BlackBerry Aurora: everything you need to know

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BlackBerry has just launched a new phone, called the Aurora, packing a low to mid-range price, a big screen and a curious mix of lower and upper end specs.

If you want to buy it, well, you can’t outside Indonesia, or not right now anyway. But it’s always possible we’ll see something similar get a wider launch. 

In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the BlackBerry Aurora.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The latest affordable BlackBerry handset
  • When is it out? Now, but only in Indonesia
  • What does it cost? Roughly $260/£215/AU$345

BlackBerry Aurora release date and price

The BlackBerry Aurora is out now, but currently only in Indonesia where it sells for the equivalent of around $260/£215/AU$345.

The handset is aimed at emerging markets, so it’s unlikely we’ll see it in the US, UK or Australia, but it’s possible that a similar phone could at some point be launched globally by TCL (the company now responsible for BlackBerry branded hardware).

BlackBerry also has a new phone called the KeyOne, which will be released globally in April.

BlackBerry Aurora design and screen

The BlackBerry Aurora has a fairly plain design, with a textured plastic shell in black, silver or gold. It’s 152 x 76.8 x 8.5mm and 178g, and unlike some BlackBerry devices there’s no QWERTY keyboard here, just a 5.5-inch 720 x 1280 touchscreen surrounded by sizeable bezels.

At that size and resolution, the display is just 267 pixels per inch, which isn’t particularly sharp, even for the money, but the BlackBerry Aurora justifies its price tag in other ways, as you’ll see below.

BlackBerry Aurora OS and power

The beating heart of the BlackBerry Aurora is an entry-level quad-core Snapdragon 425 chipset clocked at 1.4GHz.

While that’s unremarkable, the 4GB of RAM that accompanies it is rather more notable, matching flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G6. That’s significantly more RAM than most phones at this sort of price have.

The Aurora also has 32GB of storage, plus a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 256GB. It’s also got dual-SIM support, which while not super exciting is a first for a BlackBerry phone.

Another notable feature of the BlackBerry Aurora is its use of Android 7 Nougat, which is the latest major release of the OS and one which few phones yet run.

BlackBerry Aurora camera and battery

The BlackBerry Aurora has a 13MP rear camera with a dual-LED flash, while around the front there’s an 8MP one. A 3,000mAh battery keeps the phone alive.

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