We knew to expect new Androids this week, and boy have we seen a lot of them! Those have been joined by handsets on platforms like Firefox OS, and we even got some updates about where Windows Phone is headed. Today, however, we receive news of a couple smartphone launches that have swooped in largely under the radar, as BlackBerry confirms two new BlackBerry 10 models, its Z3 and Q20.
The Q20 will be the company’s latest model to feature a hardware keyboard, and notably, it has the largest display of any such BB10 device to date; while the Q10 and Q5 had 3.1-inch screens, the Q20’s grows to 3.5 inches. It also revisits some of BlackBerry’s roots, bringing back the menu, back, send, and end buttons along with a trackpad – that all seems like an odd step backwards, but we suppose, if nothing else, BlackBerry fans are creatures of habit. The phone should go up for sale something in the second half of the year, and as far as we can tell, BlackBerry has yet to release an image of the handset.
Then we have the Z3, the phone you see up top. With a five-inch screen, it has us thinking about the Z30, but this handset features a much more squared-off design, as opposed to the Z30’s more gradual curves. We don’t hear much about its hardware just yet (other than there being support for FM radio), but we’re not going to lose much sleep over it; as of now, BlackBerry’s plans for the Z3 begin and end in Indonesia, where the phone is set to go up for sale next month.
In addition to this new hardware, we also hear about security enhancements coming to BBM, in the form of the eBBM Suite. BBM Protected, as this secure messaging is being called, is focused at enterprise users and should launch this summer.