If you are still rocking a good old BlackBerry or a Symbian device, this is the time to dump them and push yourself to get a new smartphone. Not for any other reason, but that WhatsApp will no longer be supported officially. This means, while the app will continue to run, there will be no updates nor will the new features come in. WhatsApp has announced that it is pulling support, not just from all BlackBerry phones but also the good old Symbian S60 among other older platforms.
BlackBerry’s latest offering, the BlackBerry Leap has been announced in India. The device is most likely to be seen as the successor of sorts of the BlackBerry Z5 which was the first attempt of the Canadian giants of coming up with a budget BlackBerry smartphone running BB 10. However, with relatively muted success, both for the Z5 as well as the Q5, there is a lot that is riding on the BlackBerry Leap especially as the time is running out for BlackBerry if it needs to ensure that it is not spoken of as a brand that existed once upon a time and has fallen away in the wake of the success that iOS and Android devices have enjoyed.
In terms of specifications the device features a 5 inch display and brings a 720 P resolution to the table. You get a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 SoC with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB internal memory. The device runs BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 out of the box.
The rear camera of the device is an 8 MP unit while the front snapper is a 2 MP unit. The phone is slightly heavy as it weighs around 170 grams and will be available in Black color. The price of the phone has not been revealed yet though it is expected to come in the market around the Rs 23,000 mark. The BlackBerry Leap will be available both online and offline for purchase post its launch.
BlackBerry has never been the one to wince new form factors and looks liek it is set to experiment with yet another one. After Samsung won the plaudits at the MWC for its dual curved display device, in the form of the Galaxy Edge, looks like BlackBerry is set to replicate the winning formula in one of their upcoming smartphones. From the off, BlackBerry has been about keyboards and a lovely experience to type on it and this new device is not forgetting that either.
BlackBerry had announced a full touch Leap device at MWC and they did not hold back from making more noise to ensure they gave the message away loud and clear that they are working on things that will keep BlackBerry in the game at least for a short while.
After the Leap, BlackBerry teased a device on their Twitter account which has a Dual Curved display and has a sliding keyboard to it too. BlackBerry has played with a similar form factor in their Torch range of devices and we cannot really say that we loved the experience back then. The device will most definitely run BB 10 OS and while plenty of people did try to get BlackBerry to comment on the speculative device in MWC, there has been no official word on what the phone is called, what are the specs or when will it be launched.
If you thought Blackberry was odd enough to bring the Passport out anyway, wait till you have heard this one. The Canadian OEM has decided that if the normal black and silver accent Passport does not dent your pocket enough, you must have the BlackBerry Passport in golden variant.
The smartphone is basically a limited variant BlackBerry Passport and has trims of Gold color. It is indeed a collector’s item as only 50 of these devices have been produced and will be on sale. The news of this rare device was made public when the device was listed on the official Shopberry website before any sort of official unveiling.
The BlackBerry Passport Gold color will not come cheap and in fact will set you back by about CAN$999 as opposed to the normal passport which sells for about CAN$ 699. Not just this, you will also get ‘Limited Edition’ engraved on the phone so that the blow is not al that heavy to take.
The description on the site reads, “BlackBerry is offering its most exclusive product to date: the Gold BlackBerry Passport. Only 50 Gold BlackBerry Passports worldwide have been built. With gold-colored metal trim and frets, you will quickly see that it is no ordinary Passport”.
It would be interesting to see whether the device will have a global launch or would it stay a Canada and US exclusive.
Everyone wants to buy BlackBerry and save the once giant company of the personal technology space. Given the fact that there has been very little coming out of the Canadian giants, there have been speculations rife all across media about the long term future and planning of the company. It has been widely reported that BlackBerry is open to be acquired by one of the major players. The likes of Dell have been picked on by media as one of the potential players to take on. Late last night it began to emerge that Samsung is in talks with BlackBerry with an offer to take them over.
However, BlackBerry has now come out and clarified that it has not spoken to Samsung or anybody from Samsung regarding a possible acquisition. This is the statement that Blackberry has issued:
BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) (“BlackBerry”) is aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.
It is very interesting that despite the opportunity to put the acquisition topic to rest once and for all BlackBerry has clearly picked out about the story related to Samsung and left itself enough space to switch the stand if need be.
Blackberry is back in the game and this time it is looking to its roots for inspiration. After, several failed attempts with the likes of BlackBerry Passport and the other Z and Q series of devices, BlackBerry is doing what it does the best. The latest smartphone to come from Blackberry is an aptly named device called the Blackberry Classic which does what BlackBerry is known to do, bring brilliant keyboards.
The Blackberry Classic brings back the age old design of the Bold and Curve line of devices and the 32 key backlit panel. the device runs the latest Blackberry OS 10 and has a 720×720 3.5 inch display. The display while not being the sharpest is adequately good for the purpose that the device is made. The device is driven by a Snapdragon S4 processor with 2 GB of RAM.
The device also brings back the trackpad and the four BlackBerry keys. There is 16 GB of memory on board with expansion via Micro SD up to 128 GB. The camera on board is an 8 MP snapper and a 2 MP front facing camera. The battery on board is a 2515 mAh. The phone will also ship with Amazon App Store to download Android apps. The device is already in pre-order stage in the US, UK and parts of Germany and would be on sale next week. The Blackberry Classic will go on sale for $499.
Imagine being told, sell your Ferrari because Fiat will pay you half the worth of the car and then you can pool some more cash to pick up a new Fiat car which isn’t all that either. You would never even think about it and maybe question the wisdom of the marketing team who came up with such an offer, that is sure shot to fail. But, that is exactly what is happening with BlackBerry as they have offered, anybody who wants to trade their iPhones, a hefty sum of $550.
The best bit about the effort is that, it is not just limited to the high-end iPhones. You can actually exchange your iPhone 5s and above, including the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 for a sum cash of $550. This is a great deal for those who are looking to enter the enterprise world and feel they cannot do without a physical keyboard on the device, especially as nobody would give you $550 for a device like the iPhone 4s or 5. For anything beyond, you could sell in your friend circle and do better.
To avail the offer in the US and Canada till February 13th, all you need to do is to show a receipt of you purchasing the BlackBerry Passport and an ID proof, and take home $550 instantly. We are not sure if the same offer will be available in other parts of the world, but it would definitely make for an interesting case.
BlackBerry has announced the much hyped about device, called the BlackBerry Passport in India today. The device is a square shaped BlackBerry smartphone and brings back the legendary keyboard experience. The keyboard though, is a newly designed three row keyboard instead of the usual four row. You also have touch input on the screen, a bit like the Bold 9900 or the BlackBerry Q10.
The device is targeted at the smart professionals such as the Accountants, Law firms etc, people who are into numbers, loads of E-Mail and are dealing with sensitive data. Given the lack of traction that any of the BlackBerry 10 devices have been able to gather so far, it is certainly questionable how well will a device priced at Rs 49,990 will do in India given that is the premium iPhone territory. Enterprise may not be the answer to every question anymore either as both the iPhone and Windows Phone have been already moving in that direction strongly with Android not that far behind.
In terms of pure specifications, the BlackBerry Passport features a 1440×1440, 4.5 inch display with Corning Gorilla Glass. It is powered by 2.2 Ghz Quad Core Snapdragon 800 SoC and has 800 Mhz RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. The smartphone is LTE compatible with the Indian bands. You have a 13 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front facing shooter. The battery on board is a 3450 mAh. The Passport will be available for pre order exclusively from Amazon and BlackBerry Stores up to October 10th, when it will go on sale. You get to earn 5,000 Amazon gift card points and 5000 complimentary Jet Airways Miles points if you pre order the phone.
When it rains, it literally pours. That is the sort of thing that is true for digital voice assistants. What had began as an interesting experiment with Siri on an iPhone 4s has become one of the most important differentiating features in the personal electronics space. With Windows Phone announcing Cortana, their version of Digital assistance as well as Android making huge improvements to Google Now, BlackBerry OS was the only one lagging without a voice assistance of sorts.
No more though, BlackBerry has announced what they are calling as, ‘BlackBerry Assistant’ with the BB OS 10.3 update. The voice assistant will be first seen with the highly anticipated for mostly the wrong reasons, the BlackBerry Passport. The oddly square shaped device will go on sale towards the end of the year. Just like every other voice assistant, the BlackBerry variant can also read your E-mail change the notification settings based on your calendar appointments,s end messages, inform about temperatures etc. BlackBerry wrote the following on their blogpost announcing the arrival of the assistant and outlining some of its features:
I don’t have a personal assistant… yet. But, I imagine that I would interact with him or her in a number of different ways: typing, speaking…however I would ask them to help, they would help. BlackBerry Assistant can accommodate me the same way. It is voice activated when I need it to be, and helps manage simple tasks on my device from searching my email and calendar, finding out what’s trending on Twitter, to sending trivia night invitations. The more I use it, the more it learns and adapts to me. The more I speak with it, the more tuned-in to my queries it gets. If you’ve had experience with other smartphone-based personal assistants, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how accurate BlackBerry Assistant is at recognizing your requests.
I spend a lot of time behind the wheel and am often switching between multiple vehicles. Having an app that’s designed to be compatible with any Bluetooth device is key for vehicle safety. Just this week, I used it to remind me about a car appointment, a vet appointment and my anniversary. Then, it helped me send an ever-so-romantic BBM note from the car on my way home (all hands-free, of course). It was also my go-to when I needed to find the lyrics to “Soft Kitty”.
All pretty impressive feats of maintaining productivity… and they were all hands free. It’s when I’ve got keyboard under finger that I find it truly helpful. I just have to type what I’m thinking, whether it’s to tweet “The #BlackBerry #Passport Re-Invents the Mobile Keyboard.
Most impressive, for me, is that when I’m interacting with BlackBerry Assistant, it completes most of the actions without leaving the app.
If I’m driving and I ask it to read my latest email message to me, it does so. I can then ask it to “Mark Unread” without having to enter the BlackBerry Hub. If I’m in a meeting and I type “Remind me to follow up with Matt about our whiteboard session,” it builds me a reminder note that I can save without leaving the Assistant.
Assistant two up
This past week, we experienced some severe weather here in Waterloo. We briefly lost power and I needed to find my way around the house in the dark. I asked the BlackBerry Assistant to “Turn on the flashlight”. The flashlight app turned on (as expected) and on the screen, within the app, a switch to turn it off appeared. I opted to go the voice route, though, and when I was done said, “Turn off the flashlight”.
Another quick example goes back to that whiteboard session with Matt. I don’t like to be interrupted during meetings, but was expecting an important phone call. My assistant stepped in to help out. I said “Phone calls only, please” and it changed my notification settings accordingly.
Like a real-life personal assistant, the BlackBerry Assistant is in lockstep with what I need to do on my Passport, without being distracting or costly (resource-wise). I’m told there are a number of fun Easter eggs built-in as well, which I can’t wait to stumble across.
After a series of failed attempts to capture the Indian market space, blackBerry is set to go at it once again. This time, the company is set to bring a budget friendly device, called the Z3 or Jakarata soon.The device is the cheapest of the all touch phones to run BB OS 10 and was unveiled initially at the MWC conference earlier this year in Barcelona.
Many believe, this is the final attempt from BlackBerry with a full touch smartphone as the company has already made its intentions clear to bring the old BlackBerry Bold like form factor back and focus on the enterprise segment. The jakarta, was released in Indonesia in the last week of May and since then the device has sold very well. This has given BlackBerry enough encouragement to bring the device to India for a price range of about Rs 11,000.
The device boasts of a 5 inch 540×960 res display and is powered by a Snapdragon 400 Dual Core chip. There is 8 GB of internal memory and 1.5 GB of RAM included. The phone runs the latest stable build of BB OS 10.2.1 and has a 5 MP rear and 1.1 MP front facing camera. The battery powering the phone is a 2500 mAh non removable unit.