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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

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip fails a scratch test

Scored as low as Galaxy Fold

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Today, the average smartphone has a tougher display than it did years ago. You can’t scratch a smartphone display as easily anymore, even without a screen protector.

That said, the arrival of the foldable smartphone sets the industry back by a decade. Because of the flexible display, the current standards don’t necessarily apply. Case in point, last year’s Galaxy Fold kept breaking down in controversial fashion. It was no surprise, though; the first foldable phones were built with plastic.

Now, 2020 has promised an improved generation for the foldable smartphone. Unfortunately, Motorola has proved the year wrong already. Reported previously, the new Motorola razr’s screen failed way before its advertised usage rate.

Recently, Samsung launched the new Galaxy Z Flip. This time, Samsung’s foldable phone advertised a glass screen, instead of the former’s plastic. As expected, eager reviewers subjected the new phone to the fiercest conditions. Like its contemporaries, the new foldable kid on the block failed.

Renowned stress tester JerryRigEverything brought the sharpest knives over the Galaxy Z Flip’s screen. As always, the tester used knives with increasing sharpness.

The Galaxy Z Flip started getting scratches as early as the second level of sharpness. For reference, most smartphones today usually last until level 6. Also, the previous Galaxy Fold and the Motorola razr both got the same low score.

Still, the Galaxy Z Flip’s failure is much more resonant this time around. Before launch, Samsung advertised a more resistant screen for the foldable display, owing to its glass construction.

Unfortunately, the boast might be a marketing ploy. The screen definitely lasted shorter than glass. If anything, it might not consist of 100 percent glass, having a mix of plastic in some way. Most of the time, Samsung has not commented on the surface’s actual composition.

However, in a statement to The Verge, the company clarified that “while the display does bend, it should be handled with care. Also, Galaxy Z Flip has a protective layer on top of the Ultra Thin Glass similar to Galaxy Fold.” If true, the knives were affecting the topmost layer, rather than the glass itself. Regardless, take good care of your Galaxy Z Flip.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Hands-on

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Realme X50 Pro 5G confirmed to have 65W fast charging

Fastest charging technology available right now

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Following the cancellation of MWC 2020, Realme has announced it will launch its next flagship product, the Realme X50 Pro 5G, via an online event.

The Realme X50 Pro 5G will be powered by a Snapdragon 865 processor, 5G support, a Full HD+ display, 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB of internal storage, 65W SuperDart fast charging ability, and the new Android 10-based Realme UI.

Unlike the Realme X50 5G, which comes with a 120Hz IPS LCD display, the Realme X50 Pro 5G will sport an AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Multiple cameras on the back are also certain, but it remains to be seen what image sensors make the cut.

 

At the Snapdragon Tech Summit in December, Realme was one of the notable smartphone makers that confirmed the use of the new generation of 5G chipsets for its upcoming smartphones.

OPPO’s Reno Ace is the only phone to support 65W fast charging today and Realme’s offering will be called SuperDart. Realme’s CMO Xu Qi Chase revealed additional information about the new charging technology over on Weibo, stating that the Realme X50 Pro will use a GaN charger which is more compact, efficient, and generates less heat.

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Lenovo’s new phone will supposedly score 600,000 on AnTuTu

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Since its inception, AnTuTu has dominated the benchmark conversation for mobile devices. Even today, smartphones are still touting higher and higher scores for their marketing campaigns. Naturally, when a device brags about a new top score, all eyes are focused on the new contender.

Today, Lenovo wants to hog all that spotlight. On Chinese social network Weibo, leaks have teased an all-new Lenovo phone that will supposedly score 600000 on the AnTuTu scale. It’s quite a huge boast for the Chinese smartphone company. Currently, Apple owns the highest-scoring phone on AnTuTu; the iPhone 11 Pro Max holds a score of 548239. On the Android side, the ROG Phone 2 holds the high score of 507051. Only Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro 3 has a higher score — a whopping 720076 — but, of course, it’s a tablet and not a phone.

Image source: Weibo

Like the ROG Phone 2, Lenovo’s new phone will likely cater to the gaming market. One of the posters uses the slogan, “Game On.”

In another poster, Lenovo has confirmed the industry-leading Snapdragon 865 for the upcoming smartphone. A new AnTuTu high score is definitely in the realm of possibility.

Since it will go up against the ROG Phone 2, Lenovo will likely launch the smartphone under its own gaming line, Legion. No word on an official launch yet, though.

SEE ALSO: Lenovo IdeaPad S540 review: A professional’s daily driver

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