Blackberry Gets A Makeover: Tenth Time Lucky?
January 30, 2013 @ 14:33 pm
Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented.
Indeed, its battery life problems will someday inspire a book, with volumes thicker than the entire Twilight saga put together, but RIM seems determined to regain its lost footing and make a fresh stab at the smartphone war
The corporate world’s favorite toy, the Blackberry smartphone, is back in the reckoning and if the swanky new Blackberry Z10 lives up to half the promise the tagline effuses, then RIM might just be able to regain its lost footing in the smartphone race.
Where Samsung and Apple provided state of the art touchscreens, replete with seamless onscreen keyboards; Blackberry clutched on to its clunky user interface. The world and its distant cousins in the neighbouring galaxy moved onto free messaging, courtesy Whatsapp, but Blackberry believed that charging monthly for chat services made for a sound business practice. Apple and Samsung may have gone breathless trying to outdo each other by releasing new devices at dizzying speed; but Blackberry seemed content to laze on its sun lounger and cheer them on from the sidelines.
Indeed, its battery life problems will someday inspire a book, with volumes thicker than the entire Twilight saga put together, but RIM seems determined to regain its lost footing and make a fresh stab at the smartphone war. After a cushy break of two years, RIM has jerked out of its slumber long enough to introduce a new range of devices and a swanky new operating system. Already declared a hit by tech blogs, we help you decode RIM’s latest offering:
The Blackberry Z10 will run on a dual core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor and will support a quad band radio featuring HSPA+/UMTS, quad band GSM/GPRS and quad band LTE. Fitted with a 4.2 inch screen with a resolution of 1280X768 pixels, the smartphone boasts of 16GB internal storage and 2GB RAM. The device also includes an 8 megapixel camera and a 2 megapixel front facing camera. Some of its finer features include:
Blackberry App World: Prising a tech geek away from the Play Store and the Apple iTunes store is a task that would have sent lesser mortals scurrying, but RIM has done its homework well. The original Blackberry app store, which eventually got dubbed the Blackberry App World, has garnered a hefty scroll of music and video partners for its latest offering, ranging from Warner Music Group to Walt Disney to Universal Music Group.
Blackberry Balance: Giving rival OS manufacturers something to sweat over, RIM has introduced Blackberry Balance, a service that allows you to switch between a work profile and a personal one. You guessed it right; Blackberry smartphones now provide two separate profiles, with a strict curtain of privacy drawn between the two, preventing data from one profile to be accessible to the other. Which roughly means that your colleagues need not see every app that you’ve downloaded and pictures of you sloshed at the bar last night will not make their way to your family members.
Improved Interface: Blackberry’s touchscreens may have long remained the stuff of Internet memes, but RIM has fortunately given its previous list driven user interface the cold shoulder. Says Gagandeep Sapra of Hindustan Times, “The whole BB experience used to be about the QWERTY keyboard, and touch kind of slowed down typing. But now, predictive texting has been taken to a new level and there is a direct thumbs-up action to fly suggested words into the text. Apple’s iOS may still be ahead for typing in Hindi, though.”
Final Verdict: As one reviewer from gizmodo.com put it, “It’s a chance at rebirth, reinvention and getting out from under its walking corpse reputation. If it falls into place, we might just have a comeback on our hands.”