Since BlackBerry licensed the use of its brand out to different companies across the world, we’ve seen the DTEK50, DTEK60, and the more recent KeyOne emerge. Made by rights holder TCL these handsets have seen relative success in their on sale markets. However, that hasn’t prevented BlackBerry from signing more licensing agreements with other manufacturers. One such agreement is with the Indonesian firm BB Merah Putih, and it appears that the deal has born fruit in the form of the BlackBerry Aurora.
BlackBerry Aurora Announcement
Up until yesterday, BlackBerry had not confirmed that it was working with BB Merah Putih to create a region specific device. However, the rumor mill had managed to get hold of some information, which inevitably made the announcement less dramatic. As for the handset itself. It will be firmly placed into the mid-range category and feature all of the software seen on other BlackBerry handsets.
Why Indonesia? It turns out that the country has the highest amount of BlackBerry users in the world. So, striking a deal for a country specific device makes a lot of sense!
First Dual Sim BlackBerry
According to industry experts who are familiar with the Indonesian smartphone market, the use of dual-sim handsets is rife. And that’s why the BlackBerry Aurora is the 1st handset to bear the brand name to offer such a feature. As to why other manufacturers don’t offer this all over the world, it boils down to the influence of carriers.
Mobile operators subsidize phones in the US, i.e. in return for selling you a cheaper handset, it’s locked to a particular carrier. These carriers influence the distribution of phones in the US, Europe, and the UK. Meaning, that unlike in other areas of the world like Indonesia, it’s not easy to switch network at a whim.
Moving onto specifications the BlackBerry Aurora certainly fits its mid-range billing. It’s comes running on the latest Android 7.0 Nougat and includes BlackBerry’s DTEK security suite. Additionally, there’s the much loved BlackBerry Hub along with other software features you’d expect.
If you’re looking for a large device, the Aurora features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD which provides 267ppi at 720p. As for what’s powering the handset, there’s 4GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset. Regarding storage, there’s a single choice of 32GB; however, there is a microSD slot expandable up to 2TB.
Of course, there’s also the previously mentioned dual-SIM slots. And there’s also a 13MP rear camera as well as an 8MP selfie-cam. Finally, what’s providing the power is a 3000mAh battery for which it’s not known if that’s removable or not.
The handset is set to go on general sale on March 12th; however, it is available for pre-order now. The bad news, however, is that if you’re outside of Indonesia, you can’t buy one or pre-order.
How Much Does it Cost?
In Indonesian money, so that’s Rupiah, the BlackBerry Aurora will sell for RP 3,499,000, which converts into about $261 USD.