New BlackBerry Evolve Series Phones Come With 18:9 Displays, Excellent Battery Life — But You Can't Buy Them


The new BlackBerry phones, called Evolve and Evolve X, eschew the physical keyboard for an 18:9 display, plus a massive battery. They don’t appear to have U.S. launch dates, though.   ( BlackBerry Mobile IN | Twitter )

BlackBerry is launching two new phones in India, called the Evolve and Evolve X. It has teamed up with its manufacturing partner in the country, Optiemus, to make both handsets, which feature 18:9 displays and massive batteries.

Both phones will ship running Android 8.1 Oreo, and they won’t feature physical keyboards, unlike BlackBerry’s last foray into the smartphone landscape, the Key2. The phones have both a fingerprint sensor and a face unlock feature, although it’s not certain just how accurate the latter will be. They each also sport a 4,000 mAh battery and feature a USB Type-C port. The Evolve X also supports wireless charging. 

BlackBerry Evolve X

Similar to the Key2, the Evolve X is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 with an octa-core CPU clocked at 2.2 GHz. Add to that an Adreno 512 for graphics, which is not at all groundbreaking but not too bad for what’s essentially a midrange device. There’s 6 GB of RAM plus 64 GB of storage, which is expandable thanks to the built-in microSD card slot.

The Evolve X sports a 5.99-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1080p, making it the first phone in India without a keyboard since the BlackBerry’s revival. The fingerprint sensor is mounted on the back since there’s no room for it on the front panel given the phone’s slim bezels.

Speaking of the back, there’s a dual camera setup — one 12-megapixel and one 13-megapixel sensor accompanied by a dual-tone LED flash. The phone isn’t skimping on selfie quality, too — There’s a 16-megapixel front-facing shooter, also with its own flash.

The Evolve X will be priced at INR 34,990, or about $510 dollars. It will be available at the end of August exclusively through Amazon India.

BlackBerry Evolve

The Evolve is the more affordable option of the two. It doesn’t have wireless charging like its fancier sibling, nor does it have 6 GB of RAM. It sports a more modest Snapdragon 450 chipset, but one that’s built on the 14-nanometer process, says GSMArena, so it should be more battery efficient. Its octa-core CPU is clocked at 1.8 GHz and there’s 4 GB of RAM onbaord, which isn’t that bad. Users get 64 GB of local storage, which can also be expanded via microSD.

There’s similarly a dual-camera setup on the back, but oddly they’re both 13-megapixel sensors that support HDR photography, which is something that BlackBerry didn’t state for the Evolve X. The selfie camera is also 16 megapixels, also with its own flash.

The Evolve will be priced at INR 24,990, or about $365. It will be available exclusively through Amazon India mid-September.

No word from BlackBerry whether these phones will make their way stateside, but don’t count on it. Head on over to BlackBerry India’s official Twitter account for more information about both phones.

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