Rumor site Boy Genius Report has posted an upcoming device roadmap for Sprint Nextel. While some of the dates are inaccurately, notably the close-to-launch Motorola Renegade V950, one product stands out as a major refresh to the Sprint Nextel family.
For years, Nextel users have only had one BlackBerry option; the 7100i. When the device launched, it was the flagship of the BlackBerry family, carrying a new (at the time) SureType keyboard, and a larger SIM card storage for contacts. However, no device has replaced the 7100i; it lacks the multimedia functions of the Pearl and Curve. Worse, without Sprint’s CDMA network, it has no high speed data option.
The 8350i is unofficially part of the Curve family. It features the Curve’s layout and keyboard, but will be marketed separately. Inside of the 8350i is two major improvements; BlackBerry 4.6 and Wi-Fi. These two features will give it all the multimedia functionality of a modern BlackBerry device. In addition, it features a 2.0 megapixel camera, but a variant will be offered with no camera.
Finally, the 8350i will do away with one common complaint about Nextel BlackBerries… the 8350i has no external antenna. Sprint expects to release the device around the end of the year.