BlackBerry 9720 sports a 2.8 inch large HVGA based display with a 32 GB expandable MicroSD and two buttons on the side that can be customised. By default, one of them is dedicated for BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) while the other for a 5 MP back facing camera with flash. The posterior sports a corrugated all plastic sheet that grips the handset well. As usual, it comes with plethora of connectivity options including Wi-Fi connectivity, A-GPS for location services and integrated FM Radio; it uses the standard SIM card size and has a 1400 maH battery that powers up this nifty beast.
Interestingly, BlackBerry 9720 uses the upgraded version of Curve Processor (Marvel Tavor); an evolution of the device that was this authors first device.
This author was transported back to the memory lane when this spacious QWERTY handset was powered up. The familiar trackpad, multitude of options to customise it and the springy feel of the keypad was all intact, inherited from its predecessors but in a polished form factor. Yet, granular controls have been incorporated; you swipe up to wake up the device like the BlackBerry 10, the touch screen is super responsive (as from the Bold Series) while the upgraded BlackBerry World offers plethora of applications familiar to the other OS 7 users.
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) comes with a refreshed Channels and Tabbed Interface making it easier to connect with the other users. Snap and Share is the feature of BlackBerry Camera and also allows you to multi-cast to various social networks. The inherent value proposition of this device lies in the ease where specific target groups can easily disseminate their reactions across various platforms. The multimedia content gets a refreshed thumbnail look, ported from its newer sibling. Bluetooth Connectivity has become easier compared to previous iterations.
BlackBerry Limited seems to have done an extensive research in identifying the segment they wish to address amongst the youth and enterprises. In the emerging markets, a smartphone is aspirational. Most of the users prefer a device that can seamlessly connect to various social networks; 9720 makes it possible with its venerable operating system that has withstood the test of time. This author believes that a FM Radio is a valuable addition and its video player can crank up multitude of formats for displaying content on the move. Email and multi-tasking remains this device forte which cannot be matched effectively by any of the other devices as effectively as 9720 handles with ease.
Needless to say, but BlackBerry Limited remains top notch in terms of security and privacy and it is on record that no BlackBerry Limited device has ever been rooted due to its highly secure encrypted boot. Its availability in multiple colours is likely to appeal to a cross section of users. The webkit based web browser has possibly been ported from OS 10 which is a superlative experience to access the internet.
BlackBerry 9720 is likely to find favour with enterprises. It is to be noted that BES 10 has not seen a widespread adoption, as yet, because of very slow testing process of enterprises where a downtime in the service is likely to disrupt the work-flows. Most of the companies have BES 5 or its variants which has proven its rock solid worth in mobile device management.
As a refreshed 7.1 version and a touch screen display with its sweet spot in terms of pricing, 9720 presents a valuable option to replace the ageing handsets (Curve) with a better battery life. As the companies slowly migrate to the newer version, Q5 represents the next stepping stone, but it represents a different mid tier breed altogether, in terms of unique gestural interface.
BlackBerry 9720 represents a new thought process within BlackBerry that is covering the lower end of the spectrum for its users who have a limited budget but nevertheless have similar aspirations for high end look. It offers its customers, more for less, as a solid proven workhorse. No doubt, users would need a specific BlackBerry internet service to access the data services but it saves the data by compressing it for those on limited data plans, through proprietary algorithms, and extending the value of your money. This device is likely to drive up the mass market adoption by targeting entry level, giving a leg up over the inexpensive Android based handsets giving a secure platform for its enterprise users and integrated social networks billed as communications centric experience.
The writer is a practicing doctor with keen interest in technology