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BlackBerry 5G phone coming in 2021 with security and design at the forefront

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Once the desire of every tech enthusiast, BlackBerry vanished from the scene gradually owing to its lack of design innovation and failing to understand the evolution of consumer-driven market trends. A major contributing factor to its downfall was not being flexible enough to evolve the QWERTY keyboard design in times when the likes of Apple advanced to the full touchscreen interface.

Now the brand is resurrecting with fresh energy under Texas startup OnwardMobility and Foxconn (Taiwanese tech conglomerate) subsidiary FIH Mobile. Yes, a BlackBerry 5G smartphone is coming in the first half of 2021 and it promises to be more than just another run of the mill Android device with best in class security technologies that’ll aim to attract enterprise professionals. The core value of the brand is to safeguard communications, personal data and ensure privacy, and it is going to be the unique selling proposition of this intriguing device that will launch initially in North America and Europe.

A fascinating design

So far not much is known of the mystery device but according to Peter Franklin, CEO of OnwardMobility, the phone is going to use a clean-sheet keyboard which will be designed keeping in mind the current trends. Whether there will be the popular capacitive coating for swipe gesture typing – found on some of the BlackBerry models – is just anyone’s guess as of now.

Another intriguing query brewing up is if we are in for a slider mechanism or the sublime candy bar design. Practically speaking, the former is going to be a more flexible option, while the latter would satiate strict QWERTY fans. Sarah Tatsis, BlackBerry VP of Advanced Technology Labs confirmed that the smartphone’s form factor is yet to be finalized and it will reflect the brand’s unique keyboard typing experience.

The overall design language of the phone has to be different from most of the Android-powered devices that nearly look the same and if it weren’t for the branding, identifying one from the other would be quite difficult. Of course, the physical keyboard will stand out in the crowd and make a distinct statement, but BlackBerry needs to think out of the box for the phone’s dimensions and form factor. Since it’s going to be targeted toward corporates and professionals, the design is going to make or break the deal in the first place.

An amalgam of security, productivity, and entertainment

The phone will certainly run on the Android platform, which will leave Blackberry with one less thing to worry about. Of course, the OS skin on top will have the security features and UI tailored for the demanding users who settle for nothing less than the best. Natively, Blackberry phones are known to be strictly centered on getting things done. With this device, they are going to have a balance between security, productivity, and entertainment because it’s the need of the hour.

Bringing in 5G connectivity is going to be a catalyst for the ultra-productive apps that assist business executives in getting things done without much fuss. Premium processing power and the snappiness of the UI will be determinant in enhancing the overall experience, which needs to be right on point for the targeted users. Perhaps, BlackBerry could draw some inspiration from OnePlus, Google Pixel, and iPhone to get that visual snappy factor when multitasking.

Besides this, the phone will leverage the new age hardware at disposal to be a daily driver and a multimedia device in one. While getting things done seamlessly will be at the core, professional users won’t mind the odd binge-watching session or maybe even an intense RPG event with pals. Also, the phone is likely to have enterprising cameras onboard since the brand is going to need the specs sheet well packed if it is looking to challenge the competition.

Outsmarting competitors

BlackBerry will need a very aggressive mix of marketing, supply chain management and of course a winning product to penetrate the intensely competitive market. Even in the niche segment where security and productivity are at the core, there are already some good options available. Samsung and Apple will be the direct competitors who already have a chunk of the overall flagship segment dominated. They have come a long way as far as security is concerned and the productivity features are impressive, to say the least.

The likes of Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 are going to be hard pushovers. Even if we deviate a bit from the core smartphone segment, the upcoming Surface Duo also promises the firepower. For BlackBerry, it will ultimately boil down to making the phone compete shoulder to shoulder with the high-end offerings while keeping the price tag appealing enough to overshadow them all. One more thing to consider is the ongoing innovation by OEMs and to stay abreast of any technological leaps during the period from now to the actual release date.

The question to be asked then is, have the users already forgotten the physical feel of a keyboard and moved on to the virtual keyboard? Is BlackBerry coming prepared to make the end-user get out of this zone and again make physical keyboards a trend? We can expect more developments in the coming months as anticipation for the smartphone rises; until then BlackBerry has its work cut out.

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The Price Of More Clarity

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Interestingly, the WH-1000XM5 join, rather than replace, the 1000XM4’s. The former go on sale at $399.99; the latter remain on shelves for $50 less than that, though fairly regular promotions mean you can usually find them cheaper still.

As for which you should buy, that’s not the clear answer you might expect. Yes, Sony’s newest headphones have slightly better ANC performance, but the audio changes will definitely come down to personal taste and the styles of music you listen to the most. The updated design, meanwhile, feels sleek and sturdy, but can’t match that of the old version for travel convenience. And both persist with the annoying Sony foibles, like no USB-C audio and no waterproofing.

Anyone thinking about upgrading from the fourth-generation can probably sit tight until generation six arrives, while Apple’s AirPods Max still have the edge in premium feel (even if they’re considerably heavier and more expensive in the process). Road warriors looking for the tidiest bag might want to stick with the old WH-1000XM4 for their compact folding, but if active noise cancellation is — understandably — your primary concern, then the Sony WH-1000XM5 have the edge.

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12 Best Uses For Old Laptops

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Have one (or several) old laptops lying around your home? What you actually have is a productivity master waiting to reach its full potential

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Realme’s Next Premium Tablet Looks To Have An Unusual Design

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Even though we still have six days before the Realme Pad X launches in China, some of the specs of the Realme Pad X have already been confirmed by Realme’s CMO Xu Qi Chase, GSMArena claims. We know that this mid-range tablet will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset. This also means that the Realme Pad X will become the first Realme tablet to feature 5G connectivity. While the CMO did not reveal the rest of the specs, there’s been rumors about the likelihood of the Realme Pad fetting a QHD+ display that could also support a 120 Hz refresh rate.

From the images, it is also evident that the Realme Pad X gets a single rear-facing camera that is situated on an unusually large camera bump. There is a smaller circle below the rear camera with a prominent “AI” logo. The tablet also skips an LED flash for low-light situations.

Designwise, the Realme Pad looks like a contemporary tablet with small bezels and flat sides. One of the invites also showcases the Realme Pad X being used with a stylus. It remains to be seen if this accessory will be part of the retail package or an optional extra. With the launch date for this product a week away, there is a good chance that we could have additional details about the Realme Pad X before the official launch.

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