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Jul 10, 2015

BlackBerry to Launch Multiple Android-Based Smartphones in H2 2015




Following the partnership announcement between BlackBerry and Google, a new report claiming that the Canadian company is in talks with ODMs for the release of multiple Android smartphones this year has just emerged.

According to Digitimes, BlackBerry has already approached some of the biggest ODMs, including Foxconn, Compal and Wistron, for possible production partnerships that will see the Canadian company launch Android-based smartphones in the second half of the year. The information has been confirmed by sources at Taiwan's handset supply chain and also mentions that these customized Android smartphones will integrate various BlackBerry OS features, including BES12, BBM, and BlackBerry Blend. The report somewhat comes in line with the latest announcements from BlackBerry, as the company has confirmed a new partnership with Google and launched a new version of BES12 with enhanced multi-OS support.

On top of that, BlackBerry Blend has just left beta and is now available for download on Android, iOS and BlackBerry 10 via Google Play Store, App Store, and BlackBerry World.

BlackBerry will not spend any money on R&D, distribution channels
But that's not all, as the same report also claims that BlackBerry will not be losing any money since these three ODMs will be paying the R&D, marketing and channel distribution expenses for all BlackBerry smartphones powered by Android that will be launched in the coming months. ODMs hope that BlackBerry's high brand image in some markets will boost the sale of these smartphones, especially since they will be powered by Android OS.

BlackBerry already has a partnership with Foxconn for the production of BlackBerry smartphones, but the Canadian company wishes to increase the competitiveness of its hardware products, which is why it has decided to approach more ODMs like Compal and Winstron. In a recent statement, BlackBerry's CEO John Chen had the following to say about rumors claiming that the company will launch Android smartphones:

“We only build secure phones. And BlackBerry is the most secure phone. So if I can find a way to secure the Android phone, I will also build that.”

BlackBerry Venice
Image credits to EvLeaks

Samsung Galaxy A8 Leaks Again in New Press Render




We already know Samsung is likely to launch the Galaxy A8 on July 17, though the smartphone will only be available in China initially.

The same source that revealed to us the launch date of the smartphone also confirmed the Galaxy A8 won't come cheap. The device will be available for purchase for around $500 or €450 outright. This is the price from China, Malaysia and Vietnam, but we're not sure if Samsung will make it available in Europe and North America at a slightly price.

The good news we now have a press render that shows the Samsung Galaxy A8 in all its glory. The phone really looks stylish, but the Galaxy A8 might be slightly overpriced for what it has to offer in terms of specs. Speaking of which, the Galaxy A8 is said to come with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution.

When it comes to hardware, the smartphone is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, which is paired with 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal memory. There's no word on microSD card slot, but we do know the Galaxy A8 will pack a 16-megapixel main camera, a secondary 5-megapixel camera in the front and a 3,050 mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy A8
Image credits to OnLeaks

Xiaomi Mi5 Plus Spotted at TENAA with 5.7-Inch QHD Display, 4GB RAM




Xiaomi's Mi5 Plus is one of the most expected flagship smartphones this year. The big brother of the Mi5 will be unveiled in the coming months, but it will probably be available only in China initially.

The Mi5 Plus will be one of the first Android smartphones to ship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor inside. The new chipset hasn't been made commercially available yet, but we expect that to happen this fall. This is why the most probably timeframe for Xiaomi Mi5 Plus release would be this fall, but we expect more details on a smaller timeframe to emerge in the coming weeks. Now, Xiaomi Mi5 Plus has been recently spotted at TENAA, the Chinese regulatory commission, a new report confirms. Luckily, the filing also contains lots of info on the phone's specs sheet.

First of all, it looks like Xiaomi will be putting a large 5.7-inch capacitive touchscreen display inside the Mi5 Plus in order to differentiate from the standard Mi5 model. The phone's display will be protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 coating and it will feature Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) which was to be expected.

The beast inside the beast
As mentioned earlier, the smartphone will be equipped with a powerful, and hopefully much more cooler (literally), 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor clocked at 2GHz. On top of that, the Mi5 Plus will pack no less than 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal memory. Unfortunately, there's a high chance that Xiaomi's flagship smartphone will lack microSD card slot, but 64GB should be plenty of storage. The specs sheet listed at TENAA also includes a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, dual-tone LED flash and video recording, while in the front there will be a 4- or 5-megapixel camera for selfies and video calls.

All of the above will be powered by a 3,500 mAh battery. It's also worth mentioning that the Xiaomi Mi5 Plus will offer both 4G LTE and dual-SIM support. For the time being, we know the smartphone runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with MIUI 6 on top, but Xiaomi might put a newer version of the OS by the time the Mi5 Plus goes on sale.



Xiaomi Mi5 Plus
Images credits to TENAA

BlackBerry and Google Announce Partnership for Android Business




Rumors about BlackBerry entering the Android smartphone market continue to pop up, even though the Canadian company was never explicit on the matter.

In the last statement offered by the company's CEO John Chen, he says that BlackBerry will launch an Android smartphone, but only if it can make it secure. Well, it looks like BlackBerry might try to make Android secure, or at least is working with Google on that matter. Today, the Canadian company has announced a new partnership with Google, which focuses on enterprise business. Both companies are now working together to implement some of the most important BES12 features into Android.

Google needs BlackBerry's expertise in enterprise security, while BlackBerry needs to tap into the huge Android market that could bring the company even more customers.

The partnership focuses on application management
Although BES12 already features Android Lollipop support, BlackBerry's security solution will now be implemented with Google Play Work, thus focusing on application management. According to BlackBerry, “new features are now available through Android and BES12 that enable organizations to further secure enterprise and personal data on Android devices, set new levels of hardware based encryption, and ensure tight integration with Google Play for Work, for increased application management, while delivering a consistent end-user and management experience across their Android fleet.”

These are all the details provided by BlackBerry and Google for the moment, but we expect the Canadian company to issue an official statement in the next couple of days. Until then, BlackBerry has announced the launch of BES12 version 12.2, which features enhanced multi-OS support. This is just another first step for implementing BlackBerry's security solution into major operating systems other then BlackBerry.

It's unclear what will happen with BlackBerry 10 or the company's devices division, but for the time being, the Canadian company has no reason to abandon any of them.

BlackBerry BES12 + Android

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