While most manufacturers made their new product announcements on day 1 of Mobile World Congress, or before the show started. Canadian phone maker BlackBerry waited for the second day to unveil its new models. Unfortunately though not a lot of information was provided which suggests we are still some time away from release to the market.
The more interesting of the two devices is the Q20, which BlackBerry announced as its new BB10 flasgship device. BlackBerry has not provided any detailed hardware specs but it's clear the Q20 caters to the company's core fans who can't live without a physical keyboard. Here is a quote from John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry:
"In my first 90 days on the job, I consistently heard from our ardent BlackBerry customers that the hard buttons and trackpad are an essential part of the BlackBerry QWERTY experience, that made their BlackBerry smartphone their go-to productivity tool. I want these customers to know that we heard them, and this new smartphone will be for them. Today, we’re delighted to announce the new BlackBerry Q20 smartphone, which is designed to give you the distinct experience that every BlackBerry QWERTY loyalist and high-productivity business customer absolutely loves. With the BlackBerry Q20 smartphone, you’ll get the familiar hard buttons and trackpad that you want, along with the best email service, the best keyboard experience and the best battery life possible.
From what we know about the new device so far, it will come with a QWERTY keyboard, trackpad and BlackBerry's familiar Menu, Back, Send and End buttons. It'll also have a 3.5-inch screen that is the largest display yet on a BlackBerry QWERTY device. BlackBerry also says it will be made from premium materials and offer extra-long battery life.
At this point we don't know anything about the camera but given the Q20 is touted as a flagship device we would expect it to come with some decent imaging hardware and hopefully make BlackBerry a viable alternative for mobile photographer again. The Q20 will be available in the second half of 2014. We will provide more detail as it becomes available.
Some more information has been made available about the second new device. The Z3 is a touchscreen-only device and offers a 5-inch qHD display. A 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1.5GB of RAM place it in the mid-range bracket of the market. Internal storage is a measly 8GB and for now there is no information about microSD support. The Z20 will feature a 5MP rear camera and a 1.1MP front unit for video calls. The phone will initially be made available in Indonesia in April and be priced under $200 off contract.