BlackBerry wants to drum up some attention to its latest smartphone. It’s another Android-based device, but this time it’s a high-end flagship, which, as the company pointed out recently, can go toe-to-toe with the best-of-the-best. At least on paper. And for a lot of customers, that paper is what matters at face value, when it’s time to consider a new device.
The DTEK60 only went on sale from BlackBerry’s website earlier this week, so it hasn’t been on the market long enough to get a real impression of the handset. It is available in a variety of different markets at launch, which is a good thing for BlackBerry, and the device does have some impressive specs.
Those include 3GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 2560x1440, and there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor tucked inside making it all hum along, too. Of course, BlackBerry would be remiss if they didn’t point out that there is a 21-megapixel camera on the back, which, when compared on paper with the 12-megapixel cameras on other flagship phones his year, BlackBerry has the “better” shooter.
For the people who get excited about high-end smartphones, BlackBerry’s new phone seems to tick all the boxes.
But will any of that matter? That’s the ultimate question, right? A lot of companies have found out, through trial and error over the years, that simply having a powerful device isn’t good enough anymore. There are a lot of powerful devices out there. BlackBerry has the added struggle of being BlackBerry, which, while a legendary entity in its own right, doesn’t yet have its feet underneath it within the Android space, which it is now trying to rise within.
There is an opening at the top with the missing Galaxy Note 7 at this point, but, based on what I keep seeing, most of those folks are staying within the Samsung family and going with the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge. And, despite the major setback it was hit with this year, Samsung is still the company to beat in the Android army. BlackBerry may want to compete with the Google Pixel and iPhone 7, but it first has to really make a case against Samsung – which is probably even harder than going up against the other two companies.
Price and availability play a key role here, too. The DTEK60 is priced at $499 in the United States, and it’s only available, at least for now, at BlackBerry’s website. The BlackBerry PRIV is available on Verizon, so maybe there’s a chance the DTEK60 can spread its wings to carrier availability, but that doesn’t seem likely at this point. Which is a big hit against the possibility of wide adoption. Google found that out with its Nexus lineup over the years, and that’s Google – with a huge marketing brand like Nexus behind it.
The “DTEK60” just doesn’t roll off the tongue like “Nexus 6P.”
BlackBerry has to hunker down, work on building worthwhile devices, both in the mid-range and high-end niches, and go from there. If BlackBerry can win over customers, it will take time, with several great devices under its belt, so patience will be key.
I have to ask, though: Are you planning to add a BlackBerry-branded Android device into your life? Have you already? Do you think BlackBerry has a shot at competing with the likes of Samsung, LG, HTC, and Motorola? Let me know!