BlackBerry Bold 9790 (Onyx III?!) Photos Emerge!

By Kevin Michaluk on 31 May 2011 10:50 am EDT

BlackBerry Bold 9790BlackBerry Bold 9790

If you're seeing this post and thinking to yourself what the heck is a  BlackBerry Bold 9790? you're not alone. We're kind of stumped by the existence of this one, though I'm thinking it's the device we have talked about previously that went by the codename Onyx III. With a look that's very similar to the BlackBerry Bold 9780, the 9790 shown in the photos (more pics below) apparently packs a lot of the next-generation stuff that we'll be seeing in the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930, including:

  • 8 GB internal memory
  • OS 7
  • QWERTY / QWERTZ Keyboard
  • Touch Screen
  • NFC

And apparently the device is very thin and very fast (making us think it has a pretty decent processor under the hood). While the device really looks like a refresh to the BlackBerry Bold 9700/9780 form factor, I can't help but think this is a prototype that will never see the light of day as it was usurped by dakota/montana (9900/9930). Back in June 2010, prior to the release of the Bold 9780, we talked on the CrackBerry blogs about Onyx II and Onyx III and that while the Onyx II (Bold 9780) would not feature a touchscreen, that the Onyx III in the same form factor would. So based on the information we had back then, it makes sense that we're seeing some visual proof of this device existing. Though it seems somewhere along the line RIM must have made the call to scrap the Onyx III form factor and make the next-generation BlackBerry Bold wider like the original 9900.  

It makes for an interesting point though.... assuming all specs would be essentially equal, would you rather have a new BlackBerry Bold Touch in narrow form factor like the 9700/9780 or in the wider form factor like the 9000/9900/9930?  Sound off in the comments! 

Source: Reality Mirror via Berry Review

More BlackBerry Bold 9790 Photos

BlackBerry Bold 9790

BlackBerry Bold 9790

BlackBerry Bold 9790

BlackBerry Bold 9790

BlackBerry Bold 9790

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Reader comments

BlackBerry Bold 9790 (Onyx III?!) Photos Emerge!


Looks to be a 9900 in a 9700 form factor... I suspect in order to satisfy those that prefer the 9700 form factor over the 9000/9900.

i'm just hoping to live long enough to see the BlackBerry 9900 and get my hands on one! i have stage V kidney failure and have out-lived the doctor's expectations already... here's wishing...

This comes from somebody that had 8 kidney stones removed... I am really hoping you get your wish and that whatever comes after is as painless as possible. I guess it is safe to say, we're all cheering for you here.

I wish you a replacement kidney and many, many, many more amazing new Blackberries!

Cheer up!

Sjkimberly-I hope you get a kidney (my mom gave her sister a kidney, one of the first kidney transplants ever done) and I feel guilty for my frivolous wants. Please let us know if you get one.

Hope this really makes it into production. The 9900 is just not my thing. I know it's really the Cadillac of the Blackberries, but to me the 9700 form factor is the best and the most convenient to use.

Just personal preference... :D

So, if RIM decided to make this into production, I'll be VERY happy and will upgrade to this...

I would definately favor this form factor over the 9900(wide bold). I currently have the 9700 and love the phone BUT, I am hesitant on purchasing the new devices before a clear direction from RIM on when the new QNX OS will be coming out and if the phones will be supported. In addition, I'm wondering why these phones don't have a front facing camera and HDMI out? HDMI out not a huge issue, but a ff camera is a big deal now a days. especially when i have the pb at home and have the abiltiy to VC with my family when i'm away.

To be honest, I want something that is as slick as my 9700. This is it. I was going for the 9900, but who needs that extra width when you can do as much in the smaller form factor?

And why is my LED not a strip. I hate the dots!!!!!

"who needs that extra width when you can do as much in the smaller form factor?"

I do.

So does anyone else with big hands.

I'd like the form factor to be like the 9000. But with fast wizzy goodness of 2011!

PS. Sjkimberly, hope you get what you wish for :-)

So much sexier than the fugly 90xx and 99xx.

If only they could have taken this design and made it wider. The screen is too tiny on the 9780 to fully enjoy a touch screen.

I want the wider 9930 i think the wider would have more screen and bigger keys for my fingers.

This actually looks quite fake...

Look at the picture where he is holding the phone in his hands while he is standing outside, take a closer look at the hangup / power-off button it looks like somebody made this himself.

that would explain the extra space under the trackpad compared to the 9700, and how the buttons seem stretched.

I believe that the angle of the picture and the plastic protective cover is causing the picture to look slightly distorted, but could be fake. If it is then someone wasted a lot of time on this to make it look close to realistic.

just to point out the semi-obvious: the 2 great leaks in the last 2 days...

1) the Apollo (Curve, gen5) is running os 6.1 with os 6 icons

2) from the looks of the Onyx III, this is a potentially newer os revison with the os 7 deck

therefore, if one assumes the Apollo is ready-for-market then it might not be such a stretch to assume the Onyx seen above could actually be cumming too? right?


piece out fellow crackers

Not crazy about it. The 9700 form was great 2 years ago - this smells of another rehash ala 9780 and the killed off 9580. Occasionally you can bring back a former design and put some new life into it (9900), but I think this design is maxed out. Now if they had brought this out instead of the 9780, then it would have been a good transition.

A touchscreen Bold is still the most desired form factor for BB users- and while the 9900 is nearly 90% of the way there, this one just doesn't do it for me. Screen is too small, so unless this comes with a stylus it will be useless to many. Look at all the potential screen space they could have used for a bigger screen. The menu buttons and space under track pad appear larger than the 9700. (smaller screen than 9700? or is the device longer?) between that, moving the Blackberry marking further up, and bring the keyboard further down, they could have put almost 1/4 inch more screen real-estate which is needed on a touchscreen device.

Let's see a 3 inch screen with a qwerty. enough of this 2.4...2.5...2.8 stuff. It can be done.

I was pretty excited about the new form factor coming with the 9900/9930, I have big hands and we all know what that means! Yep, big thumbs. But I've never had a problem with my 9700, in fact I can touch type like a mad man and have become very comfortable with it.

So when I saw the leaked pics of the 9900, I couldn't help but wonder just how much better a wider, taller keyboard would be. Now there's the possible existence of a 9790 and I'm all confused!

Well done RIM, you've got me convinced about your products but stop offering me choices too! ;)

I'd LOVE the 9790, I currently have the 9700 & love the size & if you can pack even more under the hood then where do I sign up?? I would definitely wait a little longer before jumping on a new release if RIM was talking about releasing something like this because for me the size of the 9700 is great. Now I know they're NOT talking about releasing it but hey, a guy can hope right!?

Give me a 9780 or 9000 form factor without a touchscreen with the higher specs found in the 9900.

Playbook is all the touch gestures I need.

Bold 9900/9930 all the way. I hated the Bold 9700/9780's slimmer size, which is why I stayed with the 9000. I'm still patiently impatiently waiting :D

Oh man.... THis is the exact phone that I was hoping for. Scratch that. Still am hoping for. I would preorder it today. Bring it to life RIM. The new bold id too chunky.

Finding it very difficult having to wait til August for the 9900/9930.... just seems so far away!! :(


This is retarded. Why does RIM feel the need to release multiple look alike devices? it only confuses the hell out of consumers. Oh why i forgot RIM already lost that sector of the market.

I really like the Bold 9700 form factor. Its really portable compared to the 9000. If I wanted a computer screen or monitor I would use my laptop. Hopefully, we get both phones, the 9930 and the 9790. It will make everyone happy.

Wow this is just incredible, why in the world is RIM still continuing with the same form factor. i remember when i had my bb pearl then went to bb storm1 and loved it with all its flaws and complaints. i really was delusional to think BB were the best, so i took the leap towards a droid X and never looked back. the things is that since i left bb's i STILL notice the company NOT evolving at all. I want RIM to succeed but just like apple, they need a new top dog to guide them in a new direction. feeding you all mediocre hardware/software in this age of big screens, faster processor and better customer experience is the bb nation a huge disservice. and now leak photos of a new phone that looks Exactly like the same phone 5 years ago is completely embarrassing. is this what RIM is focusing on? IM glad i left, but i wonder how long will it take RIM to radically change there phones and software. also because of this im sure crackberry has been taking a hit on web traffic.

I absolutely love my Bold 9700 BUT...a 9790? The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900/9930 has a larger screen it takes on the size of the original Bold 9000 (but a lot thinner) which will get a lot of attention! The Bold 9790 is smaller (the screen too) and it may not gain too much attention. Choices, choices! I'll stick with my 9700 until I see something ON THE MARKET that will make me switch. There are a couple that will make me do that (the BOLD Touch and the Blackberry Touch) neither of them are out yet. We will see as time goes on and they are finally on the market.

This (9790) has been the one I was hoping for, and I really wish RIM would give this to us. I have been very comfy with 9780 and the touch screen 9with pinch & zoom) and high CPU would solve most of small screen problems. if you still want to go further for a larger display, just run back to your lap/desktop or PB. 9790, ideal!!

Think globally, and profit margins...

The world is a big place, not all demographics have large hands and fingers, think about all the high school girls in Indonesia, for example, also more importantly, this phone will be cheaper and easier to manufacture for RIM, which stuck a 600 MHz processor and low res screen to the Torch to maximize profits and battery life.

I love the form factor of the 9700/9780.
An improved device, slimmer than the current models, with a higher resolution screen (does not necessarily need to be a touch screen for me), a strong CPU, plenty of Memory and a smooth OS - that would be my machine.

Hence, the Onyx-III would be to my taste rather than the 9900. But I understand, for the US-market the "formwork-panel"-size Formfactor is more popular than the small, slim, elegant device...

Wider phone please!!!! Some of us have larger hands and fingers and would appreciate the Bold living up to its name!!!!

My 9700 broke and I'm back on the 9000. Even with OS5, low memory, and the track ball I still like it better then the 9700 just because of the form factor. OS6 is better for the most part though.

The original Bold 9000 was a little too wide to comfortably hold in one hand for me. My 9700 is much more suited to my palm's size. However, ever since getting an iPod Touch I've come to appreciate the usefulness of a large screen when using touch interfaces - now my preference is wondering what will come down the pike next year along the Torch line.

yeah id take this over the new (wide) bold. too bad it aint coming out although it looks like it's pretty far down the development process so let's hope it does come out. Beats that goofy giant 9900 keyboard that's unusable with one hand. :((

It really doesnt matter what RIM release right now they just need to get it right being first dont make you the best the more devices the better i'll be buying them all anyway

My 9780 is a nice phone, but it's too small. I'm dying for the new 9000 form factor.

More space to type. Bigger screen. What's not to like about that?

Sorry. But I don't like this one. I don't know but something in the design. when you look at it from behind it looks like the new curve. and look like a 9650 with a curve back. I prefer the Bold touch more or the pure touchscreen BB :)

I love the 9780 form factor since it's just the right size for me. But between this and the 9900 I'd pick the 9900 without thinking twice. This phone's design looks like it's caught between the 9780 and 9900. :0

I love the 9780 form factor since it's just the right size for me. But between this and the 9900 I'd pick the 9900 without thinking twice. This phone's design looks like it's caught between the 9780 and 9900. :0

I think this a waste of time, they should be working on their next gen phones that will finally run QNX. Besides a smaller screen would suck for a touch screen.

Personally, I'd prefer the smaller size of the 9790. If that phone came to Verizon and proved to be a serious upgrade over the 9650, I'd pick it up in a heartbeat.

RIM: keep it simple! You cannot have too many form factors when you develop both hardware AND software. If people want the 9700 form factor so bad, you've got the curve. The 9900 could have stood to have a 3" screen but 2.8" is def much better than 2.4". Bold, Curve, Torch, and Touch. Stop there and make them very high quality. All have trackpads. Only 2 screen ratios to deal with. Keep on making it simple like that.

another sexy device out of the rim camp. even though i have never been a fan of the 9700 series form factor, the 9790 will suit many that feel thats the right size. this is no prototype, its going to be released eventually. at&t will not offer the 9790 when it comes to fruition. the reason being they passed on the 9780. so only the 9900,9810,and 9360 will be offered on the at&t network.of course the 9790 is out of the question for me. that leaves me with 3 nice options to consider for my purchase.

I am rather partial to the 97xx size. The 99xx size is a little big for me. Hell my 98xx is big! So totally the new 9790 all the way!

give me a front facing camera... and/or a 4G blackberry and then we can do business... Rim is getting left behind.... I love my 9780 but im about to jump ship to an Android or a iphone... Pick up the pace

Man what I love my 9700 I so would have bought this one. I do like the thinner form factor. I will still buy the 9900 though. I cant wait!!

YES!!! I love my 9780. Had the 9000 earlier and always found it bo be a little bit ugle because of its width. After that I had the 9700 and now the 9780, and both are big enough and look much better (more modern) and are big enough, you also can write with one hand.
If the 9790 will appear, it will be definately my next device!!!

If the 9790 would keep the battery from the current 9000/9700/9780, then I'd go that route in a heartbeat....too bad it won't be in CDMA form, since I had to abandon the GSM side...

Why do all blackberrys look the sane in their respective series? I mean seriously rim used to be an innovator, and they're just stuck in the past smh


If RIM decides to use the same crappy keyboard as in the 9780 then they shouldn't even bother with this phone