The phone will also offer a lot of content for the Indian audience and will include apps like Wonobo, a Google Streetview-like mapping serving covering top cities. The phone comes with a keyboard that is as good with Hindi and Hinglish as it is with English.
Blackberry India MD Sunil Lalvani said the phone has been designed keeping today’s India and its requirements in mind. “This is the first phone to come out of our partnership with Foxconn,” he said, adding that five-year strategic partnership with the Taiwanese manufacturer shows they were not taking away focus from devices.
Lalvani said the VAT structures and Customs Duty does not allow the company to launch the phone in India at the $200 price point it is sold in Indonesia now. Incidentally, in a poll conducted today, over 80 per cent of indianexpress.com readers said they would buy the phone at Rs 11,000, which the equivalent of the phone’s price in Indonesia.
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The Z3 is a 5-inch phablet that runs the Canadian smartphone maker’s latest BB 10.2.1 operating system. This is the first phone for which Blackberry is touting the Android compatibility of its new OS.
Blackberry India product head Advait Vaidya told Indianexpress.com that the company has brought in Android app compatibility because users have been asking for this feature.
“You can download apps from thrit-party app store and they will work. Going forward, Amazon app store will come preburned in devices with BB 10.3 OS,” he said. Blackberry is quite confident that this will add to the appeal of their new devices for Indian customers. Vaidya said they will have in-shop promoters to help people understand how to load Android apps, “though we don’t explicitly promote it”.
This means the phone will give users the security and ease of use Blackberry is known for along with the app ecosystem that Android brings to its devices. Incidentally, within a few months BB 10 users will be able to access the Amazon app store directly from their devices.
Size: (Height 140 mm / 5.51 in; Width 72.8 mm / 2.87 in; Depth 9.26 mm / 0.36 in)
Screen: 5″ 540 x 960 qHD resolution with 24-bit color
Processor: Dual Core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm MSM8230 with 1.5GB RAM and 8GB Flash storage expandable up to 32 GB
Camera: 5MP auto-focus rear camera and 1.1MP fixed-focus front camera
Battery: 2500mAH non-removable battery
Read the BlackBerry Z3 review here next week.