The very first rugged BlackBerry smartphone is upon as BlackBerry and TCL have announced the first fruit towards this purpose – the BlackBerry Motion, which the brand’s first official dust and water-resistant BlackBerry handset
The BlackBerry Motion will be finally made available in the US, as it was only first available in Canada before this and other select markets as well. As of now, only Amazon and Best Buy will get to sell the smartphone for the price of $449.99. The variant on offer will be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile, but not on Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular. Of course, the biggest feature of the phone is that it is both dust and water resistant. Having said that, the internals are fairly mid-range.
Apart from the ruggedness, another big appealing factor for the phone is that it comes with a huge battery. Thanks to the internal 4,000mAh battery, we do know that the phone can last for two full days with a full-charge, perfect for camping and long business trips. On the inside, the phone is powered by the Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. The screen on the phone is an adequate 1080p panel at 5.5-inches. Buyers will unfortunately only get Android Nougat 7.1 out of the box and a promise for Oreo coming later this year.
In terms of design, BlackBerry has not gone the route that most smartphones have treaded, ignoring bezel-less displays and narrower aspect ratios. Fortunately, this also means that BlackBerry keeps the headphone jack so users can enjoy the analogue way of listening to music. In terms of other software features, while it isn’t the latest and greatest of Android offerings, the stability and security of the BlackBerry-integrated OS takes the form of stock Android UI. There are the usual suspects that we have come to know of the company, with notable BlackBerry-exclusive apps such as the BlackBerry Hub as well as a new feature known as “Locker”. Locker stores important and sensitive text messages and images locked inside a specially protected locked part of the phone. If the phone is not in the user’s hands, others will not be able to access that information.
Technically, the phone is not exactly a new model since it was released last year so we probably should discount the fact that it will feature slightly outdated specifications for the current year, even though the Snapdragon 625 is a capable chip. We are not sure, however, if $450 is enough is enough to justify buying a new BlackBerry smartphone with standard mid-range specifications, when we can get the same performance from Xiaomi’s Mi A1 for nearly half that price.