Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry range of push email smartphones, has officially announced its Bold handset.

The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9000 is a brand-new design of BlackBerry with 3G connectivity as well as Wi-Fi and satnav.

Crucially, the BlackBerry Bold also steps up the multimedia credentials for RIM, doubling the screen resolution to 480x320 pixels and significantly boosting video playback quality. This puts the BlackBerry Bold closer to the iPhone in terms of its display, while the 2Mp camera with 5x zoom mirrors that of the Pearl and Curve handsets RIM currently sells.

The BlackBerry Bold has a 1GB internal memory on which photos, voice recordings and video clips can be stored, while extra content can be added via a microSD card slot. BlackBerry MediaSync allows non-DRM-protected music files to be copied across from iTunes and other media libraries.

Roxio Photosuite 9 LE is offered for onboard photo editing and renaming.

Connectivity-wise, the BlackBerry Bold offers quad-band GSM and GPRS/Edge coverage along with HSDPA (high speed data packet uploads) and Wi-Fi 802.11a, b and g.

The Bold’s internal processor runs at 624MHz. Previous BlackBerry handsets ran at 312MHz.

BlackBerry Maps offer turn-by-turn directions and there’s a built-in GPS receiver.

The BlackBerry Bold handset had previously been seen on the Boy Genius website but, until today, RIM refused to confirm the device was more than a prototype. The BlackBerry Bold is expected to go onsale in the UK from late June.

For full details, see the BlackBerry Bold website.

BlackBerry Bold 9000 smartphone

BlackBerry Bold 9000 smartphone

Click here for our review of the BlackBerry Curve 8320