BlackBerry has introduced the BlackBerry Z3 smartphone in South Africa. The device retails for a low cost of R2 999 and the 10.2.1 operating system makes it compatible with many Android apps.
The BlackBerry Z3 smartphone will be available to Vodacom customers in stores and online from mid July 2014. The device has the recommended selling price of R2 999 and will also be available on the Vodacom Smart S plan at R249 per month.
The device was designed specifically for emerging markets, and was first released in Indonesia, one of BlackBerry’s biggest markets.
The BlackBerry Z3 extends the BlackBerry 10 platform to a new generation of customers in South Africa. The BlackBerry Z3 features a 5″ touch display, an enhanced messaging and typing experience, longer battery life, is equipped with BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1 and is Android app compatible.
The BlackBerry Z3 smartphone gives users more ways to securely communicate and collaborate and extends the BlackBerry 10 platform experience to a new generation of South African customers at an attractive price point,” said Yudi Moodley, Managing Director at BlackBerry for Africa.
Key features, according to BlackBerry, include:
¬∑ BlackBerry Hub – The ever present BlackBerry Hub lets you access all your work and personal email, BBM, text messages, social media updates and notifications in one place, with the ability to “peek” into the BlackBerry Hub from anywhere, so you’re always only one swipe away from what matters to you. The Hub can be customized to identify priority messages and to filter the message list by various criteria that you can then activate with a simple pinch gesture.
¬∑ BBM – BBM on the BlackBerry Z3 includes all the latest features of the popular mobile social network. You get BBM voice and video chatting with Screen Share and support for BlackBerry Natural Sound, letting you hear nuances and variations in tone in a BBM Voice chat, and making the conversation sound like you’re in the same room.
¬∑ BlackBerry Keyboard – The BlackBerry Keyboard learns what words you use and how you use them, then offers them up to you so you can type faster and more accurately. It gives you the best typing experience on a touchscreen, complete with multi-language support that lets you type in up to 3 different languages at the same time.
¬∑ Time Shift & Story Maker – The BlackBerry Z3’s astonishing Time Shift camera feature lets you capture a group shot where everyone is smiling with their eyes wide open. You can also use Story Maker to bring a collection of photos and videos together, along with music and effects, to produce an HD movie that you can instantly share on YouTube.
¬∑ BlackBerry 10 Browser – The BlackBerry 10 browser sets the industry benchmark for HTML5 performance on smartphones, and is incredibly fast, with fluid and responsive scrolling and zooming. The browser includes many advanced features, supports multiple tabs, lets you browse sites privately, includes a reader mode, and integrates with the platform for easily sharing content. You can even save web pages for later viewing.
¬∑ Instant Previews & Reply Now – Be more timely and responsive with Instant Previews that bring BBM, SMS and email message to you no matter what you are doing on your BlackBerry Z3. You can even reply to your BBM or SMS messages in any app, or swipe to the BlackBerry Hub to respond. If you get a phone call that you can’t answer right way, you can instantly silence the call and send a Reply Now response through BBM, SMS or email to let the caller know you’re busy.
¬∑ Fast, Easy Sharing – The BlackBerry Z3 learns how you share and who you share with, helping you reduce the number of steps and amount of time it takes to get your files, photos, or documents to where they need to go. Touching “share” in any app provides suggestions on who and how to share your files based on who you’ve shared with in the past, and the feature only gets smarter the more you use it.
¬∑ FM Radio – The new BlackBerry Z3 includes a built-in FM radio. You can listen to local FM stations, which does not require any network connection.
¬∑ Apps – Through BlackBerry World customers can access applications that leverage the powerful features of the BlackBerry 10 operating system. The BlackBerry Z3 is also Android App Compatible*, which means that customers can enjoy some of their favourite Android apps on the BlackBerry Z3.
Consumers who purchase a BlackBerry Z3 smartphone from Vodacon in July can benefit from an exclusive app offer. They simply have to login into the BlackBerry World storefront from their BlackBerry Z3 smartphone and download a selection of paid apps – worth R430 – for free.
* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA
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