Blackberry is on a roll, and they’re giving those who’ve sounded the death knell for them a good run for their money – both figuratively and literally.
TCL Communication on Sunday unveiled the new BlackBerry Motion smartphone, the brand’s first device that is IP67-rated – water- and dust-resistant – which also has a new anti-scratch display technology and the largest battery ever on a BlackBerry mobile.
What makes it even more special is that the companies chose Gitex Technology Week 2017 to make the announcement – a testament to the loyal following the brand still has in the region, owing to BlackBerry’s reputed security in its devices.
And for all the nostalgia that BlackBerry brings every time it launches a new device nowadays, the Motion also brings back a familiar name: BlackBerry, the company, was formerly known as Research In Motion.
The Android-powered smartphone – running on 7.1 Nougat but will be upgraded to 8.0 Oreo in the new year – also brings a tempting price: at Dh1,699, it’s sure to entice customers to give it a second look, especially with its powerful features. “Day-to-day consumer lifestyle commands a very reliable, water- and dust-resistant phone. Equally, the business features [of the Motion] are very applicable to the users,” Francois Mahieu, deputy president and general manager for global sales and regional marketing at BlackBerry, told Khaleej Times at a roundtable after he delivered a keynote at Gitex. “We think that the positioning is right. [because] not all enterprises are looking at thousand-dollar phones, beyond certain budgets,” he added. And though the latest chipset wasn’t used – the Motion has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 825; the 835 is the newest – BlackBerry says that it prioritised battery life for the ‘made for real life’ smartphone. But probably its most interesting feature is its power: BlackBerry and TCL say that the Motion can last up to over 32 hours of mixed use – almost half more than those offered by other high-end flagships.
“What we’ve found out with the KEYone from customer feedback and media reviews is that battery life was phenomenal,” Gareth Hurn, global head of device portfolio at BlackBerry, said.
“We wanted to bring that to an all-touch device.”
The KEYone – its Black Edition unveiled at September’s IFA Berlin – features a physical keyboard reminiscent of BlackBerrys past.
Asked why BlackBerry did not go for a dual-camera set-up – a hot commodity in smartphones today – Hurn said that there were “pros and cons” in this “pointed debate”, but for now they decided to settle with a single-lens snapper and focus on more important aspects of the device.