Onyx is the BlackBerry Bold 9020?!

By Kevin Michaluk on 17 Jun 2009 10:40 am EDT
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BlackBerry Bold 9020

What's in a name? If you read our BlackBerry Onyx Review you'll remember we spent some time talking about the Onyx codename, and at that time did not yet know the Onyx's device model number (the OS was simply labeled with "onyx") but we did take the view point of the device itself being a next generation of BlackBerry Bold based on the nature of the device and what it would be replacing.

That said, more recent versions of the Onyx's operating system have been tagged with a device model, which is currently stated as BlackBerry 9020. With the BlackBerry Bold being the 9000, it thus makes sense that a device with a 9020 device model number will also fall under the BlackBerry Bold brand, be it a Bold "something or other" or simply Bold 9020. Of course the device model could change between now and the Onyx's ultimate roll out (that's why there's a question mark in the blog post title - this could be wrong), but as it stands now it seems we can start thinking of the Onyx as a BlackBerry Bold. As for release, we're not sure yet.... but we have heard that mass production has been pushed back to September - so you should have this device in your hand before (hopefully long before) Christmas.

Also, if you were hoping the Onyx might somehow inherit the optical trackpad found on the 8520 Curve before its design was finalized, you're out of luck in luck. The 9020 will feature a trackball trackpad. It seems RIM's viewpoint on the trackpad (at least for now) is that its a low-cost solution/technology rather than a feature upgrade (even though I personally think it is awesome and love using it on the 8520), though we have heard RIM is looking at even more input method technologies (alternatives to the trackball) along these lines for future devices.

And speaking of next-generation Bolds... the newest codename that has emerged is "nautilus".  Word is this could be the 3G BlackBerry "slider" that many of you out there have been longing for. 

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

Onyx is the BlackBerry Bold 9020?!

40 Comments

the is quite a departure from what blackberry has done in the past as far as model #s. at least if you look at what was done in the 8800 and 8300 series. which is why i believe this report to be an inaccurate report. then again who am i. so far the 9000 has been my favorite blackberry to date and i would be disappointed if this was the progression of the model 9000. there are so many option on the current 9000 model. you can always update the os but the look of the device is would be a step back in the luxurious appeal of the bold. that's just me.

Completely agree with this. The Onyx looks an excellent device but it is far less appealing to the eye than the Bold 9000.

Completely agree with this. The Onyx looks an excellent device but it is far less appealing to the eye than the Bold 9000.

hey Kevin its moi ur favourite fan ;-) emkwan, from the emkwan project... anyway, do you have any video reviews for this? a show of the hardware and or software, it would help some of us who are impatient! :-) carry on the great work tho!

Crackberry nation is the best!

Same phone, small tweaks but what would RIM be if they didnt have the same type of design?

What would you like to see in a RIM phone design?

IMO, I would like to have the trackwheel brought back just for old times sake.

Did you want a look more like the 7100's? Or a non keyboard like the Storm? or a Flip phone like the Pearl?

I am not sure how Innovative RIM can get on the design of a new phone without losing what RIM is all about which is push email in a mobile device.

What would you prefer RIM does? Every flip phone released since like 2000 is basically the same (save some of the full qwerty flips like the lg lotus). Do you complain when a new flip phone comes out? "It's the same flip phone..."

I don't understand comments like this. Perhaps you want rim to release a slider?

i think it would be pretty cool, if they made it so that you can install a track-ball or an optical trackpad. you could just switch it out! i am sure they can make something like. (maybe i should patten it!) j/k...

Who would get the 9020? I thought XX20 was designation for AT&T? This seems counterintuitive that rather than expanding their customer base, they would continue to market to the same carrier. I would rather see a 9030, if RIM feels so inclined to continue to ride past success.

I agree with above comments, I think it is time for new technology. I understand that optical trackballs will not show up on all phones, but could we see some progress in a really successful product?

At least the Curve 8320 (Wi-Fi, no GPS) was released on T-Mo prior to it being available on AT&T. I think the same can be said for the Pearl Flip.

With the Curve the 8300 and 8310 were AT&Ts Curves initially.

Maybe that means T-Mo will get this phone? And right after my contract expires. Mmmmmmmmm.....

"As for release, we're not sure yet.... but we have heard that mass production has been pushed back to September - so you should have this device in your hand before (hopefully long before) Christmas."

What is taking them so long? I thought that they were going to release something late this month or next month. So discouraging. :(

The BB Nautilus sounds very promising.If the slider design is quality it would be everything the Storm should have been.Touchscreen keyboard and menus with a physical keyboard for serious texting.Where's the info on the Driftwood?But shouldn't the Onyx/Driftwood be included in the 96xx series.They seem to be alot closer in design to the Tour than the Bold. I assume both the Driftwood and Onyx will share the 9020 series number.

Makes sense it would be part of the Bold line given that it's really just a smaller Bold with a better camera. Wouldn't surprise me if they called it a Curve either though, but the GSM Curves all seem to lack 3G, so I think the Bold line is a better fit.

A BB slider could be a good thing, if it's more inline with a Fuze-style slide out keyboard as opposed to the Propel. I'm lukewarm on a Pre-style keyboard because I already find the keys on the Bold kind of cramped and would prefer a bigger keyboard like the one on the Fuze.

"Also, if you were hoping the Onyx might somehow inherit the optical trackpad found on the 8520 Curve before its design was finalized, you're out of luck. The 9020 will feature a trackball. It seems RIM's viewpoint on the trackpad (at least for now) is that its a low-cost solution/technology rather than a feature upgrade (even though I personally think it is awesome and love using it on the 8520), though we have heard RIM is looking at even more input method technologies (alternatives to the trackball) along these lines for future devices."

now wait, I thought I seen somewhere that the onxy would have a track pad, wtf!!! Dammit RIM give us something better then a track ball.

P.S
KILL THE SLIDER IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Personally not a fan of the slider phones either but I completely understand RIM wanting to delve into that style or market. There are plenty of people that won't go with anything else.They need the big screen and big keyboard.

Even though I find the larger keyboards easier to navigate the first time you use it, I am much more proficient and fast when typing on a BB...after getting used to it.

As for the 9020...ehh. Looks great and all but being on VZW I am looking forward to the Tour...all though a 9030 with all the bells and whistles would be nice.

As for the design along with calling it a Bold, I agree with a few above me that the Bold should have kept the size/design of the 9000. I don't own one but I personally love the larger keyboard and screen and would have loved to see a version of it land on VZW.

If the next Bold doesn't get the optical trackpad, I'm not getting it. And if it's smaller, that wouldn't be a plue either. I love the feel of the Bold.

This is the type of shit Apple does. Minor bumps, and the fanboys rejoice. I'll pass on this update, and hope that the Magnum rumor are true.

i love the feel of the bold too, so keep the basic design. the only change i would make to the bold is a bigger screen and maybe a touch screen to boot. even then i wouldn't call it a bold. i would call it the Magnum.

i'd really wish rim would take part in more 'innovation' rather than minor improvements here and there and visual tweaks

i was really looking forward to the optical trackpad in the new onyx/5020

dunno if its worth upgrading over my bold which i love dearly

Perhaps the onyx will get an optical trackball. By that I mean a trackball that works via an optical reader instead of mechanical wheels. I don't know if that would work better than the trackball (it could still be hampered by dust).

I still think that Onyx maybe the 3G curve... think about it... it doesn't look high end like the bold, has more resemblance to the curve 8520 (the rubberized side buttons and all).
Plus tmobile is supposed to get a variation of this named driftwood. But they dont have a bold do they?!
So im not sure whether it's really a bold upgrade.
if it's the 3G curve then it makes more sense cos it will span most careers.
So i was thinking more like 9310, 9320, 9330...

So for the last few months, I have been deciding between either getting a Blackberry Bold or an iphone. I have come to the conclusion that a Blackberry would suit me better. I started to do research on them and reading as much as I can about them. When I heard about the Onyx I got excited because it seemed like the perfect Blackberry for me. What do you guys honestly think about this upcoming phone?

califilm,
if this is your first blackberry i think it's a great choice, its a FULLY featured blackberry. unlike alotta models which is always missing some sort of feature.

only people u might hear some minor complaints from (such as myself) is that the phone doesnt seem like a big enough improvement over my current bold

but the phone from a 'first blackberry' perspective, you most definitely cant go wrong. i love the onyx/bold9020
i think it'll be great

@Califilm

Thinking the same, some honest opinions from users would go a long way to me making a decision

Vest wishes,

Matthew Anderson

Wow, why is it taking them SO long!?
I am currently not owning a blackberry atm, but I can't stand my samsung m540, I just HATE it, and can't wait to get a blackberry. But I guess I'll have to get the 8900 instead...

Just another re-manufactured blackberry with slightly different specs that is given another to name to give the illusion of a brand new device. I'm so over it.

The Bold is a great phone but I don't really like the looks and I always thought it was too big.

I couldn't care less about the trackpad...the trackball is just fine.

The 9020 is a good fit for me.
But I agree, they should have given it more bells and whistles.

I like Slider phones. If RIM is able to make a good quality slider then I would welcome it with open arms!! If they made the Nautilus with a touch screen and QWERTY keyboard, I would definitely look into getting one.