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BlackBerry to Stop Making Smartphones

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BlackBerry was once an iconic brand. The company, which dominated the mobile market during the dawn of the smartphone era, has announced that it will no longer make hardware. Instead, it will focus on software, management, and security, which moves the company deeper into the enterprise.

The company has said that it will outsource its smartphone manufacturing to partners, while focusing on other areas, including software and security. The announcement, which came during its second-quarter financial report for fiscal 2017, was long anticipated by the industry. Once the gold standard at the dawn of the smartphone era, BlackBerry dominated the mobile market.

But its position slipped as Apple introduced the iPhone about 10 years ago, and Google’s Android operating system created a mass of sleek smartphones that fulfilled the needs of business, as well as consumers. In a statement released Sept. 28, BlackBerry CEO John Chen restated what he has previously, specifically that the company’s future lies in software, mobile management, and security.

He said, “Our new Mobility Solutions strategy is showing signs of momentum, including our first major device software licensing agreement with a telecom joint venture in Indonesia. Under this strategy, we are focusing on software development, including security and applications. The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”

While its days as a smartphone manufacturer are over, it doesn’t mean that BlackBerry will go away. In fact, for IT and the enterprise, the company is doubling down on its offerings. In its announcement Wednesday, the company highlighted two new business offerings that are geared toward the modern computing era. The first is the BlackBerry Radar, an end-to-end product for tracking internet of things (IoT) systems that recently started shipping.

The other is the BlackBerry Hub+ for Android, a software licensing program, which allows productivity and communication development on Android 6.0 devices. There have also been acquisitions to help its security portfolio, including its recent deal for UK-based security firm Encription Limited, which provides a number of different consulting services.

In addition to its traditional management software, security and software are the parts of the market that King says he believes BlackBerry can thrive in, especially since the company has close relationships with many IT departments. The company says that employees may use iPhone and Android smartphones that could potentially be controlled and secured through BlackBerry software.

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Features

Smartphones That Wow: The Most Impressive Flagships of 2024

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Does your current smartphone feel like a relic from the ancient times? Plagued by stuttering videos, crashing apps, and a battery that quits faster than a toddler’s attention span? If yes, you’re already due for an upgrade. But upgrading your smartphone is no small deal. It’s a commitment, an investment of both money and time spent adjusting to the new quirks. They’re how we bank, navigate, stay connected, and sometimes, how we escape from the present. So, you deserve something amazing.

Navigating the smartphone market is a jungle of jargon, though. We have to look past the marketing gimmicks, hyperbolic commercials, and pointless features. So, let’s cut through the noise and focus on smartphones that offer a truly transformative experience, with a dash of “wow” mixed in for good measure. Here is the cream of the crop in 2024.

HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra
Starting with the design, the Pura 70 Ultra features a stunning Starry Pattern back panel that is sure to turn heads. Its Starry Pattern back panel shimmers with an intricate texture, while an embossed plaid texture adds a unique tactile dimension. The luxurious vegan leather further enhances its sophisticated style. The XMAGE label and red-ringed primary camera add tasteful accents.

But the real star of the show is the camera system. The headline feature, the 1-inch Ultra Lighting pop-out camera, is a first for any smartphone. When shooting, the lens smoothly extends out with a satisfying mechanical whir. This retractable design allows the phone to pack a massive 1-inch sensor and an f/1.6 aperture into a body that’s just 8.4mm thick.

The 1-inch sensor is significantly larger than what you’ll find on most smartphones. This translates to better light-gathering ability, improved low-light performance, wider dynamic range, and a shallower depth of field for that beautiful bokeh effect. Combined with HUAWEI’s XD Fusion Pro image processing engine, the results are simply stunning.

With the HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra’s Ultra Speed Snapshot feature, you can capture fast-moving subjects with stunning clarity. The Ultra Speed Snapshot feature can lock onto fast-moving subjects and snap tack-sharp pictures, even at speeds up to 300km/h. Also, the Ultra Lighting Macro Telephoto Camera can capture highly detailed macro shots from just 5cm away, with up to 35x magnification.

Huawei has done a phenomenal job of improving the durability of the Pura 70 Ultra with Crystal Armor Kunlun Glass. This nanocrystalline material is both harder and more flexible and dramatically boosts scratch resistance by 300%, while also improving drop resistance. The Pura 70 Ultra also features 100W wired and 80W wireless HUAWEI SuperCharge. You can top up the 5200mAh battery to 50% in just 15 minutes, whether you’re plugged in or going cord-free.

The HUAWEI Pura 70 series now offers an enhanced and optimized AppGallery experience, bringing convenience and efficiency to your fingertips. Users can rest assured that all their favorite apps, including social media, banking, shopping, video streaming, and navigation, are readily available. With just one click, you can download essential apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Careem, Youtube and Maps directly from the HUAWEI AppGallery.

iPhone 15 Pro Max
The iPhone 15 Pro Max maintains the familiar silhouette but introduces a new material – titanium. This material offers a significant leap in durability compared to traditional stainless steel, providing exceptional scratch and dent resistance. You’ll also immediately notice the phone’s lighter weight compared to the 14 Pro Max. In addition to the new material, there are subtle refinements like slightly thinner bezels and a redesigned camera module. And, of course, a new range of colour options.

Another notable change is the absence of the iconic silent switch. Instead, the iPhone 15 Pro Max features a new Action button, which can be programmed to perform a variety of functions, including activating the silent mode. So, it basically adds more flexibility than before.

There are some not-so-insignificant camera upgrades, as well. The main 48MP rear camera features a new, larger sensor, offering improvements in low-light performance. The 12MP periscope telephoto lens allows for optical zoom up to 5x, enabling users to capture distant subjects with exceptional clarity. Also, it lets you shoot video in ProRes, which gives you a tonne of latitude in postprocessing if you are into that. The 12MP ultrawide shooter also lets you take close-up macro shots.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max addresses one of the primary concerns of power users – battery life. It can last a full day even with heavy-handed usage. The main reason behind this improvement is the A17 Pro chip, which delivers unmatched performance while being remarkably power-efficient.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
The Galaxy S24 Ultra carries forward the legacy of the S series. There are sleek design refinements, an improved camera system, and a few other changes. The Galaxy S24 Ultra builds on Samsung’s established design language. It feels distinctly Samsung.

Samsung has reinforced the S24 Ultra’s frame with titanium. This provides greater protection from accidental drops and everyday wear and tear. Curved edges soften the look and enhance comfort in hand. Smaller bezels maximize the expansive display while maintaining a sleek, modern aesthetic. Also, there is the S Pen, which is a surprisingly capable tool for drawing and sketching. Even though the Ultra model belongs to the S24 Series, it is in a league of its own. From its curved glass slab design to materials and the inclusion of a stylus, it’s the most distinctive phone in the entire series.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra camera system is designed for enthusiasts as well as content creators. The primary rear camera uses a massive 200-megapixel sensor, providing incredible details and cropping flexibility. This time, Samsung takes night photography to the next level with improved astrophotography. Moreover, the S24 Ultra deepens its integration with Samsung’s Expert RAW app, giving even more control over image parameters if you crave true manual control and professional-level editing.

Samsung seems to have taken a step backwards with the zoom, though. Instead of the 10X optical zoom found on the S23 Ultra, the S24 Ultra only has a 5x optical zoom. Nonetheless, the results look promising. You are more likely to use the 5x zoom in everyday situations, so it’s hard to call this a downgrade.

While the wired charging speed of 45W is a bit on the slow side for a 2024 flagship, the 15W wireless charging is long overdue for an upgrade. That said, the 5000mAh battery is quite capable and gives you plenty of battery life.

Which one to choose?
You can’t go wrong with any of these smartphones. They are all great in their own right. But we have a soft spot for the HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra for good reason. Firstly, it’s a bold statement about the future of mobile imaging and design. Its pop-out camera, equipped with a large 1-inch sensor and the Ultra Speed Snapshot feature, sets the HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra apart from its competitors. In fact, this smartphone might just be the one that finally allows you to leave your bulky DSLR or mirrorless camera at home.

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HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra is Now Available for Pre-Orders in the UAE

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Huawei smartphones have carved a unique niche through their relentless focus on cutting-edge mobile photography. And its P Series smartphones have carried the standard for its relentless pursuit of innovation. This journey of P Series smartphones began in 2012. It was a lineup dedicated to pushing the boundaries of mobile imaging and design. Now, after over a decade, this iconic camera-centric smartphone series is transforming, reborn as the ‘Pura Series’. This name change signifies an evolution. Pura, meaning “Purity,” sets the series’ new tone, signifying a bold fusion of fashion and technology, refined design, and an audacious vision for the future of mobile photography.

The three new smartphones – HUAWEI Pura 70, HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro, and HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra –bring new pioneering features to the smartphone market, and have once again delivered on camera innovations, continuing the long-standing hallmark of the smartphone series. After a comprehensive review, renowned tech lab DXOMARK has crowned the HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra as its top smartphone camera, awarding it a score of 163. The review highlighted the smartphone camera’s excellent colour accuracy, earning the phone a historic all-time high rating in the category, and leading autofocus capabilities. The camera showed strong performance in other categories as well.

One of the key focuses of the Pura Series is its dedication to aesthetic design. Pura isn’t shy about its ambition to be a fashion statement and explore a powerful fusion of classic artistic styles, modern aesthetics, and trends plucked right from the runway. Starting with the design, the Pura 70 Ultra features a stunning Starry Pattern back panel that is sure to turn heads. The intricate embossed texture gives the phone a premium feel, while the gleaming starry motif evokes the lights dancing on the Seine River in Paris at night. The delicate plaid texture embossed onto the back panel adds a unique tactile feel, and the vegan leather finish elevates the overall elegance. The XMAGE label and red-ringed primary camera lens add a final touch of sophistication.

But the real star of the show is the camera system. The headline feature is the Ultra Lighting pop-out camera featuring a 1-inch sensor, a first for any smartphone. When you are shooting, the lens smoothly extends from the body with a satisfying mechanical whir, like professional camera gear. This isn’t just a hardware gimmick. The retractable design means the lens physically extends when you activate the camera, allowing Huawei to pack a massive 1-inch sensor and an f/1.6 aperture into a body that’s just 8.4mm thick. It’s a truly innovative solution.
The 1-inch sensor is a game-changer too. It’s significantly larger than what you’ll find on most smartphones. This translates to better light-gathering capabilities, improved low-light performance, wider dynamic range, and a shallower depth of field for that beautiful bokeh effect. In short, that means, better photos, especially in low-light situations. Combined with HUAWEI’s XD Fusion Pro image processing engine, the results are simply stunning.

A big sensor is only part of the equation. To capture the perfect moment, no matter how fleeting, you need speed, and with the Pura 70 Ultra’s Ultra Speed Snapshot feature, you can do just that. This feature uses multiple short and long exposures in tandem with the HUAWEI XD Motion Engine to capture fast-moving subjects with stunning clarity, allowing this phone to freeze time in ways that were once thought impossible.

The Ultra Speed Snapshot feature employs a combination of motion detection algorithms and predictive autofocus, enabling the camera to lock onto fast-moving subjects and freeze them in time, even at speeds up to 300km/h. Whether you’re trying to photograph a bird in flight, a dancer in motion, or an F1 car zooming by, the Pura 70 Ultra is up to the task. The advanced motion algorithms ensure the foreground subject is crisp while the background remains clear and detailed.

What if you prefer your subjects small and up close? Well, the Pura 70 Ultra has you covered there too. The Ultra Lighting Macro Telephoto Camera can capture highly detailed macro shots from just 5cm away, with up to 35x magnification. You can capture the intricate veins of a leaf and fill the frame with a single flower petal or insect wing and reveal details invisible to the naked eye.

What’s equally remarkable is that Huawei has done it all while also improving the phone’s durability. The Pura 70 Ultra steps up with Crystal Armor Kunlun Glass, a nanocrystalline material that’s both harder and more flexible than traditional smartphone glass and dramatically boosts scratch resistance by 300%, while also improving drop resistance. It’s the kind of durability that gives you the confidence to take this camera phone on all your adventures.

Speaking of adventures, the Pura 70 Ultra is always ready for action thanks to 100W wired and 80W wireless HUAWEI SuperCharge. You can top up the 5200mAh battery to 50% in just 15 minutes, whether you’re plugged in or going cord-free. Whether you’re topping up between flights at the airport or powering up wirelessly in your car, the Pura 70 Ultra is ready when you are.

The HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra in Starry Pattern Design Green, Brown and Black priced at AED 5099. The HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro in Black and White is priced at AED 3999. The HUAWEI Pura 70 in Black, White and Pink priced at AED 2999 is available for pre-orders in the UAE starting from May 15th with gifts worth of AED 898 including HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 3 and HUAWEI Care+ 6-month package, from Huawei Experience Stores, e-shop and selelct retailer across the UAE.

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HONOR Launches the Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR and Porsche Design HONOR Magic6 RSR

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HONOR has announced the new PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic V2 RSR in the UAE market. This premium foldable smartphone embodies luxury and innovation, paying homage to the legacy of Porsche’s design. The PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic V2 RSR caters to the growing demand for personalized luxury products in the MEA region. This exclusive device offers a unique blend of performance, style, and exclusivity, meticulously crafted for high-end consumers.

The PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic V2 RSR boasts a captivating design. Weighing only 234g and measuring a mere 9.9mm thin, it delivers a luxurious feel with the iconic Porsche Agate Grey finish and a signature flyline reminiscent of Porsche sports cars. The stunning foldable OLED LTPO display creates an immersive visual experience. This powerhouse device packs a punch with a Silicon-carbon Battery technology featuring dual 5000mAh batteries and support for 66W HONOR Wired SuperCharge, ensuring users stay connected throughout the day.

HONOR further elevates the user experience with the upcoming launch of the PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic6 RSR. This luxury phone boasts the HONOR Falcon Camera for exceptional capture of photos and videos, even in challenging lighting conditions. The industry-leading HONOR Anti-scratch NanoCrystal Shield enhances durability, while the cutting-edge Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform delivers exceptional performance and AI capabilities.

Powered by the HONOR MagicOS 8.0, the PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic6 RSR promises revolutionary new interactions and seamless cross-device connectivity. Users can expect industry-first AI applications and groundbreaking advancements in photography, display quality, and overall performance.

The HONOR Magic6 Pro exemplifies HONOR’s commitment to AI-driven innovation. The upgraded AI Falcon camera system, coupled with powerful AI algorithms, captures stunning detail in photographs. HONOR MagicOS 8.0 takes AI to new heights with features like Magic Portal, which leverages AI to recommend apps based on user behaviour. For enhanced privacy, AI Privacy Call 3.0 minimises sound leakage during phone calls using AI and Directional Sound Technology.

The PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic V2 RSR and the upcoming Magic6 RSR stand as testaments to HONOR’s commitment to pushing boundaries and forging groundbreaking collaborations. The partnership with PORSCHE DESIGN redefines what a luxury smartphone can be, offering limitless possibilities for the future. Details on pricing and availability of the PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic V2 RSR and the PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR Magic6 RSR in the UAE will be announced soon.

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