BlackBerry Launches the BlackBerry Classic in India for ₹31,990

In a press event in New Delhi today, BlackBerry Limited launched the BlackBerry Classic in India. The smartphone is specially built to meet the needs of productive people who prefer a physical QWERTY keyboard.

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BlackBerry Launches The Passport Smartphone With Square Display For $599

BlackBerry recently launched its Passport smartphone with a large square touch screen display. It is the first smartphone to feature the touch-enabled keyboard with gestures which helps you to efficiently type, edit and navigate. It comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for the display and forged stainless steel for added strength.

BlackBerry Passport runs on the latest BlackBerry 10.3 Operating System. It comes pre-loaded with the new BlackBerry Blend, BlackBerry Assistant, BlackBerry World and Amazon Appstore. BlackBerry Blend is a new feature which allows you to view instant message notifications, read and respond to your work and personal email and access your documents, calendar and contacts on your computer or tablet.

blackberry_passport

The large 3450 mAh battery in this handset allows you to use the device for more than 30 hours. This handset measures 128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm and weighs 194 grams. BlackBerry Passport is available through local carriers around the world. it comes with a price tag of $599.

“As we set out to design BlackBerry Passport, we were guided by a simple yet challenging idea – to set aside the limitations of traditional design and to instead simply build a device that fundamentally changes the way business professionals get work done on their smartphone. The BlackBerry Passport was created to drive productivity and to break through the sea of rectangular-screen, all-touch devices.”

– John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry

BlackBerry Passport Specifications:

  • 4.5 inch square touch display
  • 1440 x 1440 pixels resolution
  • 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor
  • BlackBerry 10 operating system
  • Capacitive touch 3-row BlackBerry Keyboard
  • 13 megapixel OIS camera
  • 1080p HD video recording at 60 fps
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal memory
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Nano-SIM
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • 3450 mAh battery

BlackBerry 9720 Announced; Comes With Dedicated BBM Key

BlackBerry recently launched the new BlackBerry 9720 smartphone. This handset looks similar to the Curve range of smartphones. BlackBerry has already launched BB10 OS powered Z10, Q10 and Q5 smartphones this year. However, the new BlackBerry 9720 runs on the old BlackBerry 7.1 Operating System. It also comes with a dedicated BBM key. BlackBerry 9720 smartphone allows you to listen local FM stations and automatically let your BBM friends know what station you’re currently listening to.

Carlo Chiarello, Executive Vice President for Products at BlackBerry, said,
“The BlackBerry 9720 smartphone gives you all the essentials of the BlackBerry smartphone experience to support a communications centric lifestyle. It has the best keyboard and functionality for BBM, as well as an updated BlackBerry 7 OS that adds many enhancements. It’s perfect for customers upgrading from a feature phone or entry-level Android or Windows Phone device, as well as existing BlackBerry smartphone customers, that want a richer experience and jump up in style and performance.”

blackberry_9720

BlackBerry 9720 features a 2.8 ich touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 360 pixels, BlackBerry 7.1 Operating System, 806 MHz processor, full QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 512 MB ROM, 512 MB RAM and more.

It also comes with a 3.5mm headset jack, Stereo FM radio with RDS, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, microUSB 2.0, A-GPS, MicroUSB 2.0, Mobile Hotspot support, up to 30 hrs of music playback time, up to 432 hrs of stand-by time, up to 7 hrs of talk-time and a 1450 mAh battery.

BlackBerry 9720 will go on sale in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America in the coming weeks. The price of this handset will be announced soon. BlackBerry 9720 will be available in both black and white colors.

BlackBerry Q5 Launched In India For Rs.24,990

BlackBerry recently launched the mid-range BlackBerry Q5 smartphone in India. It is the company’s third device which runs on the BlackBerry 10 Operating System. This handset packs a 3.1 inch touchscreen display along with the Blackberry’s iconic QWERTY keyboard. This handset allows you to access more than 120,000 apps from the BlackBerry World. The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone is specially designed for those who want to experience the BlackBerry 10 Operating System without burning a hole in the pocket.

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director, BlackBerry India, said,
“The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone has a stunning youthful design that comes in exciting colors, and offers the full cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality as well as access to the growing catalog of BlackBerry 10 apps. With its physical QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen, it gives customers the best of both worlds.”

blackberry q5

BlackBerry Q5 features a 3.1 inch LCD display, sporting a resolution of 720 x 720 pixels, Touch On Lens, 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, BlackBerry 10 OS, 5 megapixel rear facing camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording and playback, 2 megapixel front facing camera and much more.

Other features include NFC (Near Field Communication), microUSB, microHDMI-Out, 3.5 mm headset jack, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, Assisted GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory and a 2100 mAh non-removable battery.

The BlackBerry Q5 comes with a price tag of just Rs.24,990 (approx. $420). This handset will be available in Black, Pure White and Pure Red colors. BlackBerry Q5 will go on sale from July 20 in India.

BlackBerry Launches EMI Scheme For BlackBerry Z10 And Curve 9220 In India

Earlier this month, Samsung announced the “Own Now” plan which offers some mid to high end Galaxy smartphones and camera at 15% discount along with 0% processing fee and 0% interest on 12 months EMI. Today, BlackBerry joined the bandwagon and announced a similar EMI scheme for the high-end BlackBerry Z10 smartphone and the entry-level BlackBerry Curve 9220 in India.

blackberry z10

If you were planning to buy the BlackBerry Z10, but refrained due to its high price tag, then this is the right time to buy one. Under the new EMI scheme, customers can get the BlackBerry Z10 using their credit card by paying an EMI of Rs 4799 per month for 9 months. On the other hand, BlackBerry has announced a similar scheme for BlackBerry Curve 9220 where customers can easily get the device just by paying an EMI of Rs 799 per month for 12 months.

Currently, this scheme is available only for Axis Bank, Citibank, HDFC bank, HSBC, ICICI Bank, Kotak, SBI Card and Standard Chartered credit card users. These plans offer Rs.0 down payment, 0% processing fee and 0% interest on EMI. Idea subscribers will also get 1GB/ month of 3G data usage just by paying Rs.999/year in 8 circles including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

The new BlackBerry EMI scheme will be rolled out in 3000 BlackBerry outlets across the country by this weekend. Are you planning to buy one? Let us know in the comments section below.

Review: BlackBerry Z10: Does It Live Up To The Hype?

The folks at BlackBerry have had a rough couple of years. After taking its time to launch a tablet and updated smartphone OS, some thought that the company was headed towards the graveyard. However, earlier this year, the company announced two new phones: the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10. These two smartphones are run off of the BlackBerry 10 operating system that has been rebuilt from the ground up.  I’ve had the past couple weeks to play around with the Z10, the full-touch, keyboardless variant of  the BlackBerry 10 ecosystem. Below is my in-depth review on the Z10’s hardware and software.

Hardware

Photo 2013-05-19 09.56.50 PM

Screen

The screen is one of the Z10’s strongest points. During my time with the device, I’ve found that the Z10’s screen is on par with my iPhone 5’s Retina Display and has proved to be quite enjoyable to use when watching movies, YouTube videos, as well as general web browsing. This is due to the Z10’s semi-spacious 4.2″ screen with a resolution of 1280×768, which brings it to a resolution of 356ppi. The screen is also relatively bright, which makes it nice for both high-light situations and low-light situations.

Design

I’ll be honest: I have a love-hate relationship with the Z10’s design. I do think that the Z10 features a clean and high quality design, and I’m a fan of the soft plastic finish that the device has to offer as well. The rear-end of the Z10 is pretty basic as it features a simple BlackBerry logo and a unique bumpy pattern. The top and sides of the device, however, are made out of a more rigid material. The front of the device houses the screen with relatively large screen borders. All of these design aspects come together to make the Z10 look basic, yet professional and classy.

Though the Z10 may look nice, the device, minus the screen, is completely crafted from plastic. This makes the device feel cheap and makes me wish that it had incorporated some sort of metal like what we’ve seen in the iPhone 5, HTC One and even the BlackBerry Bold 9900.

Camera

The BlackBerry Z10 has a surprisingly decent camera. It features a 8 mega-pixel sensor with 1080p video recording capabilities alongside a bright flash. Aside from the hardware, Z10’s Camera app makes your photos really shine. The app features numerous filters, scene settings as well as shooting modes. I’m a huge fan of the burst mode which is built into BlackBerry 10 as well as TimeShift. TimeShift snaps multiple photos automatically, and allows you isolate faces and go back in time with them. This allows you to get perfect group and action shots.

Software

Z10_White_ENG_Gen_TopAngle

Design And Features

BlackBerry 10 is a very interesting operating system in terms of design. It has a similar look and feel to that of HP’s WebOS due to its mostly button-less navigation and gestures. However, I think that BlackBerry has done a good job of making the OS easy and intuitive to use due to its many unique features such as BlackBerry Hub and the improved BlackBerry Keyboard.

BlackBerry Hub is a hub that shows all of your text messages, BBMs, emails, and social notifications in one place. When you first swipe into BlackBerry Hub, you’ll be able to view all of these notifications in one continuous list, though you can also single out feeds if you’d like. BlackBerry Hub is accessible from anywhere within the BlackBerry 10 OS, leaving you connected your family, friends, and coworkers at all times.

BlackBerry Keyboard is BlacBerry’s new and super-intuitive software keyboard. From the naked eye, it may look like any other mobile keyboard, but the changes become apparent when you start to use it. When typing, the keyboard will attempt to predict words for you. These words hover over letters on the keyboard, and can be selected by simply swiping up on them.

Since all BlackBerry 10 devices are completely free of navigation buttons, all actions are performed via different types of swipes and taps. For instance, if you want to close out of an application, all you have to do is swipe up from the bottom of the screen. When doing this, a small preview of the application will be moved to your device’s homescreen where it will reside with the rest of your recently used applications. If you’d like to open an application that hasn’t been recently used, just swipe to the right to bring up your full list of installed apps.

Ecosystem

The folks at BlackBerry have added all of the standard BBM messaging features to BlackBerry 10 that were offered in previous iterations of the OS. For instance, BlackBerry users can still send free text messages and voice messages back and forth. However, with BlackBerry 10, BBM has been enhanced to allow for free video calling and screen sharing between BlackBerry 10 users. This allows BlackBerry users to take their BBM conversations to a whole new personal level as they can share photos, documents, and whatever else is on their phone’s screen.

While the BBM ecosystem may be decent, the app ecosystem is lacking. Though the operating system launched with 70,000 apps, and recently announced that it hit 100,000 apps, none of them seem to be extremely good. Sure, the standard Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn apps may be decent, but as you get further through the BlackBerry Word store, you’ll begin to realize that some major apps and games that are available on iOS and Android are missing. For instance, Instagram, Netflix, Dropbox and Rdio amongst others have yet to make their way to the BlackBerry World for BlackBerry 10. As someone who uses all three of these services on a daily basis, I found it difficult to use the device nonstop over an iPhone or even Android smartphone since I use these apps often.

Responsiveness

BlackBerry 10 has been very good to me in terms of responsiveness. The device quickly responds to most touch-actions and quickly opens apps, documents and multimedia files. When multitasking, I’ve found that one can easily switch between apps without worrying about a stutter or other form of lag. The only form of lag I’ve found when using the BlackBerry Z10 is in the web browser. For instance, when loading and scrolling through web pages, I’ve experienced some stuttering and general slowness.

Bottom Line

While the BlackBerry Z10 may feature a promising new OS and a decent set of internal hardware, I cannot recommend the device at this time. This is due to the fact that BlackBerry 10 is missing some crucial third-party applications and the fact that the external hardware feels cheap on the device. However, if you’ve had your heart set on purchasing a BBM-capable device, then this may be your only modern option.

BlackBerry Q5 Entry-Level QWERTY Phone Announced

Blackberry recently announced the new BlackBerry Q5 QWERTY smartphone. It is the company’s second QWERTY phone which runs on the BlackBerry 10 Operating System. The previously launched BlackBerry Q10 was a high-end smartphone, while the new BlackBerry Q5 is an entry-level device for the emerging markets. This handset allows you to access more than 100,000 apps from the BlackBerry World. Check out the complete specs below.

Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry, said,
“BlackBerry is excited to bring a new BlackBerry QWERTY smartphone, the BlackBerry Q5, to our customers in selected markets around world. The BlackBerry Q5 gives you the best of everything with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality and a physical QWERTY keyboard. It is for youthful fans that are passionate, confident and bold, and it makes it easy for them to have fun, create, share and stay connected.”

blackberry_q5

BlackBerry Q5 features a 3.1 inch LCD display, sporting a resolution of 720 x 720 pixels, Touch On Lens, 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, BlackBerry 10 OS, 5 megapixel rear facing camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording and playback, 2 megapixel front facing camera and much more.

Other features include NFC (Near Field Communication), microUSB, microHDMI-Out, 3.5 mm headset jack, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, Assisted GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory and a 2100 mAh non-removable battery.

The BlackBerry Q5 will go on sale from July in selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (including the Asia Pacific region), and Latin America. This handset will be available in white, black, pink and red colors. The price of this device will be announced in the coming weeks.

BlackBerry Messenger Coming to Android and iOS as Free Download

BlackBerryBlackBerry Messenger or BBM used be the one killer features of BlackBerry. In fact it’s still the reason why many people purchase a BlackBerry. However, thanks to the popularity of multi-platform apps like WhatsApp, Kik, and Viber, BBM no longer commands the respect it used to. WhatsApp recently reported that it has 200 million active monthly users, which is more than thrice that of BBM’s active user count. Sure, BlackBerry Messenger is a lot more secure than WhatsApp, which is frankly a security nightmare. However, this can hardly enough to sway the opinion of millions of smartphone buyers. It has long been rumoured that the struggling Canadian smartphone manufacturer will be opening up BBM. Perhaps feeling the pressure, BlackBerry has finally bit the bullet.

BlackBerry just announced at the BBLive conference that it will be launching the BBM as an independent app on Android and iPhone this “summer”. No concrete dates were given; however, Android Police is reporting that the BlackBerry Messenger will be a free download that will require at least ICS (Android 4.0). It will be initially released with support for messaging and groups with additional features including voice, screen share, and channels being added later on. BBM users will be able to setup groups and share voice notes, calendar, photos, files and more. “For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service”, said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President, Software Product Management and Ecosystem, at BlackBerry.

T-Mobile To Begin BlackBerry Q10 Pre-Sales From April 29

Back in January, the Canadian mobile phone manufacturer unveiled the new BlackBerry Q10 QWERTY phone along with the BlackBerry Z10 full touchscreen smartphone. It is the first smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen display which runs on the latest BlackBerry 10 Operating System. The BlackBerry Z10 is already available at all major markets, however the BlackBerry Q10 was delayed since the OS was not optimized for a smaller screen.

During the launch event of BlackBerry Z10 in India, I got a chance to play with the BlackBerry Q10. This handset was pretty impressive and much better than the Android QWERTY phones currently available in the market. The BlackBerry Q10 will be available for both AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers in the US.

Drew Kelton, executive vice president of business markets at T-Mobile, said,
“With the powerful combination of BlackBerry’s new BlackBerry 10 platform, the company’s long-standing security features and BlackBerry’s best QWERTY keyboard, the BlackBerry Q10 will be another great smartphone option for our business customers.”

blackberry q10

BlackBerry Q10 features a 3.1 inch LCD display, sporting a resolution of 720 x 720 pixels, Touch On Lens, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, BlackBerry 10 OS, 8 megapixel rear facing camera with auto-focus and 5X digital zoom, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 2 megapixel front facing camera with 3X digital zoom, HD (720p) video recording and much more.

Other features include WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G/4G Connectivity, Assisted GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB internal memory, hot swappable MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, NFC (Near Field Communication), microUSB, microHDMI-Out, up to 10 hours of talk-time, up to 305 hours of stand-by time and a 1800 mAh removable battery.

T-Mobile has recently announced that the much-awaited BlackBerry Q10 smartphone will be available for pre-order from April 29, however the price of this device is still unknown. The BlackBerry Q10 is rumored to carry a hefty price tag of $250 with a 2 year service agreement. The carrier will officially announce the price and availability of this device in the coming days.