The aging tech giant has become so fundamental to the Ontario economy that its newest phone, seen widely as its last chance at relevance, is a matter of national importance. Like Americans watching the auto industry, Canadians have waited anxiously for the newest Blackberry model, economy maker-slash-breaker that it is forecast to be. Now the website tinhte.vn is giving us a glimpse of the new L-series smartphone, though you might have to squint to notice that it’s not from Apple.
It’s certainly a classy-looking phone, sleek and well engineered, but one wonders if visibility should have been a bigger priority. Still, nobody can say that the Blackberry brand will continue without a smartphone aimed at mass appeal. Its design, reminiscent of the iPhone and Samsung’s explosively popular Galaxy style, might be enough to get consumers once again thinking of RIM as a regular contender for smartphone dominance. Previously, with their distinctive shape, keyboard and controls, Blackberry had existed as a distinctly separate runner, a business-focused tool only indirectly competing with Apple and the Android posse. That model eroded as consumer smartphones gained business-level function, and the leaked L-series is RIM’s naked attempt to prove that it too can hang with the kids.
The shots don’t offer an abundance of detail, especially given the minimalist design. What we can see is a large, sleek display, which sits flush with the phone body, a front- and rear-facing camera, and ports for microUSB, HDMI connector and microSD. Investigation also revealed a fairly standard 1800 mAh battery. Few were worried about RIM’s ability to make solid hardware, however, as they’ve been doing that for decades. It’s the software suite that will determine how useful the thing really is for business, and perhaps more importantly, for pleasure.