Category: RIM Blackberry


Source:Anandtech

The Blackberry Playbook is due to be released on the 19th of April and the reviews are in.

Most tech writers such as David Pogue of the New York Times and Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal have not been very favourable. They are comparing the device to the iPad/iPad2 and feel that it lacks core applications such as email, calendar and contacts functions. Of course, the lack of a wider market of applications in this day and age is seen in poor light.

RIM has promised regular software updates to make up for the latter issue. Thus, it does make it difficult to recommend as a must buy. Apple, still has the lead in providing a complete package upon release and has the lead on regular software updates.

However, the Playbook does bring certain unique features to the table such as good multitasking( WebOS style), HDMI mirroring without the need of an adapter, decent onboard front and rear cameras and a decent understated sophisticated design. The OS is unique in that it is designed by QNX, a company that was acquired by RIM. Thus, it is bringing an alternative UI to the mass market.

Dedicated Blackberry users will find this tablet most useful as it has a feature called Blackberry Bridge, which connects the Blackberry devices with the PlayBook in a secure manner. It is the Blackberry users who would most benefit from the PlayBook.

My two cents on the matter is this: It is early days in the tablet industry and I, like many other sensible tech observers, feel that there is no clear winner. The PlayBook is a solid device with a list of shortcomings which will take a few months to improve. RIM clearly has hit a good first base with this device and I look forward to the improvements to the existing Playbook and seeing what RIM has in store for the second Playbook.

Anandtech has provided an objective review of the Playbook and is worth reading.

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The Torch has been put through the paces and the message is clear: It’s a decent enough Blackberry but it suffers in comparison to competition out there.

The following points summarize the impressions by Engadget and Gizmodo

  • The hardware and quality of the keyboard is well built.
  • Touchscreen resolution is low in comparison to the competition(iPhone4 , Android phones)
  • The hardware(Marvell CPU at 624MHz and 512 RAM) is adequate but the performance is sluggish at times, even when the phone isn’t pushed to its limits.
  • The new Blackberry OS version 6.0 has some decent refinements that will be appreciated by Blackberry users but those used to the iPhone and Android devices will not be overly impressed.
  • The quality of the messaging system and the universal search feature are top notch.
  • The inclusion of a WebKit browser is a good improvement in comparison to previous models but the low resolution of the screen makes it a suboptimal experience.

RIM is basically taking small steps to make the Blackberry more consumer friendly. This may not be enough in the current mobile climate.

Do read the reviews for yourself at Engadget and Gizmodo.

The Torch

The Blackberry Torch has been released and here are the initial impressions from various reliable tech sites. Enjoy the read.

Ars Technica

TechRadar

CNET UK

RIM has announced its new device, the Blackberry Torch.
It’s a slider form factor with an underlying QWERTY keyboard.

RIM has also launched the new version of the Blackberry operating system, Blackberry OS 6.

RIM has conducted the product launch in an Apple-esque way and this style of product launch is something new for the company seeking to move into the mass consumer market.

RIM is doing well enough in the enterprise sector but it clearly sees that the ever growing smartphone user base is something that they need to tap in order to gain a stronger foothold against its main competitors, Apple and Google.

The fine folks at Engadget have the latest on the device and you can access their webpage via this link.

Research in Motion(RIM) has been the creative force behind the messaging centric Blackberry mobile devices.

The advent and increasing popularity of the iPhone and the rise of the Android based smartphones have increased the competition in the high end smartphone sector. The iPhone has begun to create a significant impact on Blackberry’s dominance in enterprise as more companies make the switch to equipping their staff with iPhones. In  recent post by Engadget, 50 percent of Blackberry users plan to shift to the iPhone and Android devices.

I had covered the RIM’s new version of the Blackberry’s OS in an earlier post and now RIM is in the throes of of unveiling this new OS and a new device called Blackberry 9800.

The Blackberry 9800, courtesy of leaked spy shots, is slider phone with a touchscreen cum underlying QWERTY keyboard. There have been many leaked shots and a video walkthrough of the device. Engadget posted a report on the device with the images and video walkthrough sourced from China based Blackberry Times.

RIM is need of an OS and device refresh and this device may be the first step in a new direction. RIM has also been reported to have aspirations of releasing a tablet device by the end of the year. The OS has a greater emphasis on multimedia consumption and the verdict will be given in due course by the tech blogsout there.

All will be revealed by Wednesday.

Blackberry OS 6.0

There’s been something interesting going on at Research In Motion(RIM), the Canadian company behind the Blackberry.

These devices have been the mainstay of the business community for years and are generally viewed a messaging centric devices. Blackberry devices have always had a full QWERTY physical keyboards for a long time and other devices with this form factor(Nokia E71, E72) have been often erroneously referred to as Blackberry like devices by the non gadget savvy consumer.

Blackberry devices have a large following amongst a wide spectrum of consumers. These devices are surprisingly popular amongst the social messaging centric teens(with indulgent parents) and twenty somethings. It could be the combination a tactile keyboard and the unlimited Blackberry messaging service that comes with their plan.

RIM had taken the touchscreen route with the Blackberry Storm 1 and 2. I had found these devices to be rather average in my limited “hands on time” with them. Their signature physical QWERTY phones are still class acts. That said, I am not a fan of the Blackberry OS which feels rather cumbersome and somewhat dated. It is no doubt an unfair comment given my limited experience with the OS. It is, of course a matter of preference and there are many Blackberry users who are happy with the OS.

Apple’s mobile market share is rising fast in North America and this progress threatens RIM’s market share amongst business users.

RIM is now in the throes of launching their new device rumoured as the Blackberry Bold 9800. Whilst the name and nature of the device is speculative at this point in time, what is more concrete is the teaser video of the latest Blackberry OS released by RIM.

The features of the new Blackberry OS 6.0 appears to have a refreshed user interface more suited to a full touchscreen device. As to how this user interface will figure in RIM’s physical QWERTY devices remains to be seen.

RIM is responding to the competition and with this OS update, they may be able to spread their consumer base. Competition is tougher than ever in the smartphone sector and the RIM is certainly rising to meet the challenge posed by an ever evolving mobile marketplace.

Always in motion, the future is.