BlackBerry Officially Unveils the Z30, runs BB10.2 out of the box

BlackBerry has just announced the Z30 – the smartphone with the largest touchscreen it has even put into production. Moreover, it’s the first BlackBerry to ship with the company’s latest version of BB 10 OS.

The BlackBerry Z30 is built around a 5″ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. This makes the pixel density meter stop at 295 ppi. In its core, the Z30 is powered by a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset and 2GB of RAM.

Behind the battery back cover lies a 2,880mAh battery and measures 140.7 x 72 x 9.4mm. The larger battery found in the Z30 hasn’t made it much thicker than the Z10 – the difference is just 0.1mm. The BlackBerry Z30 supports LTE as well as dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.

The back of the Z30 holds an 8MP camera with an f/2.2 lens and 1080p video recording capabilities. Video chatting has been taken care of with an 2MP front-facing snapper, which records 720p video.

As we mentioned, the BlackBerry Z30 runs BB 10 OS version 10.2 out of the box. It brings some improvements to the BlackBerry ecosystem including BB Priority Hub, message previews in the lockscreen as well as Wi-Fi Direct support, multiple alarms and standard Unicode emojis.

BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 users would be happy to know that the company will be launching the BB 10 version 10.2 update in mid-October. There might be some delays, which would be due to carrier approval of the update.

BlackBerry hasn’t specified any pricing or availability information just yet, but the Z30 is expected to hit the UK as early as next week. We’ll keep you posted when more information becomes available.

BBM coming to iOS and Android this Summer!

bbm for iphone and android

BlackBerry’s BBM messaging service is finally coming to Android and iOS. The long-rumoured release of BBM on handsets other than BlackBerry’s own was announced by CEO Thorsten Heins on stage at the BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando, Florida

“We are making the BBM platform more powerful than ever. We want to offer this powerful mobile service to everyone,” said Heins.

Any iPhone running iOS 6 or later will be able to download BBM. Android handsets need to be using Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean in order for BBM to work. BBM will also be free on both iPhone and Android.

“We are committed to making BBM on other platforms as fully featured as we can,” explained Heins, who was keen to emphasise that the messaging service would still be best on BlackBerry’s own handsets.

“Of course BBM on blackberry will be the premier experience,” said Heins. “It’s a statement of confidence.”

The CEO explained that the company was so confident with BlackBerry 10’s success that it wasn’t worried about sharing its premier draw, BBM, with other operating systems.

The rollout will begin in the summer with BBM in its most basic form. Messaging and groups will be available on Android and iOS, with video and screen sharing coming later in the year. The just announced BBM Channels should also arrive in 2013.

BB announces the BlackBerry Q5 for emerging markets

The start of the BlackBerry Live 2013 annual conference today in Orlando, USA, saw the announcement of the BlackBerry Q5 – a QWERTY device for emerging markets.

The Blackberry Q5 revolves around a 3.1-inch touchscreen and one of BlackBerry’s classic physical QWERTY keyboards, which they are so proud of. The screen has an unusual resolution of 720 x 720px – the same as on the Q10, but this time it’s an LCD unit. Inside the BlackBerry Q5 there’s a dual-core 1.2Ghz CPU and 8 gigs worth of storage. There’s a microSD slot to expand that, but the battery is not removable.

The new BlackBerry Q5 will be available in selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (including the Asia Pacific region), and Latin America, with availability beginning in July. The smartphone will be offered in black, white, red and pink.

Another announcement that came from the today’s keynote is that the BlackBerry 10.1 update is now ready to seed to the BlackBerry Z10 (later this month in the US). Not only that, but starting today, Skype will be available to all users who update their Z10s to v10.1.