BlackBerry Passport to launch on Wednesday

BlackBerry is to launch its latest smartphone, the Passport at events in Toronto, London and Dubai tomorrow, and it will go on sale in selected stores immediately afterwards.

BB_PassportSince it’s first appearance back in June, the BlackBerry Passport has drawn attention for its unusual square shape, which the company has adopted in order to break away from the conventional rectangular shape and do away with the need to switch between portrait and landscape modes.

The 4.5 inch HD screen is said to offer a “better viewing experience” for images, videos and documents. Whereas rectangular screens display approximately 40 characters per line, the Passport will display 60 characters per line, which the company says makes it “the ideal device for reading e-books, viewing documents and browsing the web”.

As with many of BlackBerry’s devices, the Passport is being targeted more at businesses than the mass market and a recent blog post cited architects, mortgage brokers and medical staff as professionals who would benefit from its unorthodox dimensions.

In addition to the large touchscreen, the handset will also feature a physical keyboard.

The Passport will go on sale for $599 in the US, which BlackBerry admits deliberately undercuts equivalent devices from its competitors in order to “get the market interested”. The price may vary in other countries due to sales taxes and tariffs.

What do you think of the BlackBerry Passport?

Apple makes record 4 million pre-order sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 24 hours

Apple has made a record number of pre-sales of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were officially unveiled last Tuesday. Pre-orders for the handsets opened early on Friday morning and by the end of the day they had sold 4 million units, which is twice the volume of sales of the iPhone 5 over the same period when it launched in 2012. The new larger iPhone 6 Plus sold out almost straight away.

iphone6-lm-bb-201409

The devices will go on sale in stores in the UK at 8am on Friday 19 September and there will no doubt be a similar frenzy to secure one, despite the fact that they are not cheap. To buy an unlocked iPhone 6 directly from Apple, it will set you back £539 for 16GB model, £619 for 64GB, and £699 for 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus is £619 for the 16GB version, £699 for 64GB and £789 for 128GB.

Networks have also started to release their prices for buying the phone on a contract. Three and EE are offering the iPhone 6 on a 24 month contract for a minimum price plan of around £40 per month, plus £99 upfront for the handset. Both Vodafone and O2 are offering free handsets but minimum monthly price plans of around £53.

Those with an iPhone 4S or above who plan to stick with their existing handset will be able to upgrade to iOS 8 from Wednesday 17 September.

Will you be buying an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus?

Find out more about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus here

Apple announces the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch

As expected, Apple announced two new iPhones and a smartwatch at its big event in Cupertino yesterday.

apple-eventAs soon as the event began, around 6pm GMT, the internet became inundated with blow by blow accounts of everything that was being said at the event, shortly followed by hands on reviews and comparisons with rival products.

Here at Gadget Stylist we love a new gadget, or three, as much as the next tech geek, and have pored through all the coverage for the past few hours. However, conscious of the fact that most people have much better things to do with their time than do the same, we’ve summarised the main features of the latest crop of Apples for you.

For starters, here’s the lowdown on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus…

iPhone 6

The first thing to notice about the iPhone 6 is its new design, with curved glass edges. Although not vastly different to previous incarnations (it’s not hugely dissimilar to the original iPhone!), at only 6.9mm thin (0.7mm less than the iPhone 5S) it’s slimmer and looks sleeker.

At 4.7 inches, the screen is slightly larger than the previous models and has what Apple describes as a “Retina HD” display, which has a resolution of 1,134 x 750 or 289 ppi (pixels per inch). While the much rumoured sapphire glass doesn’t feature this time, the phone’s front glass is described as being “ion strengthened”.

iPhone 6Inside, the iPhone 6 features the new Apple A8 processor, which although still 64 bit, is faster and more efficient than its predecessor. There’s also an M8 motion coprocessor with a new barometer sensor that measures both distance travelled and elevation, for enhanced fitness apps.

The phone also has a better camera with improved focusing technology to take faster and sharper pictures. It also has increased battery life and Apple claims it will manage 11 hours of continuous video playback.

One of the most exciting new features to grace to iPhone 6 is the long awaited Apple Pay that will allow you to pay for goods using your phone, thanks to its inbuilt NFC antenna and the added security of Touch ID.

iPhone 6 Plus

The iPhone 6 Plus has a whopping 5.5 inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 (401ppi) resolution display. It may be large but it’s only fractionally thicker than the iPhone 6 at 7.1mm.

To make the plus-sized phone easier to navigate, the iPhone 6 Plus has a feature called “reachability” where a double tap of the home button moves apps and content to the bottom half of the screen to make it easier to use with one hand.

The camera in the iPhone 6 Plus also has optical stabilisation to eliminate camera shake, but otherwise specs are pretty similar to the iPhone 6.

Both phones are available in space grey, white and gold, and in 16, 64 and 128 GB variants.

What do you think of the new iPhones?

Sony to unveil three new Xperia devices at IFA 2014

xperia-ifa-2014Excitement is mounting ahead of the IFA tech trade show, which kicks off in Berlin this week and will see all the major tech companies (except Apple, that is) launch their latest products.

As usual, there has been much speculation about what the likes of Samsung and Sony have up their sleeves. Supposed leaked images have been doing the rounds and some companies have even stoked the intrigue by teasing us with what they have in store.

Last week Sony released a mysterious image featuring the silhouettes of three devices, thought to be its new range of Xperia products, and has since tantalised us further still with a video teaser.

Sony Xperia Teaser Video

Xperia-Z3-Compact-coloursThe devices are rumoured to be a new compact tablet (Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact), and two smartphones (Xperia X3 and Xperia X3 Compact). Recently leaked details and images of the eagerly anticipated Xperia X3 Compact claim that it will have a 4.6-inch 720p display, 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, a 20.7-megapixel camera, and come in black, white, green, and red variants.

If the rumours are true, it could be a major contender in the smartphone market. All will be revealed at the Sony press conference on Wednesday…

What announcements are you most looking forward to from IFA 2014?

Apple confirms big event on 9 September

Apple eventFor months we’ve been tantalised by supposed leaked details and images of the iPhone 6, but finally it would appear that we’re just days away from finding out what Apple really has in store with the latest version, or versions, of its ever popular smartphone.

Yesterday Apple started sending out invitations to a big event on 9 September, and although it was teasingly cryptic with a tagline “wish we could say more”, it’s widely expected to be a launch of the latest iPhone, or iPhones.

According to hearsay, the new iPhone will come in two sizes: a 4.7 inch model and a larger 5.5 inch version. The other major improvement that we’re expecting to see is a sapphire-based display that will be more durable and reduce the risk of scratches and shattering.

Apple’s new software for iPhone and iPad, iOS 8 will also be launched alongside the new handsets.

There’s also much speculation that Apple will also use the 9 September event to launch the long awaited iWatch.

Many had already penciled in 9 September as the launch date for the new iPhone/s as Apple has chosen the same date to launch its new incarnations dating back to the release of the iPhone 4S. Less predictable was the choice of venue. This year’s event is to be held in the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, which is where Apple unveiled the first Mac personal computer in 1984. The significance of this combined with the fact that the Flint Centre is a much larger venue than is used for most launches leads many to believe that this is going to be a big occasion.

I guess we’ll have to wait until 9 September to find out… 11 days and counting!

Are you excited to see what Apple has up its sleeve for the 9 September launch?