BlackBerry has today unveiled its latest handset, the Z3, which will be available across the UAE from July 6 for AED899 ($244).
The Z3 is the first device to be launched by BlackBerry since the end of last year and is the first BlackBerry to be manufactured by Foxconn.
Mike Al Mefleh, senior director, product management and services, Middle East, North Africa and Turkey for BlackBerry said: "Initially the Z3 was introduced and targeted for the Indonesian and Iraq market where it was doing well and creating a lot of excitement and as a result, BlackBerry's CEO John Chen decided that we should roll it out to eight more markets, the Middle East being one of them.
"The Middle East has shown a lot of interest and attraction to the Z3 and since we announced it on 24 June we have had many pre-orders in the store and it's been very exciting. We have also had a lot of positive feedback in Dubai which helps us to reach a larger generation of customers."
BlackBerry's latest budget model returns to the pure-touch interface of the Z10 and Z30. The display is a 5-inch multi-touch capacitive touchscreen with 540 x 960 pixels at 220ppi.
The handset is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8230 Snapdragon 400 chipset with a dual-core 1.2 GHz Krait 200 CPU. For memory the Z3 packs a modest 1.5 GB of RAM backed by 8 GB internal storage, which is expandable to 32 GB via micro SD.
The primary camera is a 5MP model (2592 х 1944 pixels) with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging and 1080p video built in. For selfies, the secondary sensor is 1.1 MP.
The handset runs BB 10.2.1, which comes with all the standard BlackBerry fixtures, such as BlackBerry Hub and BBM.
The Z3 is Android compatible and includes access to "hundreds and thousands of Android applications," according to Al Mefleh.
"We have developed the BBM applications which exceed 200,000 now, but as well as this we now give access to consumers to more applications they need and it benefits the developers also as they don't need to make applications for each different platform this allows BlackBerry users to have access to their apps via Android links," Al Mefleh said.
"We need to go where the trend is and go with what people like, Z3 users will be able to install Instagram within minutes."
Al Mehleh also highlighted other products which will be available this year, including the BlackBerry Passport and the BlackBerry Classic.
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