BlackBerry Evolve and Evolve X go official with trendy screens and reasonable prices

BlackBerry Evolve and Evolve X go official with trendy screens and reasonable prices
Some of you may not know this, but the BlackBerry brand legacy is actually carried on today by not one, not two, but three official hardware licensing partners. While China’s TCL is in charge of designing, manufacturing, and advertising BlackBerry smartphones like the hot new KEY2 or the lower-profile Motion in most global markets, including the US, a little company called BB Merah Putih makes even humbler handsets like the Aurora, sold exclusively in Indonesia.

Finally, there’s Optiemus Infracom, a respected veteran of India’s thriving mobile technology landscape, which got in business with Canada’s BlackBerry Limited way back in February 2017, only now launching its first two original designs.

The BlackBerry Evolve and Evolve X are a couple of modern all-touch affairs, sharing a relatively large and sharp 2:1 5.99-inch display with 2,160 x 1,080 (aka FHD+) resolution, as well as respectably thin screen bezels. Sadly, like the Indonesia-exclusive Aurora, odds are these two will never be (officially) released in Europe or North America.

Running Android 8.1 Oreo out the box, the Evolve duo also makes use of the BlackBerry DTEK security and privacy-controlling software package, although it remains to be seen how fast and often major updates will be delivered. After all, TCL hasn’t exactly done a stellar job of supporting its devices either.


Sticking to what we know, it’s interesting to note the dual camera arrangements on the backs of the BlackBerry Evolve and Evolve X are similar, but not identical. The former model comes with a 13MP RGB and 13MP monochrome sensor, while the higher-end version sports a 12MP standard shooter and 13MP telephoto lens.

Both phones have a single 16MP front-facing cam in tow, as well as a hefty 4,000 mAh battery, rear-mounted fingerprint scanners, and even (basic) facial recognition technology. The BlackBerry Evolve X packs a significantly speedier Snapdragon 660 processor than its sibling’s 450 silicon, also bumping up the memory count from 4 to 6GB RAM, while accommodating the same 64 gigs of data internally.

The “standard” BlackBerry Evolve is set to regionally go on sale later this month for the rough equivalent of $365 (24,990 rupees), while Evolve X availability will only kick off around mid-September at a steeper Rs. 34,990, or $510. Global rollouts seem highly unlikely, which is unfortunate given what looks like pretty great value for money, at least on paper.

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15 Comments

1. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Blackberry name aside, no reason to buy it when 6/128GB Mi A2 costs 349 euro

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22423; Member since: May 28, 2014

If you’re in the market for the most secure Android devices, then you have all the reasons in the world to buy them.

4. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Less than 1% of the total smartphone users are in the market for the most secure Android devices.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 22423; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry smartphones are aimed at that exact niche market that’s looking for/needs such secure devices. Don’t know why people just can’t seem to grasp that concept by now.

7. STRANG3R

Posts: 234; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Ya but still their keyone is on nougat

10. meanestgenius

Posts: 22423; Member since: May 28, 2014

KEYᵒⁿᵉ is on Oreo beta now for some units, and guaranteed to receive it. Next.

14. Venom

Posts: 3802; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Nougat is 22 months old. Let that sink in.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 22423; Member since: May 28, 2014

Better to be on an older version of Android with your phone having less software issues and up to date security than being first and having a plethora of issues like the Pixel line. Let that sink in.

8. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Yet they aim to have 10-12% market share by end of the year, I don't think that niche market can make that 12%

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 22423; Member since: May 28, 2014

Actually, they aim to have 3% to 5% of the PREMIUM smartphone market. And that’s just BlackBerry Mobile/TCL, not the other two BlackBerry brand OEM’s. No timeframe was given, either. https://m.crackberry.com/blackberry-here-stay-blackberry-mobile-looks-toward-capturing-least-3-percent-premium-market#FYuXYX4jDfuW8J4m.97

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22423; Member since: May 28, 2014

Optiemus is looking for that 10-12%, and that’s only in the price segment of Rs 25,000 to Rs 45,000, of which most of that (Rs 30,000 and above) percentage is the premium smartphone market, with a small portion is outside of the premium smartphone market. Considering their competitive pricing, it’s possible that they can achieve that.

9. BuffaloSouce unregistered

The guy likes to cosplay as a UFC fighter..grasping the concept is kind of difficult for him

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 22423; Member since: May 28, 2014

Hey PA, in an earlier article, you guys said that these would be rolling out globally under the Ghost/Ghost Pro monickers. What makes you say differently now? The Evolve X seems pretty sweet. I’m a fan of the SD600 series. That large battery with the 660 will ensure some phenomenal battery life, and that’s what BlackBerry smartphones are known for. Should they launch globally under the Ghost/Ghost Pro names, the Ghost Pro would be my choice. Just need to see some how they perform. Not a big fan of the SD450, but I’ll reserve final judgement after I see how well the Evolve preforms. Pricing is definitely reasonable. These should hit whatever target sales goals Optiemus has set up for them. Definitely want to see more of the Evolve/Evolve X.

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 22423; Member since: May 28, 2014

I also like the fact that the Evolve X supports wireless charging comes with the wireless charger in the box. That’s a plus. The 7,000 series aluminum is also plus.

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