Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
BlackBerry phones are coming back thanks to OnwardMobility
by João Carrasqueira
The BlackBerry brand has mostly been on the decline for a few years, but its smartphones saw a bit of a resurgence in 2017 thanks to the company's licensing deal with TCL, which brought about phones like the KEYOne and KEY2. However, earlier this year, the licensing deal ended and it wasn't renewed, so it seemed like we might not see the BlackBerry brand anymore.
Turns out BlackBerry isn't willing to let its phones die, and today, security firm OnwardMobility announced that it has signed a deal with the company to bring a new BlackBerry phone to market in 2021. Having a security company work on BlackBerry phones makes sense, since they've always been geared toward business users with a focus on privacy and security. The partnership also includes FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of the Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, who will be in charge of designing the phones under OnwardMobility's "strict guidelines".
Not much is known about the upcoming phones, other than that they will include 5G support, meaning the phones will at least be in line with modern devices at the time of the release. The announcement also confirms that BlackBerry's staple feature, the physical keyboard, will be present in the new phones in some form.
Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility, said:
We'll probably need to wait a little longer to hear about the upcoming device, but fans of the BlackBerry family have something to look forward to now.
By Rich Woods
BlackBerry phones may be dead as TCL licensing deal comes to an end
by Rich Woods
It's the end of an era. Or, well, it might be. The BlackBerry Mobile Twitter account tweeted today that as of August 31 of this year, TCL Communication will no longer be able to sell BlackBerry smartphones, as the licensing deal is coming to an end. Existing devices will still be supported through August 31, 2022.
It was September 2016 when BlackBerry announced that it would no longer make its own first-party handsets. Less then three months later though, the TCL brand licensing deal was struck, and the BlackBerry name lived on.
Under TCL's tenure, new BlackBerry launches included the KEYone and the KEY2, Android handsets with physical keyboards. While they were popular for fans of the brand, overall enthusiasm around the devices was tepid. Indeed, the rest of the world has moved on to full touchscreens.
Of course, this doesn't have to be the end of the line for BlackBerry-branded smartphones. Just like TCL licensed the brand after BlackBerry stopped making its own phones, some other hardware manufacturer could swoop in to make a similar deal, now that the brand is up for grabs.
By Timi Cantisano
Unihertz's tribute to the BlackBerry Passport is now available with limited stock
by Timi Cantisano
We reported on the Unihertz Titan a couple of weeks back and now it is time to throw down your money if you are interested in a device that looks like the spiritual successor to the BlackBerry Passport.
If you're unfamiliar, the device has styling that is uncanny with the Passport, featuring a wide body, a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 1440, and QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard also acts as a trackpad, which means you can swipe your finger across the keys and you'll get a response on the display. As you might expect, the device also has a fingerprint reader for added security.
Unihertz won't say exactly what chip is powering it, but it is an octa-core 2GHz CPU with 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It has a dual SIM slot, meaning you can make use of two SIMs, or use one of the slots for additional storage with a micro SD card. There is a 16MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera. NFC support is present and will allow for mobile payments to be supported.
With its 6,000mAh battery, it should provide plenty of power throughout the day and if you happen to run low, you will be able to charge using its USB Type C port or through a wireless charging pad. Those that are concerned about its resilience to the elements, the Titan has an IP67 rating. The handset will be running Google's Android 9.0. So all in all, this is a pretty complete package for an Android device that started (with early bird pricing) at just $199.
If you're interested, the Kickstarter is now live. Unfortunately, the early bird pricing of $199 and $219 are no longer available, disappearing after just a few hours. But, you can still pledge the amount of $239 to lock one of the 275 (as of writing) devices available, which is still $120 off its $359 recommended retail price.
At the time of this article going out, the campaign has already amassed double its goal, which is a good sign. But like any crowd-funded project, a final product and its quality are not guaranteed, so be careful before you part with your money.
By Rich Woods
The BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition is now available in the U.S. for $699
by Rich Woods
At Mobile World Congress this year, TCL announced the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition, and it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a BlackBerry KEY2 that comes in a lovely new shade of red.
The one thing that's different is that this model has more storage, coming in at 128GB instead of 64GB. That's why it costs $50 more than the original base model of the KEY2, at $699. It still packs a Snapdragon 660 chipset, 6GB RAM, and a 4.5-inch 1080p display.
The KEY2 is, of course, known for its physical keyboard. There's a fingerprint sensor in the space bar, and the keyboard even supports swipe gestures. There are also all kinds of shortcuts that you can set up to be more productive.
“We’ve received a lot of feedback from customers who have asked for an exclusive device variant of the BlackBerry KEY2, and we’re happy to respond by delivering the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition to customers in the United States,” said Eric Anderson, General Manager for TCL Communication, North America. “In addition to a new color, this limited edition BlackBerry-branded smartphone comes with increased memory, specialized headphones and new styling, all while providing the reliability, productivity and security our customers have come to expect from this brand.”
The BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition is available today from Best Buy and Amazon for $699.
By Jay Bonggolto
BlackBerry Messenger's consumer version to be discontinued on May 31
by Jay Bonggolto
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) used to be one of the popular instant messaging apps out there, but now it has seen better days. BlackBerry announced today that it is shutting down the consumer version of the app from May 31.
The announcement marks the company's admission to the huge drop in its user base since consumers have started transitioning to other messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. BlackBerry's efforts since 2016 to introduce new features and content to the app meant to somehow suppress the exodus of users proved futile for the firm.
In 2013, BBM was updated with cross-platform support for Android and iOS devices. A year later, BlackBerry opened up beta registration for BBM on Windows Phone.
If you've purchased BBM stickers, you can receive refunds via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, with no option to export them. BBMojis, however, are nonrefundable and can't be used anymore after the shutdown.
Users are advised to download their photos, videos and files shared through BBM before May 31. It should be noted that the enterprise version of BBM will continue to operate.