News

BlackBerry finally gives up on creating its own phones

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The headline above was something we were expecting to write one day, but now that it’s happened, it’s still quite sad. BlackBerry’s original smartphone designs are no more.

In a lengthy PDF detailing BlackBerry’s recent financial highs and lows, the Canadian company chose to stick to what it’s good at, specifically software and security services. But this doesn’t mean that no more handsets are coming out of this development; all BlackBerry phones released from now on will simply be designed and manufactured by third-party hardware partners.

This process actually began over a month ago. The once high-end smartphone brand synonymous with QWERTY keyboards released the DTEK50, which is a $300 full-touchscreen Android handset. It’s something you wouldn’t imagine BlackBerry doing back when it was at the top of the smartphone world over half a decade ago.

blackberry-dtek50

BlackBerry DTEK50

It was a sign of things to come. The terribly named DTEK50 was just an Alcatel Idol 4 with BlackBerry’s branding plastered all over it. Once rumors surfaced of a successor in the DTEK60 being cooked up, which looks to be a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4S, the unfortunate announcement we’re hearing now becomes less of a surprise.

BlackBerry’s woes began when it couldn’t catch up to the momentum built by Google and Apple’s operating systems. Realizing that physical keypads were no longer desired by the majority of consumers, its software developers went hard at work on a more touchscreen-friendly BB10 OS, which first debuted on the Z10 and Q10 in early 2013. Its gesture-based interface introduced several good ideas outside of the usual Android and iOS functionality, but it arrived way too late.

Once that experiment failed, BlackBerry gave in and accepted the open-source Android system on October 2015. The Priv combined the richness of Android’s touchscreen interface with BlackBerry’s signature keyboard sliding out from underneath. Together with the company’s added security features, it seemed like a great deal, until everyone realized it cost $700 at launch.

blackberry-priv

BlackBerry Priv

Overall sales dwindled in the past few years, to the point of having less than one percent of the worldwide smartphone market share. That alone was a signal to retire.

On the bright side, we still have good memories to live with. Remember that awesome Bold 9900? It still stands as one of the best physical keyboard-equipped smartphones of all time. There was also the Curve 9220, which was the Nokia 3310 of BlackBerries. And who could forget the unjustly underrated PlayBo— wait, never mind. Even BlackBerry chose to forget it ever existed.

[irp posts=”7249″ name=”BlackBerry has a new security-focused flagship phone”]

Source: Business Insider

Accessories

realme launches Watch 2 Pro, TechLife Robot Vacuum

While teasing more devices

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realme

This hardly comes as a surprise anymore as every brand is coming out with their slew of smart devices. realme is, likewise, venturing outside the smartphone arena as they launch the realme Watch 2 Pro and realme TechLife Robot Vacuum.

realme AIoT

The company is transitioning from their 1+4+N strategy to the 1+5+T strategy. Still tells the normal everyday person nothing at first glance but realme explains it as:

1 — smartphone, as realme’s smartphones are at the center of its AIoT ecosystem
5 — key categories for realme’s AIoT products. These include the True Wireless Stereo (TWS), Wearables, TV, laptops, and tablets.
T — stands for TechLife. This is realme’s open partner platform. It aims to support innovative and dynamic AIoT startups through the sharing of realme’s own sales channels.

TechLife focuses on three product categories: Smart Entertainment (TV boxes, projectors, speakers and game accessories), Smart Care (vacuum robots, air purifiers and body fat scales), Smart Connect (smart sockets, smart light bulbs and cameras)

After announcing the realme GT to take care of “1”, realme is covering “5” with the realme Watch 2 Pro, and the “T” with the Techlife Robot Vacuum.

realme Watch 2 Pro

If you follow tech news a lot, you know how this goes. The realme Watch 2 Pro is supposed to be your partner for an active and healthy lifestyle.

It comes with a variety of monitoring features. These are an accurate GPS system, an Sp02 monitor for blood oxygen tracking, and a heart rate monitor. For an active lifestyle, it comes with 90 sports modes.

It’s also larger than its predecessor. It has a 1.75-inch (4.4cm) display with 600 nits of peak brightness. It’s also again promising up to 14 days of power with its 390mAh battery. You’re also offered over 100 different watch faces so it’ll never feel old.

realme TechLife Robot Vacuum

This device is kicking off realme’s whole TechLife line. It has the LiDAR Smart Mapping and Navigation System, the same state-of-the-art technology used in the navigation systems of modern electric vehicles and aircraft. Sounds overkill for a vacuum but if you want your space spic and span you wanna make sure the vacuum can get to all areas that it should.

The realme TechLife Robot Vacuum has a super-high suction and mopping power of 3000Pa. This means it’s capable of cleaning large amounts of high-density garbage while keeping noise levels as low as 55dB on quiet mode.

It also features a 5200mAh battery, a 600ml dust bin and a 300ml smart electronic water tank, ensuring that users do not have to constantly charge and empty the vacuum during cleaning.

It’s designed to fit into any home with a maximum height of just above 10cm. It has a sleek and classy design with the top cover of the device made from an impact resistant tempered glass.

More TechLife products coming

realme also teased a media-focused realme Pad tablet and their first laptop — the realme Book.

Price and availability

The realme watch 2 Pro will be available starting June 16 for EUR 74.99. The basic realme watch 2 retails for EUR 54.99.

The realme TechLife Robot Vacuum price and availability details to follow.

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News

realme GT unveiled in realme’s first ever global launch

Announced during realme’s first global launch

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realme GT

realme picked the best theme — speed — as they launched the first in their GT series: the realme GT. Announced in the company’s first ever global launch, the realme GT is packed with flagship specs that promises a fast and smooth performance.

Grand Tourers design

Keeping in line with the speed theme, realme says the realme GT’s design is based on the concept of grand tourers (GT) sports cars. These road machines were made for high speed, long-distance driving. They’re also known to come with high performance and luxury features. Just with this, it’s clear the market that the new flagship is aimed at.

realme has always been pretty fancy with their design. For the realme GT, they’re offering a glass covered design with a 3D light reflecting pattern. There’s also a vegan-leather covered version with a repeated acceleration symbol.

The glass version comes in two colors — Dashing Silver and Dashing Blue. They come with a series of shooting arrow patterns on the back of the phone, symbolizing speed and dynamism.

Meanwhile, the vegan leather edition is available in a rare Racing Yellow, staying true to the brand’s colors. It’s the first one with a dual-tone leather design which is indeed quite unique.

realme GT

Made to be fast

Powering the device is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. It’s the same chip found on some of the best flagship Android smartphones released in 2021 so far. Flanking it are an LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. Configurations vary per variant. We’ll go more in detail in the pricing section.

We’ve experience some minor heating problems with other Snapdragon 888 devices. realme mitigates this with a new generation stainless steel VC cooling system. It optimizes the phone’s heat dissipation structure. realme says this showed a 50 percent increase in cooling efficiency.

Inside the realme GT is a 4,500mAh battery with support for 65W SuperDart charging. A feature that’s set to get you from zero to 100 percent in just 35 minutes.

Elsewhere on the realme GT

It has a 6.43 inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 360Hz touch sampling rate — something mobile gamers might be particular to. Being a flagship, it also naturally has support for 5G and Wi-Fi 6.

It’s also equipped with a 64MP triple camera system with the usual features like portrait mode as well as a brand new night portrait mode. Like most flagships, there’s also AI assist so you can point, shoot, and post to your heart’s content.

The realme GT has Dolby Atmos Dual Stereo speakers, Hi-Res Audio, and a 3.5mm audio jack with low latency and low interference charge. Lastly, it’s one of the first devices to come with Android 12 Beta 1. Later this year, it will be updated to the new realme UI.

realme GT

Price and availability

The realme GT is now available for purchase in selected countries, including Poland, Spain, Russia and Thailand. Additional markets to follow.

Pricing are as follows:

12GB+256GB realme GT — EUR 599
Early bird sale for EUR 499 to all consumers during Amazon Prime Day starting June 21.

8GB+128GB realme GT — EUR 449
Early bird sale for EUR 369 on AliExpress.

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India

Airtel starts 5G trials in India, shows off 1Gbps speed

Commercial availability still a year away, though

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India is yet to roll out 5G services, but there’s finally some good news. Airtel has kicked off its 5G trial network in Gurugram, Delhi’s neighboring city,  just a little over a month after the government gave its go-ahead to carry out trial runs.

Airtel is testing its 5G network at a speed of over 1Gbps, and the site where the trial is running is operating in the 3500MHz band. According to a report by ET Telecom, Airtel has been allotted the 5G trial spectrum in 3500 MHz, 28 GHz, and 700 MHz.

Rival telcos Jio and VIL (Vodafone-Idea) have been allotted spectrums in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands. State-backed telco MTNL has also received permission to start trials. The runs are being carried out in compliance with the guidelines of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Airtel is currently working with Ericson on the equipment, while other providers include Nokia, Samsung, etc. Jio has announced will be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology. The trails shall go on for six months. Chinese companies like Huawei have long been sidelined.

5G in India

The Indian government is yet to auction the 5G spectrum; hence a commercial roll-out is at least a year away. Earlier in January this year, Airtel claimed that they had become the first telco in India to demonstrate 5G services over a commercial network in Hyderabad. However, these are internal runs.

It noted that in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full-length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone, a demonstration that has underlined the company’s technology capabilities.

The plans to unveil 5G in the country took a backseat due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The industry couldn’t adopt the latest technology quickly as the market was devastated by low tariff wars, pending tax issues, and reducing capex. VIL was barely able to survive bankruptcy, but the debt continues to haunt it.

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