Of all the smartphone makers, BlackBerry was the one that really stood out with its very own operating system and signature physical keyboard which many users loved a lot. However, a couple of years ago something started to change and the Canadian company started to follow more mainstream trends. The first sign of a revolution in BlackBerry land was the Z10 – the first touchscreen-only BlackBerry phone. Then, last year the company released the Priv which brought back the QWERTY keyboard but run Android instead of BlackBerry platform. Now BlackBerry is taking another step and just launched a new Android phone without physical QWERTY keyboard.
BlackBerry just released a new Android smartphone. It’s nothing like a typical BlackBerry we are used to, though.
How much it costs
Called BlackBerry DTEK50, the device looks like an average Android phone only with a BlackBerry logo on the back. Unlike the Android-powered Priv, the DTEK50 is much more affordable – it costs just $299 and is already available for pre-order. It will start shipping on August 8 and together with the phone users will also get a little gift in the form of a 12,600 mAh battery pack.
What can you expect
The price tag suggests that the DTEK50 is not exactly a very high-end device, and indeed, that’s the case. So, what can you expect? For starters, the phone has a large 5.2-inch display with a decent Full HD 1080p resolution which is one of its strongest point. Camera setup is also nothing to complain about including a 13-megapixel main shooter and a respectable 8-megapixel front-facing sensor. Worth mentioning is also a wide range of supported bands, that is HSPA+ bands 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8 as well as LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17, 20, 29, 30.
Other features, however, are somewhat less impressive. Powering the DTEK50 is an octa-core Snapdragon 617 chip paired with 3GB of RAM and there’s only 16GB of internal memory. Luckily, the handset also has a microSD slot, so you will be able to add more storage. The phone also offers a 2,610 mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 support as well as a customizable Convenience Key which serves to launch your favorite apps.
As we already mentioned, the operating system of choice is Android, or to be more precise, the 6.0 Marshmallow iteration with several BlackBerry features. For example, the company decided to keep the BlackBerry Hub which brings all of your conversations into a single place. Moreover, using the phone will be easier thanks to Instant Actions – a feature which makes the device respond to written commands. The virtual keyboard is also more intelligent than other phones and for instance lets you flick suggestions into your sentences.
For a few years now BlackBerry has been struggling to keep afloat and the DTEK50 seems like another attempt to rebuild customer base. Whether it will be successful, only time will tell. On paper, the DTEK50 looks like a pretty decent device and hopefully it will act as such in real life.