact that it drops calls. By Blackberry, never drops a call even when I have had 0 bars before.

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