BlackBerry Evolve and Evolve X: Big batteries and displays at even bigger prices

Optiemus Infracom, an Indian company that has a license to manufacture and distribute BlackBerry phones in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, recently launched the BlackBerry Evolve and BlackBerry Evolve X, the company’s first smartphones with an 18:9 aspect ratio, face unlock, and wireless charging. For fans of huge displays and batteries, the Evolve duo also has your back, but that’s not all.

BlackBerry Evolve and Evolve X specs

BB Evolve
  • 5.99-inch 18:9 FHD+ LTPS display
  • Snapdragon 450 SoC
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 13MP + 13MP main camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
BB Evolve X
  • 5.99-inch 18:9 FHD+ LTPS display
  • Snapdragon 660 SoC
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 13MP main camera
  • 16MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo

Unlike the BlackBerry KEY2, the BlackBerry Evolve and Evolve X are your typical smartphones. The physical QWERTY keyboard is dropped in favor of a full-screen experience that offers a massive 6-inch display real estate. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and oleophobic coating and due to the minimal bezels, the fingerprint scanner is on the back of either phone. Whereas the scanner will take only 0.3 seconds to unlock the devices, BlackBerry says there’s a face unlock feature that will take a little longer at 0.4 seconds, which is still acceptable.

Related: The best Android phones for business people in 2018

Both the Evolve and Evolve X have a dual-lens camera on the back. Where the former’s inferior setup involves an RGB and monochrome sensor, the latter has a telephoto lens for the secondary shooter. In terms of software, Android 8.1 Oreo runs the show out of the box alongside the company’s DTEK and BlackBerry Hub suites.

The BlackBerry Evolve duo has some of the biggest batteries on smartphones, coming in with a 4000mAh unit that is rechargeable via a USB-C port. If you are in a hurry, there’s Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology for fast battery charging and even better is the presence of wireless charging support, the first of its kind on a BlackBerry smartphone.

What mainly sets the two Evolve phones apart is the processing unit. The Evolve X has plenty of raw power thanks to the Snapdragon 660 chipset that is mated with 6GB RAM while the standard Evolve gets a weaker Snapdragon 450 alongside 4GB RAM. The Evolve comes with Bluetooth 4.2 as opposed to the Evolve X’s Bluetooth 5.0 and there are also some differences in the camera department, with the latter coming in with a secondary telephoto lens instead of monochrome and also supports PDAF and 4K video recording, among other stuff.

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BlackBerry Evolve and Evolve X price and availability

In India, the BlackBerry Evolve with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage has a price tag of INR 24,990, which is about $365, while the Evolve X, which has 6GB RAM and the same storage as its counterpart, will set you back INR 34,990, which translates to about $510.

As for local availability, the Evolve will start selling this month while the Evolve X will be available sometime next month. For now, availability in other markets remains unknown, but it’s likely to be determined by the duo’s performance in the Indian market.

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Speaking of which, both the Evolve and Evolve X aren’t our favorites when it comes to pricing or rather value for money. With its price tag, the former will be up against the likes of Nokia 7 Plus, Xiaomi Mi A2 or even Huawei Honor Play, all of which have more powerful chipsets than the Snapdragon 450 found in the Evolve. As for the Evolve X, it finds itself in a price territory that has the likes of OnePlus 6, Asus ZenFone 5Z, Honor 10, and so on, yet these phones have flagship chipsets (and performance) that the SDM660 simply can’t match.

It’ll be interesting to see how the BlackBerry Evolve and Evolve X perform against their competitors.

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