The more you use your BlackBerry, the more storage space you’ll need. While most basic information can reside in the on-board memory, more advanced features require a memory card.
Not only does a memory card allow you more space to store your pictures, video, music, backups, and documents, but it also allows you to move them from device to device, whether that be to a new BlackBerry device or to your computer. It also makes managing your data easier, since you can open up an Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) window and access the card’s files.
How much data can your memory card store? That depends on the card size, which is limited by OS. In this post, we’ll run down the latest official OS for each BlackBerry device and thereby determine the highest capacity memory card.
Finding the latest OS for your device
Because memory card capacity is determined by the device operating system, we advise you upgrade to at least OS 4.5. If this operating system is available from your carrier, you can usually upgrade by plugging your device into Desktop Manager.
Sometimes, however, the operating system is not available from your specific provider. Other carriers might offer it, however, so we’ll post links to whatever is available. There are certain risks in installing a non-carrier-sanctioned OS, but we’re not linking to leaks here. These are official OS builds, but they just might be from a different carrier than yours.
You can find OS builds from various carriers on the following list. You can choose the latest upgrade as we list the carriers under each model, or you can just choose the latest build from your carrier, which is listed on their device pages.
BlackBerry 88xx series
I know plenty of people who swear by their 8820 or 8830, declining to upgrade devices. I also know plenty of corporate users whose companies won’t provide an upgrade. The 88xx series is still fairly common, especially the 8820 and 8830 models. OS 4.5 is available on both.
OS 126.96.36.1997 for the 8820 from AT&T
OS 188.8.131.525 for the 8830 from Sprint
With OS 4.5 successfully installed on your BlackBerry, you can use memory cards of up to 16GB. Check out our 16GB microSDHC card selection. Buying a reader along with the card allows you to read the card data on your computer, though you can access the data right from Finder or Explorer, so it should be overly necessary.
Even though the Curve has seen two upgrades — the 8900 and the 85xx models — the original is still popular as ever. It was, in fact, the top selling smartphone of the third quarter. The good news is that at least OS 4.5 is available for these models, so you can use the 16GB memory card. Some Curve models go even higher, allowing for a 32GB capacity.
OS 184.108.40.2066 for the 8310 from AT&T
OS 220.127.116.116 for the 8320 from AT&T
OS 18.104.22.1685 for the 8330 and 8330m from Sprint
Of these models, it appears that the 8330 will eventually get an OS 5.0 upgrade.
OS 22.214.171.1245 for the 8520 from AT&T
OS 126.96.36.199 for the 8530 from Sprint
OS 188.8.131.522 for the 8900 from AT&T
OS 184.108.40.2069 for the 8350i from Nextel
At this time, 32GB microSDHC aren’t widely available. We have none in the store, and the few we found online look quite expensive. You can check out this Kingston SDHC card, with 32GB capacity, for $74.95.
Bold and Tour
The Bold 9700 and the Tour are very similar devices that will become even more similar when RIM releases the Tour2 in early 2010. Since the Tour and Bold families are relatively small at this point, we’ll combine them and go from there. Yet even though they share many similar qualities, the original Bold, Tour, and Bold 9700 all support different OS builds — not just in the last build number, but in the platform. The Bold was the first BlackBerry to run OS 4.6, and still hasn’t moved to 4.7. The Tour was released with 4.7 but hasn’t yet hit 5.0. The Bold 9700 launched with 5.0.
OS 220.127.116.115 for the 9700 from AT&T
OS 18.104.22.168 for the Tour from Sprint
OS 22.214.171.1249 for the Bold from AT&T
These all allow for 32GB microSDHC cards — with the HC standing for High Capacity. Though I do wonder if OS 5.0 will handle 64GB cards. Those will be microSDXC. Word is that they’ll be available this Spring.
Finally, we’ll list off the latest OS builds for the BlackBerry Pearl series. They all run a form of OS 4.5, and since the builds are all higher than 126.96.36.199, they can carry 16GB memory cards. The Pearl 2 should hit shelves at some point in early 2010, and it will certainly run OS 5.0, meaning a 32GB capacity. But, until then, here are the latest builds for the current Pearl line.
OS 188.8.131.526 for the 8110 from AT&T
OS 184.108.40.206 for the 8120 from AT&T
OS 220.127.116.115 for the 8130 from Sprint
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see the Pearl series go past OS 4.5, so they’re likely maxed out right now at a 16GB capacity. That’s plenty of storage, though. Check the links above (and below) for deals on 16GB microSD cards.
Storm and Storm 2
The BlackBerrys Storm and Storm 2 both run OS 5.0, and therefore can both hold 32GB microSDHC cards.
Note on memory card pricing
Sometimes, our store doesn’t have the best deals on memory cards. While we like it when people purchase software and accessories from there, we ultimately encourage you to make the best deal for you. To that end, here’s an Amazon search for 16GB memory cards. That should yield some decent deals. If you want less capacity and a better deal, check out the 8GB microSD cards on Amazon and compare them to the 8GB SD card selection from our store.