BlackBerry’s biggest software update carrying the 10.2.1 version number is finally here. Existing BlackBerry 10 OS devices such as the BlackBerry Z10, Z30, Q10 and Q5 should be getting a notification to update by now.
The new software upgrade brings a lot of new improvements in terms of usability and also not forgetting the ease of installing Android apps via its APK format. On the BlackBerry Z10, it is about 276MB to download and it varies depending on the current version and model you have. If you still haven’t receive any notification, you can head over to Settings > Software Updates, then tap on Check for updates.
If you still haven’t seen it yet, check out the full hands-on walk through of the new BlackBerry 10.2.1 OS here.
BlackBerry’s highly anticipated update – BlackBerry 10.2.1 is now rumoured to roll out next week beginning 28th January. When it comes to software updates, BlackBerry seems to be pretty quick with its international release especially in Asia Pacific.
There’s a lot to look forward to with the latest software update. Despite its tiny 0.1 increment from Blackberry 10.2, it brings a host of new UI enhancements that will improve usability and more levels of user customisation. You can check out all the new features in a hands-on video here.
The biggest addition would be the ability to install Android Apps via APK files. For those who are new, APK is the original Android installer file and previously Blackberry 10 OS requires a conversion from APK to BAR file in order to install Android apps. In short, the new update gives BlackBerry users easier access to the wide variety of apps available on the Android platform. The only hurdle is the lack of a Google Play Store but don’t worry as there are alternative solutions such as Droid Store that would do the trick.
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For those using BlackBerry Z10, Z30, Q10 or Q5, installing Android apps on your BlackBerry 10 device is going to get a whole lot of easier. In its next BlackBerry 10.2.1 software update, anyone can install Android apps with its APK file.
For those who are new to this, APK is basically an Android Package File which you can run to install. Usually this happens in the background on the Google Play store for a hassle free experience. The only hurdle that’s stopping regular people from installing Android apps is the lack of a “Google Play” store in the BlackBerry system. Obviously the folks at BlackBerry won’t allow such a blasphemous act. Therefore, only those with some technical knowledge of side-loading would get to enjoy a wider choice of apps from the Android platform.
Now there’s an app called Droid Store which allows BlackBerry users to install Android apps directly onto their device. This offers easy one click downloads with out the need of side loading or finding for APK files. At the moment, it doesn’t support Google logins which means that you’re limited to Free Apps for now. In the future, it could be possible to download paid apps that have been purchased under your Google login.
For those running on a leaked version of BlackBerry 10.2.1, you can download it here. To install it, you would need to side load and the instructions for sideloading is available here. The Droid Store will not work on current official BlackBerry version 10.2 and below it as it lacks the APK Installer support that’s only coming with BlacBerry 10.2.1.
Can’t wait to get BlackBerry 10.2.1 on your smart phone? If you’re feeling adventurous, you can get it earlier over here. As always, do proceed with caution.
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After rolling out its BlackBerry 10.2 OS update last month, there’s a lot to look forward to in their upcoming 10.2.1 update. Although the tiny incremental in number doesn’t sound much, it brings a host of new features particularly the ease of installing Android Apps.
Previously Blackberry 10 users would need to convert or find Android apps that are in BAR file format to install. With the new 10.2.1, installing Android apps is as simple as installing an APK file which can be retrieve easily with APK downloaders such as this.
In terms of usability, the new OS update brings major UI improvements where you can tap directly into a new message from the home screen and BlackBerry Hub now comes with a customisable pinch mode which lets you Filter mails by Unread or Priority by simply pinching out. Another welcome feature is the battery percentage level which is now displayed in the lock screen or while peeking. The pull down quick settings is now customisable as well, so you can add in toggles such as NFC and even LED Flash light on it. So far there’s no word on its official roll out date but we reckon BlackBerry Q10, Z30, Z10 and Q5 users shouldn’t be waiting too long for this one.
Watch the 7 minute walkthrough video of the BlackBerry 10.2.1 OS after the break.
BlackBerry has announced that it will be rolling out its BlackBerry 10.2 operating system update this week. The latest update brings a host of new features including BlackBerry Priority Hub, BlackBerry Natural Sound, Notifications on the lock screen and a couple of app enhancements.
It will be rolled out to existing BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry Q5 and BlackBerry Q10 users starting with Canada, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Europe beginning week. Users in Latin America and the US will be getting on November onward. The recently announced BlackBerry Z30 already runs on BlackBerry 10.2 out of the box. For the full list of 10.2 updates and enhancements, hit the source link below.
Stock prices are not the only things taking a dive at BlackBerry. The former leader in mobile communications have revised the retail pricing for two of its high-end devices less than a year after their respective launches — the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10.
The Z10 range (both the LTE and 3G versions) get a RM389 price cut from RM2,288 to RM1,899 and RM2,188 to RM1,799 respectively. Meanwhile the Q10 is now RM390 cheaper from RM2,388 to RM1,998.
Current prices for the range of BlackBerry smartphones:
BlackBerry Q5 – RM1,299
BlackBerry Z10 (3G) – RM1,799
BlackBerry Z10 (4G LTE) – RM1,899
BlackBerry Q10 (4G LTE) – RM1,998
BlackBerry Z30 (4G LTE) – RM1,998
The troubled device manufacturer announced on Friday that it would cut 4,500 jobs as it prepares to absorb losses in the tune of close to US $1 billion due to a massive inventory of unsold devices. In Malaysia, BlackBerry distributor Brightstar recently launched a trade-up program early this month where consumers can get the Z10 for a hefty discount (up to RM1,800 off) when they trade in their old smartphone. More recently, Celcom is running a “buy one free one” promotion in conjunction with the launch of the BlackBerry Z30. The promotion gives one BlackBerry Z10 free with every purchase of a BlackBerry Z30. The operator will be giving away 200 units of the Z10 for this promotion.
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How do you convince reluctant people to switch phones? Trading up their existing device for a new one seems to be an easier option. Now Brightstar is offering a Trade Up program which aims to drive up ownership of the BlackBerry Z10 smart phone. The trade up value is quite attractive and depending on model, your phone could fetch as high as RM1,800. Strangely, the trade value of your device also depends on the Z10 model that you’ll pick. If you opt for the Z10 LTE version, you will get a slightly higher value.
Some of the smart phone trade up value are listed as follows:
iPhone 4 8GB – RM1,065 (Z10 3G), RM1,084 (Z10 LTE)
iPhone 4 16GB – RM1,080 (Z10 3G), RM1,099 (Z10 LTE)
iPhone 4S 16GB – RM1,304 (Z10 3G), RM1,323 (Z10 LTE)
iPhone 5 16GB – RM1,668 (Z10 3G), RM1,687 (Z10 LTE)
BlackBerry Bold 9900 – RM934 (Z10 3G), RM953 (Z10 LTE)
BlackBerry Q10 – RM1,227 (Z10 3G), RM1,246 (Z10 LTE)
BlackBerry Z10 3G – RM983 (Z10 3G), RM1,002 (Z10 LTE)
Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB – RM1,169 (Z10 3G), RM1,188 (Z10 LTE)
Samsung Galaxy S4 16GB – RM1,585 (Z10 3G), RM1,604 (Z10 LTE)
Samsung Galaxy Note II – RM1,434 (Z10 3G), RM1,453 (Z10 LTE)
Of course, it is subject to the condition of the device as well. If you look at the list above, it is funny to see that Brightstar has also included their latest BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 into the trade up list. On top of that, even its more expensive Q10 is listed with a lower value than the older Galaxy Note II and iPhone 4S.
If you’re interested to switch to a BlackBerry Z10 with this trade up program, just visit one of Brightstar’s participating dealers and they will evaluate your current phone to determine the balance price you need to pay for a new Z10. The current BlackBerry Z10 retail price is listed as RM1,799 for the 3G version and RM1,899 for the 4G LTE version.
For more information and full list of trade up models, head over to Brightstar’s BlackBerry Trade Up promo page.
The BlackBerry Z10 LTE version is now available on Celcom which offers faster speeds over the standard non-LTE model. Surprisingly Celcom lists the Z10 LTE version as RM1,899 outright and on contract, it can be yours for as low as RM1,308.
The full BlackBerry Z10 LTE bundled pricing as follows:
Celcom First Prime + 1GB/3GB Data (12 months) – RM1,648
Celcom First Prime + 1GB/3GB Data (18 months) – RM1,548
Celcom First Premier + 1GB/3GB Data (12 months) – RM1,548
Celcom First Premier + 1GB/3GB Data (18 months) – RM1,448
Celcom First Elite + 1GB/3GB Data (12 months) – RM1,448
Celcom First Elite + 1GB/3GB Data (18 months) – RM1,308
As usual, during sign up there’s an upfront advance payment between RM250-450 required during sign up which will be rebated back to your monthly bills. To recap on the specs, the BlackBerry Z10 comes with a 4.2″ display that does 1280×768 and runs on a dual-core 1.5GHz processor mated with 2GB of RAM. It also comes with a 8MP main camera, 2MP front facing camera, 16GB of storage, microSD expansion slot and a 1,800mAh battery. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check out our video hands-on experience with the Z10.
For more information, head over to Celcom’s BlackBerry Z10 LTE page.
If you’re looking to buy a BlackBerry Z10 on contract and has the need for 4G LTE speeds, you’ll need to turn to an unlikely telco. DiGi which has yet to its commercial 4G LTE service is now offering the BlackBerry Z10 LTE version from as low as RM1,039 on its DG Smart Plans. Outright, the BlackBerry Z10 LTE version is priced at RM2,288 which is RM100 more than the earlier released non-LTE version.
In terms of bundled pricing, both BlackBerry Z10 versions are offered as follows:
BlackBerry Z10 LTE
DG SmartPlan 58 (24 months) – RM1,669
DG SmartPlan 88 (24 months) – RM1,429
DG SmartPlan 148 (24 months) – RM1,039
BlackBerry Z10 non-LTE
DG SmartPlan 58 (24 months) – RM1,649
DG SmartPlan 88 (24 months) – RM1,409
DG SmartPlan 148 (24 months) – RM899
Just like the non-LTE version, it is offered with only 24 months option. During sign up, an upfront payment between RM240 – RM800 is required during sign up.
For more information, head over to DiGi’s BlackBerry Z10 page.
Couple of weeks back, we did a camera comparison of the latest flagship devices such as the HTC One, BlackBerry Z10, Nokia Lumia 920, iPhone 5 and Sony Xperia Z. With the Samsung Galaxy S4 being launched recently, it’s time for another round of camera shootout. This time we’ve thrown the Galaxy Note II in the mix as well.
Topping the megapixel count in this comparison are the 13MP shooters – Galaxy S4 and Xperia Z while the Lumia 920 8.7MP shooter shoots at 7.9MP. The iPhone 5, Galaxy Note II and the BlackBerry Z10 comes with the usual 8MP count. Of course not forgetting is the HTC One’s Ultrapixel camera which shoots an effective 4MP.
Without further ado, head after the break for the comparison. Let us know which you think is better?
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