The Blackberry Aurora Effect
Hot off the heels of the Blackberry KEYone finally being announced this year at MWC 17, news of another Blackberry handset has broken: the Blackberry Aurora. As with most things to do with the once-great smartphone giant, the handset is interesting. Or, rather, the existence of the handset is non-standard.
For a start, the handset isn’t made by Blackberry, the holders of the Blackberry IP, or Blackberry Mobile. For those who haven’t been paying attention to the Canadian brand, Blackberry Mobile is the offshoot of TCL who is making the hardware for the Blackberry KEYone. TCL are rather large: they also own the Alcatel brand. You may remember that they released the DTEK 50, which itself was a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4, layered on top with the secure Blackberry implementation.
But the Blackberry Aurora is something of an anomaly. Instead, the handset was made in partnership with an Indonesian Joint Venture called PT BB Merah Putih.
The handset itself is being released with Android 7.0. This should be standard by now, seeing as Android Nougat came out back last year. You would have expected other manufacturers to have been able to push out the update to their unlocked handsets by now. Yes, we’re looking at you Samsung for your Galaxy S7 line.
Anyways, back to the Blackberry Aurora, which has a 5.5 inch screen at a 720 pixel resolution. On top of that, the information we have currently is that it is packing a 3000 mAh battery and a Snapdragon 425 processor.
The Blackberry Aurora couples that with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. For photography duties, there’s a 13 MP camera on the back and an 8 MP front facing camera, because Lord forbid you don’t take the best shot for your corporate photo. In terms of pocketability, it comes in at 152 x 76.8 x 8.55 mm, which isn’t the craziest thing I’ve heard.
All in all, it seems like a very thoughtfully put together handset for someone who wants to be in touch on the move and throughout the day, without worrying overly about their phone dying on them. The Snapdragon 425 processor is pretty efficient, if not the most powerful one in the lineup, but if you aren’t intending to do a lot of gaming on your 720 screen, then that’s another smart move.
And if you’re thinking that the screen resolution feels a little low in 2017? Think of it this way: the less the processor has to work out what the pixels are doing, the longer the battery lasts.
The Blackberry Aurora has been slated to come out in Indonesia only on March 13th. The chances of us seeing it in the U.K. are likely slim, but stranger things have happened.
BB MERAH PUTIH INTRODUCES BLACKBERRY AURORA TO THE INDONESIAN MARKET
Through its strategic licensing partnership, BB Merah Putih launches its first BlackBerrybranded device in Indonesia, the BlackBerry Aurora
Jakarta – March 9, 2017
Today, BB Merah Putih, one of Indonesia’s leading smartphone manufacturers, unveiled a new BlackBerry smartphone in Indonesia – The BlackBerry Aurora. The launch represents the first BlackBerry smartphone released by BB Merah Putih under its new brand licensing agreement signed with BlackBerry Limited in September 2016. Offering the first Indonesian manufactured BlackBerry-branded device, powered by the world’s most secure version of Android, customers can expect very exciting features and applications, equipped with BlackBerry’s trusted software security and mobility solutions.
“We are very excited and enthusiastic about the opportunity to launch the BlackBerry Aurora in Indonesia. The BlackBerry Aurora is not only the first BlackBerry-branded device to ever be produced in Indonesia, but it is the first BlackBerry device in the world to be equipped with dual-SIM functionality,” says Stanly Widjaja, Vice President BB Merah Putih. “This new device is designed specifically to fulfill the needs of Indonesian customers with full entertainment features packaged in a premium device that also delivers the productivity, privacy and security that the BlackBerry brand delivers.”
“We sincerely congratulate BB Merah Putih on the new BlackBerry Aurora, the latest device launched under our software licensing strategy and new model for delivering the “smart” in the smartphone,” said Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobility Solutions for BlackBerry. “Our customers in Indonesia are very important to BlackBerry, and as we focus on software innovation, we are very excited about our partnership with BB Merah Putih to deliver high-quality devices with the BlackBerry security DNA our customers are so familiar with.”
BlackBerry has a long history in Indonesia, connecting and protecting millions of mobile customers that use secure BlackBerry products to grow their businesses and stay in touch with friends and family. With this partnership, BB Merah Putih and BlackBerry are continuing to deliver a high quality mobile experience with the security and productivity that customers expect with the BlackBerry brand, but with features that are specifically designed for Indonesian customers.
The beautifully designed BlackBerry Aurora comes with a number of features that are uniquely BlackBerry. Out of the box, the device runs OS Android 7.0 Nougat – giving users access to the entire Google Play store and apps – and will receive regular security updates. It will come pre-loaded with BlackBerry Hub®, a unified messaging inbox which combines emails, texts and messages from any social media account.
What really sets a BlackBerry smartphone apart from other Android devices are the enhanced security features built into every device right from the start. From a hardened operating system to BlackBerry Limited’s proprietary technique for establishing a hardware root of trust by adding security keys to the processor, the BlackBerry Aurora is intentionally designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible. The BlackBerry Aurora comes pre-loaded with DTEK™ by BlackBerry, offering constant security monitoring and protection of your operating system and apps by letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it. A quick glimpse lets you see the overall security rating for your device and allows the user to easily improve their security status. This BlackBerry security application monitors other apps, alerting you if one is accessing your camera to take a picture or video, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, or accessing your contacts or location.
THE BLACKBERRY AURORA EXPERIENCE
The BlackBerry Aurora is a dual SIM 4G LTE smartphone that operates with Android 7.0 Nougat, with a 5.5” inch screen and 4GB RAM memory. Fusing the latest technology with 4G LTE network speed, vibrant HD 720p wide screen and 4GB memory, the BlackBerry Aurora delivers the best performance to fulfill one’s needs for a smartphone.
Beyond the design and security features that make the BlackBerry Aurora so distinct, these additional features truly reinvent mobile communications for the business user by ensuring that a business user has continuous, secure and productive mobile access to their office regardless of where they might be in the world. At the core of this new BlackBerry smartphone is a Qualcomm® Snapdragon ™ Quad-Core 1.4GHz processor with a 3,000 mAh Li-ion battery – allowing the device to receive optimal performance and connectivity for 30 hours straight.
James Cathey, Vice President and President, Asia Pacific and India from Qualcomm has congratulated BB Merah Putih for the launch of BlackBerry Aurora. “We are very happy to be able to collaborate with our strategic partner, BB Merah Putih to help transform an important business in the Indonesian market through the launch of the BlackBerry Aurora,” says Cathey. “As an innovator that has continually pushed the evolution of mobile communications, Qualcomm, together with BlackBerry and BB Merah Putih, is committed to contribute to the creation of valuable user experiences for the people of Indonesia and we will continually support the growth of local mobile industries.”
As part of the exciting launch of the BlackBerry Aurora, Rudiantara, The Minister of Telecommunication and Information attended the ceremony to congratulate BB Merah Putih for the launch of the BlackBerry Aurora in the Indonesian market.
Minister Rudiantra says, “BB Merah Putih is a symbol of the pride and spirit of Indonesia and the launch of the BlackBerry Aurora is evidence of Indonesia’s ability to manufacture high technological products to a global standard. We believe that the BlackBerry Aurora will set the benchmark for the performance of local industries and manufacturers and will also create opportunities for the growth of the smartphone industry in Indonesia.”
From today, BlackBerry Aurora can be purchased at a price of Rp. 3,499,000 through preorders in various online e-commerce in Indonesia starting on Friday, March 3, 2017 until Sunday, March 12, 2017. Throughout the pre-order period, customers have the chance to receive a special prize as well payment options with a one-year instalment. BlackBerry Aurora is also supported by quality network services in big cities across Indonesia.