BlackBerry Set to Beat Apple in Launching Large Screen Smartphone with 4.65-inch Aristo

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BlackBerry Aristo

A rendering of what the BlackBerry Aristo could look like.

On yesterday’s Apple conference call, CEO Tim Cook criticized existing large-screen smartphones (phablets) as a result of trade-offs.  He also said that Apple “would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist.”  We concluded that Apple would not launch a phablet in 2013, and that the first iPhone with a display larger than 4.5″ would likely arrive early 2014.

BlackBerry Aristo Gets Upgraded Specs, Launching in Holiday Season

Meanwhile, sources inside BlackBerry indicate that the company’s first phablet is on schedule to launch in time for the Holiday Season.  The BlackBerry Aristo sports a 4.65″ Super AMOLED touchscreen, with quad-core 1.9 GHz Qualcomm Krait processors and 4GB of RAM.  While the smartphone had a resolution of 1280×720 when work began, it is now expected to launch with a 1080×1920 resolution.  The phablet’s specifications have received a nice upgrade since work started on the device, with a doubling of RAM, faster CPUs and enlarged 3,000mAh battery.

Designed to go head-to-head against the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the Aristo will be BlackBerry’s first quad-core smartphone.  In fact, with BB10’s QNX OS being optimized for multi-core environments, it will be interesting to see the Aristo’s performance benchmarks against those of the Note 3.  After all, there are signs Samsung may be struggling with 8-core smartphones – even though the international version of the Galaxy S4 has 8 cores, only 4 cores can be run at a time.

What are you looking forward to most in the BlackBerry Aristo?  Please let us know in the comments below.

  • Stinky

    Well i have been looking at all types of phablets. Large screens to smaller types. I found that the LG Flex is pretty cool. Fits all my needs. Was going to wait IFA to see what is coming out this year. But I don’t have wait. A 6 inch display on phablets might seem too big. It fits perfectly in my pocket and is a powerful little beast that performs awesome.
    If a smaller screen is what you are looking for then there are a lot to choose from.


    I am buying one as soon as its available 😉 Can’t wait. Go BB10

  • Adam Jančařík

    Is this really true or it is just a speculation? Any evidences?

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  • Wincy Ut

    Hey Michael you are good. Keep up your good work!.

    • Michael Li


  • Wincy Ut

    I would hope the Aristo would do everything a tablet/laptop can do and much more. And have over 100GB of storage with optional expandable 64GB micro sd. Also, be awesome for games.

  • JQ

    The screen should be upgraded to 5″.

    • Michael Li

      It looks like that has actually happened.

  • Mono Toon

    the screen size is perfect! we can get more work done with it. mobile computing is the future!

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  • lorax1284

    This, but in a portrait slider format (Torch) would make me spend another ~$800 (tax in) for a new BB10 device in the same calendar year as my Z10… but if it isn’t a slider, I think my wallet is safe.

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  • king125

    This would seem to be great for BB. Is there any info on the camera size and also I though on the BB dev blog last year they said that going forward the phones would all be 720 to make it easier for developers. Lastly have you guys heard any info on the R series phones for the mid-entry level range?

    • Michael Li

      The new BB10 emulator that came out on April 17th sets the screen size dynamically, which is the first step in allowing for resolutions higher than x720 or x768.

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  • Dan

    I like to see Blackberry thinking ahead. The Phablot market is relatively uncharted territory. They already own the qwerty keyboard line, are making inroads in the all touch screen market and if rumour pans out, restablish their dominance in the slider form factor market. I hope they don’t o to far on the Phablot size – 5.5 inch Note size is too big for a phone. Good strategy for BlackBerry.

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  • bob

    Aren’t phablets those with screens 5″ and more? 4.65″ would put it competition with S4 types. Coincidentally just heard this rumor last weekend from 2nd party sources that BlackBerry is working on a competitor to the Note. I assumed it was the Aristo so I tried to correct him that the device was likely to go against the S4 but he was specific that it was to be for the Note. If these rumored specs went up, I can imagine that the screen size is going up too. I was actually looking forward to the 4.65″ as that is the form factor most perfect for my hands.

    • Michael Li

      That’s interesting info – thanks for that. According to this definition, a phablet is 4.5″ to 7″

      And you’re right, at 4.65″ it could compete more against the Galaxy S4 than Note 3.

      • bob

        No problem. I’d never thought I’d be one of those guys who’d comment insider info from “a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, etc…” but this just gave me my deja vu moment for the day and the thought of something coming around the holidays made me excited for a new toy.

        At it says 5 to 8.

        • Michael Li

          Ya there are bound to be different definitions for this new term. Interestingly, a few weeks ago, a person in my MBA program who is in her 20’s asked what a phablet is, as soon as I said it in a sentence. I think most people do not yet know what this new term means.

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  • Blorg


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  • Ann-Louise Winter

    Like that resolutions are 1.5 times as big both ways. That way, apps should work the same way, without needing tweaking due to uneven changes.

    • Michael Li

      Ya, the new BB10 emulator that came out on April 17th sets the screen size dynamically, potentially allowing for other resolutions.

  • Ann-Louise Winter

    If this is as good as it could be, with cutting-edge specs, I’m getting one for sure! Just hope it has a removable battery.

    • Michael Li

      Ya it should be very attractive to BlackBerry loyalists, Android users and even Apple fans. In the spec sheet that was leaked before, it says that the battery is non-removable. But the same was initially said about the Z10 (before anyone knew it was going to be called the Z10) so it could likely end up being a removable battery.

    • AVPTI

      A battery that size won’t be removeable.

      • Michael Li

        The Note 2 has a 3,100 mAh removable battery, so the Aristo could definitely have a removable battery.