BlackBerry has expanded its Android smartphone portfolio by launching the TCL manufactured BlackBerry Motion at GITEX Technology Week in Dubai. The new offering doesn't include the company's iconic physical keyboard but is quite similar to the lately launched KEYone that brought a restructured keyboard.
From the very first glimpse, the BlackBerry Motion showcases a full touchscreen LCD panel that is 5.5-inch in size and has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The display is indeed not as remarkable as the one on Samsung's Galaxy S8 or Apple's iPhone X. Nevertheless, it has enough space to fulfill the absence of the QWERTY keyboard that has so far been giving BlackBerry an edge over popular smartphone models. There is also a fingerprint sensor-equipped home button below the screen to enhance the security.
It is worth noting that the BlackBerry Motion isn't the only smartphone in its family to have the missed out a keyboard. The Ontario-headquartered stepped into the market of full touchscreen handsets with its Z10 launch back in January 2013. But importantly, the new model is the first Android-running handset by the company to have a touchscreen experience sans a physical keyboard.
The larger display makes the Motion smartphone a step ahead of the KEYone that BlackBerry launched in February this year. However, both the smartphones have the same processing power through Qualcomm's Snapdragon 625 chipset that has a 2GHz octa-core CPU, Adreno 506 GPU and 4GB of RAM. There is a 32GB onboard storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via microSD card.
BlackBerry has opted for a 4,000mAh battery on the Motion that comes with nearly 500mAh more power than what the KEYone included. The reason for including the larger battery pack is to have sufficient charge to support the touchscreen panel, which is an inch more than the display of the KEYone.
The new BlackBerry smartphone has a 12-megapixel rear camera sensor with dual-LED flash and an 8-megapixel front camera sensor. Further, the smartphone runs on Android 7.1 (Nougat) out of the box -- with few customisations to deliver a proprietary, enterprise-grade experience -- and sports a 12-megapixel primary camera sensor with dual-LED flash.
Hardware-wise, the BlackBerry Motion is nowhere in the race against the Galaxy S8 or iPhone X. But it is all about the custom Android experience that distinguishes the new model from the available stack.
Debuting in the Middle East
BlackBerry is interestingly set to bring the Motion handset first to the Middle Eastern markets, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with a price tag of nearly US$460 (approximately SG$628). This strategy might help the company widen its market and go beyond its software business that pushed profitability in the last quarter results.