BlackBerry last week made an announcement that its smartphones will now be manufactured and sold by TCL Communication (TCT). One week after the BlackBerry-TCL partnership news, TCL has now said that it will launch new BlackBerry smartphones at the CES 2017 trade show. However, there are no details regarding the new devices, but one of them could bring the BlackBerry’s signature physical QWERTY keyboard.
TCL Communication said the CES presentation will “include a first look at how the BlackBerry brand legacy will live on in a new generation of smartphones.” It’s evident BlackBerry is betting on the new partnership with China’s TCL to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. To recall, BlackBerry in September made a bold announcement that it’s quitting the mobile manufacturing business, and would solely focus on its software unit. The company recently launched the Android-powered DTEK60, which was manufactured under an agreement with TCL Communication.
Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for TCL Communication (TCT), North America commented, “We’ll unveil more news at CES around our plans, showcasing the legacy of the BlackBerry smartphone brand, while also giving a glimpse into what new BlackBerry smartphones will offer as part of our bold new brand portfolio within TCT. These are just the building blocks of our new growth strategy, with additional announcements to come in 2017.”
The new TCL-made BlackBerry QWERTY device is expected to be the rumoured BlackBerry Mercury, whose specifications were leaked online with images earlier this month. The rumoured BlackBerry Mercury is touted to have a fingerprint sensor integrated into the space bar. It is also expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 625 CPU, and house a 4.5-inch display. The smartphone has been spotted on GeekBench as well, and the leak hints at 3GB of RAM, 32GB of inbuilt storage, a 3400mAh battery, an 18-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It is said to run Android 7.0 Nougat with BlackBerry’s own customisations for security.
At this point, we are uncertain on when this device will be unveiled and what name it will commercially bear, but they are expected to hit the US first. Notably, BlackBerry’s partnership with TCL does not allow it to sell its new mobile devices in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia, some of BlackBerry’s biggest handset markets.
Ahead of the CES 2017 trade show in Las Vegas, LG has launched four new K-series smartphones, and the new Stylus 3. The South Korean company says that the new 2017 variants of the LG K3, K4, K8, K10 smartphones, and the Stylus 3 will strengthen its portfolio in the mid-range segment. All the new LG smartphones will be showcased at the CES 2017 event.
LG says that the 2017 K-series mid-range smartphones sport features such as a 120-degree wide-angle front camera lens and rear fingerprint scanner. The company adds that the new 2017 K-series smartphones have been designed with the “the diverse needs of consumers in mind.” LG has confirmed that the market availability will be announced locally in the weeks to come.
For specifications, the LG K3 (2017) features a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) IPS display and sport a 1.1GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of inbuilt storage with expandable storage support up to 32GB via microSD card. The Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based LG K3 sports a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and also houses a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It measures 133.9×69.7×9.4mm and weighs 132 grams. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, 3G, GPRS/ EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, and Micro-USB. LG K3 (2017) is backed by a 2100mAh removable battery and will be available in Metallic Titan as well as Pink Gold colours.
The LG K4 (2017) features a 5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display with a pixel density of 196ppi. It is powered by the same processor as the LG K3. The LG K4 packs 1GB of LPDDR3 RAM and comes with 8GB inbuilt storage with expandable storage support via microSD card (up to 32GB). It sports 5-megapixel front and rear cameras. LG K4 (2017) packs a 2500mAh removable battery and runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. It measures 144.7×72.6×7.9mm and weighs 135 grams. Connectivity options on the handset include 4G LTE, 3G, GPRS/ EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n, Bluetooth 4.1, and Micro-USB. The LG K4 will be available in Titan and Black colours.
The LG K8 (2017) features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display with a pixel density of 294ppi. It is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 MSM8917 processor coupled with 1.5GB of LPDDR3 RAM. LG K8 (2017) includes 16GB inbuilt storage and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 32GB). The handset sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. It is backed by a 2500mAh removable battery. The LG K8 runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, 3G, GPRS/ EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n, Bluetooth 4.2, Micro-USB, and NFC. It measures 144.8×72.1×8.09mm and weighs 142 grams. It will be available in Silver, Titan, Dark Blue, and Gold colours.
The LG K10 (2017) (seen above) features a 5.3-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display with a pixel density of 277ppi. The handset is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor clocked at 1.5GHz. It comes with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM and the handset will be available in two storage options – 16GB and 32GB inbuilt. The LG K10 supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 2TB). It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. It is backed by a 2800mAh removable battery. The Android 7.0 Nougat-based K10 supports 4G LTE, GPRS/ EDGE, and 3G connectivity options. It measures 148.7×75.3×7.9mm and weighs 142 grams. It will be available in Black, Titan, and Gold colours.
Lastly, the LG Stylus 3 features a 5.7-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display with a pixel density of 258ppi. It is powered by the same processor that powers the LG K10. It packs a 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM and comes with 16GB inbuilt storage. The handset supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 2TB). It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. The handset is backed by a 3200mAh removable battery and it runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. As the name suggests, the LG Stylus 3 (seen below) supports stylus pen and comes with 4G LTE connectivity feature.
Commenting on the launches, Juno Cho, president of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company said, “Our 2017 mass-tier, mid-range smartphones focus on giving our customers a wide variety of options and choices for their smartphone lifestyles. What’s consistent in all our K Series and Stylus 3 devices is that they look and feel premium, offer replaceable batteries and all come with expandable memory slots, what customers consider key factors when buying smartphones in this category.”
Samsung announced Friday it would disable its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US market to force remaining owners to stop using the devices, which were recalled for safety reasons.
The South Korean electronics giant, the world’s biggest smartphone vendor, said 93 percent of Galaxy Note 7 phones in the United States had been returned to the company after its recall earlier this year, which came amid reports of devices exploding or catching fire.
But to get any remaining devices off the market, Samsung said it would deliver an over-the-air update that prevents the phones from charging.
“To further increase participation (in the recall), a software update will be released starting on December 19 that will prevent US Galaxy Note 7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices,” Samsung said in a statement.
(Also see: Galaxy Note 7 Recall Didn’t Damage Samsung Brand in the US, Poll Finds)
The company recalled some 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s in 10 markets following complaints that its lithium-ion battery exploded while charging, and then had to expand that as reports emerged of replacement phones also catching fire.
As many as 1.9 million of the phones were sold in the United States, where authorities banned the device from use in airplanes and even from being placed in checked luggage.
Samsung said the latest move is “in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and in partnership with carriers and retailers.”
“Since the affected devices can overheat and pose a safety risk, we are asking consumers with a Galaxy Note 7 to power it down and contact the carrier or retail outlet where they purchased their device,” the statement said.
Consumers are able to exchange their phone for another Samsung smartphone, or receive a refund.
US carrier Verizon said, however, that it would not participate in the update to disable the phones “because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to.”
“We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation,” Verizon said in a statement.
With the aim to cover more than 10 states with one million sales volume by 2017, Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad on Monday announced that it will start selling smartphones through offline channels.
Coolpad will establish 5,000 core shops and 10,000 retail shops by 2017, the company said in a statement. “Since the launch of Coolpad in India, we have sold more than one million smartphones and are confident that the offline presence will contribute majorly to our growth trajectory in India for 2017,” said Syed Tajuddin, CEO of Coolpad India.
Coolpad’s recently launched Note 3S will also be available in offline stores for which Amazon India will be the national distributor. The Coolpad Note 3S sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1080 pixels) IPS display with 2.5D screen protection. It is powered by the 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 415 MSM8929 octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM. It offers 32GB of internal storage with the option to expand further via a microSD slot (up to 32GB).
The Coolpad Note 3S runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow based of Cool UI 8.0. Optics include a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and f/2.2 aperture. There’s a 5-megapixel selfie camera with fixed focus and f/2.2 aperture as well. It packs a 2500mAh battery that is claimed to last up to 200 hours on standby. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0, and 4G VoLTE.