BlackBerry’s first water-resistant smartphone goes live at GITEX

BlackBerry has been making Android smartphones for a while now. Before today, the latest and most exciting BlackBerry Android device has been the KEYone, a well-designed mid-range Android smartphone packing more recent software (Nougat) and specifications that likely appealed to the core BlackBerry fans thanks to its adherence to the physical keyboard that BlackBerrys are known for. But the KEYone has been around for a bit and as is always the case, we’ve been anticipating some new gear bearing the BlackBerry brand (since BlackBerry, the Canadian company, outsources the process of bringing such products to the market to its partners like the maker of the Motion, TCL, these days).

The new gear has arrived in the form of the BlackBerry Motion, a device that is not much of a stranger thanks to the unavoidable chatter making rounds in tech blogs and social media aka the rumour mill. As if to declare its intentions, the device was announced at the Middle East and Africa’s premier technology exhibition, GITEX Technology Week, held annually in the Emirati city-state, Dubai. That is a far cry from the usually Western-based device launches that the company has usually treated us to. For that matter, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will be first in line to receive the device.

The BlackBerry Motion packs a 5.5-inch full HD display, an unnamed Qualcomm Snapdragon (625?) processor, 4GB RAM and Android 7.1 Nougat (no Oreo).

That is not all, though. The BlackBerry Motion has a couple of firsts namely:

  • It is the first water-resistant BlackBerry smartphone thanks to its IP67 rating
  • It packs “the largest battery ever in a BlackBerry smartphone (4,000mAh), offering 32+ hours of mixed use”

BlackBerry’s press release announcing the device’s official launch does not go into detail about the cameras on the device and other specifics, unfortunately.

The BlackBerry Motion will cost an equivalent of roughly Kshs 48,000. While the initial availability of the device is restricted to the UAE and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the Motion will also live up to its name and make moves outside the Middle East to other parts of the world including the US where it is already up for pre-order. However, since BlackBerry devices are not available in the Kenyan market, at least on an official basis, Kenyans salivating at this (I only know one) will have to make do with the many third-party retailers who’ve been faithfully availing BlackBerry devices in the country. For instance, the elusive KEYone can be got for Kshs 60,000 (give or take) in Nairobi.


Lead image: @evleaks

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