1. VerryBestr's Avatar
    RapidBerry originally posted leaked/rumored spec sheets for three models: Lisbon/AT&T/Canada, Laguna/Verizon, and London/RoW(=Rest of World?). These have been posted in various places here and around the web. They have been collected in a single post at N4BB and nicely tabulated here.

    There is obviously some scepticism about this info (e.g this and this from Bla1ze). But I'm going try to examine the specs in a what-if-they-were-true exercise.

    How do these three models correspond to RIM management statements?

    In an interview in South Africa, Thorsten Heins said: "... at launch, there will be three full-screen devices with a virtual keyboard, and three devices with a physical QWERTY keyboard ...". The WSJ reported Mr. Heins saying that "RIM will initially launch two phones [one all touch-screen phone, and one which also has a physical keyboard]. ... Mr. Heins said there will eventually be six phonesóthree that are all-touch screen and three with physical keyboards."

    The Lisbon, Laguna and London would thus be the three all-touch devices to initially launch. This split into three models roughly corresponds to Apple's three models for the iPhone 5. Three more BB10 devices will quickly follow, with identical radio coverage but with physical keyboards.

    RIM would then "eventually" bring out two more all-touch phones and two more keyboard phones (each probably having several models with different radio coverage). The newer phones would probably be higher end phones that relegate older models to a lower price point and/or more economical phones.
    JR A likes this.
    10-08-12 09:25 AM
  2. VerryBestr's Avatar
    Will BB10 phones use OMAP or Qualcomm processors?

    The curious answer, according to these rumors, is that RIM would use both! The two LTE models are said to use Qualcomm MSM8960 processors, while the non-LTE model is said to pair an OMAP processor with a ST-Ericsson M5730 wireless chip (HSPA+, simultaneous 21Mbps downlink and 5.76Mbps uplink).

    Why would RIM use different processors? There are several possible explanations. Perhaps RIM used its choices as bargaining chips with TI and Qualcomm. Perhaps RIM could not get enough supply from Qualcomm, given its production problems. Perhaps RIM wanted to drive down the production price of the London/RoW model (with no LTE license fees and less expensive components).

    Curiously, these spec sheets say the LTE models use the Qualcomm MSM8960 (S4 Plus) processor, rather than the MSM8960T (S4 Pro) tipped by other rumors -- there is a big difference. Are these spec sheets outdated? The London/RoW spec sheet simply says OMAP 4, with no processor model number. Bla1ze has posted that the Dev Alpha B has uses the OMAP 4470.

    Compared to their respective predecessors, the Qualcomm MSM8960T and the OMAP 4470 each contain a much faster GPU, whose performance is particularly important for gaming. For non-graphics tasks, they should perform similarly to their predecessors: the Qualcomm MSM8960, used in several phones (e.g. HTC Droid Incredible 4G, Lumia 820 & 920), and the OMAP 4460, used in the 4G Playbook and in many phones (most of which are clocked at a slower frequency).

    To understand the boost expected from the new GPUs, I've looked for benchmark comparisons. The MSM8960T has not yet been used in any device, but its quad-core S4 Pro sibling with the same GPU is in several new phones available only in Asia. The 4470 has not yet been used in a phone other than the Dev Alpha B, but it can be tested in tablets.

    This AnandTech "iPhone 5 Performance Preview" contains some results for the new LG Optimus G built on the quad-core S4 Pro. Near the end of this article, there are four graphs showing GLBenchmark "Egypt" results, which indicate the speed of 3D animation. In these graphs, the Optimus G is the only phone with performance comparable to the iPhone 5. On this page, I have set up a GLBenchmark comparison of the iPhone 5 (the current speed champ), the Xiaomi Mi-2 and the Vega IM-850 (two phones with the quad-core S4 Pro), and the Galaxy S III AT&T (with a MSM8960 clocked at 1.5GHz). On the low-level "fill rate" and "trangle throughput" tests, the iPhone blows away all competition. But on the high-level Egypt benchmarks, which simulate 3D gaming, the S4 Pro phones perform about as well as the iPhone 5 and about twice as well as the Galaxy S III AT&T with the S4 Plus MSM8960.

    The OMAP 4470 has been chosen for several tablets (Archos 101XS, Kindle Fire HD 8.9in, Kobo Arc, Nook HD, ...), most of which are not yet on the market. But this AnandTech review of the Archos 101XS contains a couple of 3D benchmarks (GLBenchmark Egypt and BaseMark) for the 4470. They showed the 4470 to be "competitive" with the iPad 2, but not the latest iPad. This link is a GLBenchmark comparison of the iPhone 5, the Archos 101XS and the Kobo Arc (with the 4470 in both tablets), and the Huawei U9500 (one of the few phones with the 4460 clocked at 1.5GHz). On the Egypt benchmarks, the 4470-based tablets are around twice as fast as the 4460-based phone, but roughly half as fast as the iPhone 5.
    Last edited by VerryBestr; 10-08-12 at 10:06 AM.
    JR A likes this.
    10-08-12 09:31 AM
  3. VerryBestr's Avatar
    Why would RIM bring out 3 different versions of its first BB10 phones?

    Because Apple made a similar choice, it is interesting to compare the three iPhone 5 devices with the BB10 leaks. I found this PDF slide deck to be a particularly clear summary of iPhone 5 frequencies and of world-wide LTE deployment. The three phones are for: (a) AT&T + Canada; (b) Verizon (+ Japan for the iPhone); and (c) the rest of the world.

    (a) According to the spec rumors, the Lisbon/AT&T/Canada model handles LTE bands 2, 5, 4 and 17. It is interesting that same four LTE bands are handled by the iPhone/A1428/AT&T model. There is a story behind that choice which is explained here and here. Bands 4 and 17 are the only LTE bands used today by AT&T. But it seems that AT&T wanted the option of rolling out LTE into bands 2 and 5, whose frequencies are currently used for 2G and 3G networks.

    (b) The Laguna/Verizon BB10 model only handles LTE band 13 (for Verizon). The iPhone A1429/CDMA covers several more, LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 13 and 25 (for Sprint). I've read that this iPhone model will be sold only in the US and Japan. .

    (c) The "rest of the world" iPhone model is named A1429/GSM. It is actually the same phone as the A1429/CDMA but with some radio coverage deactivated: all CDMA coverage along with US LTE bands 13 & 25. Its LTE coverage is oriented toward various Asian countries, with little European coverage. RIM's third model, the London/RoW, has no LTE coverage.

    For non-LTE radio capabilities, the three iPhone models have identical radio coverage: quad-band GSM/EDGE and quad-band HSPA+/UMTS. The London/RoW phone covers the same non-LTE radio bands, and specifies 21Mbps HSPA+. The other two BB10 models also specify the same quad-band GSM/EDGE coverage. But their specs do not mention HSPA+, and HSPA/UMTS is only triband for the Lisbon/AT&T model and dualband for the Laguna/Verizon model. Compared to the Laguna/Verizon model, the iPhone has an additional CDMA band at 2100 MHz, presumably for China Telecom. (I suppose that CDMA 800 MHz for the iPhone and CDMA 850 MHz for the Laguna actually refer to the same frequency band.)

    While there was speculation that RIM's antenna tuning technolgy would permit coverage of more radio bands, according to these specs each BB10 model has less radio capability than the corresponding iPhone. That situation could be the result of a RIM business decision to initially implement LTE only in the US and Canada, and/or because of restrictions imposed by Verizon & AT&T.
    JR A likes this.
    10-08-12 09:40 AM
  4. VerryBestr's Avatar
    If that qualcom S4 is not a "pro" version with the adreno 320 gpu I will be deeply disappointed. It would be a huge wasted opportunity not to make the bbos10 platform opengl es 3.0 compliant from day 1, as they would be throwing away an advantage that no existing platform can match.
    If RIM uses a TI OMAP processor:
    | Is the OMAP 4470 chip in the new Kindle Fire HD 8
    The OMAP 4470 uses a PowerVR SGX MP1 GPU, although itís important to note that itís running at a 384 MHz, compared to the PowerVR SGX MP2 in Appleís A5 chip, which has 2 cores, both running at just 250 MHz. This is usually TIís strategy with their chips ó they use an older core, but they raise the clock speeds. I donít like this approach, because it means TI will always be behind others when it comes to new GPU features, like OpenGL ES 3.0 or OpenCL. Moreover, they wonít even be able to get these new features on the upcoming OMAP 5 chips, because they will use an overclocked PowerVR SGX543 MP2, at a time when everyone would have moved already to a the next-gen architecture.
    On the other hand, the OMAP 4470 contains a new kind of graphics processor. In addition to the GPU, the new 2D "composition engine" should be able to handle most of the graphics effects shown for BB10 (peek, wake up, etc.). Using this processor when possible is said to be much more energy efficient than using the GPU, and can even be faster. Of course, the software and graphics libraries must be coded to use this processor. It is an interesting approach.
    10-08-12 10:37 AM
  5. VerryBestr's Avatar
    So [a month ago], EE launched their 4g network - it is likely to be the only 4g network for at least a year. So... do BB10 in the UK come out in two versions - one with LTE radio and one without or as with the Nokia 920 is EE going to have an exclusive deal? ... How do you think they will handle it? Multiple versions or networks selling LTE capable phones with no network to run them on?
    Well, according to these rumored specs, no BB LTE for you ... or anyone else outside the US and Canada. Moreover, EE and some German carrier are only getting the iPhone 5 because they lucked out and use frequency bands targeted by Apple in Asia.

    The rumored BB10 Aristo specs do show a new EU/APAC model which would handle LTE bands 3, 7, 8 and 20. This model would cover most European countries. The EU/APAC model is in addition to a "NA" model with the same LTE bands as the Lisbon/AT&T/Canada model.

    By comparison, the non-NA Lumia phones can handle LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8 and 20 (using frequency bands 2100, 1800, 2600, 900 and 800 MHz). The Nokia UK web site once specified these same LTE frequencies for the UK Lumia 920, under the "Hardware" heading (I have a screen copy). But now this link shows the added frequencies of 700, 850,1700, and 1900 MHz. The additional frequencies are those indicated for the NA Lumia 920. Do the UK Lumia 920 specs really mean that Nokia will put out a single phone that has the hardware capability to simutaneously cover all these LTE bands? That would be an incredible advance over the current situation, but it seems unlikely.

    None of these rumored RIM spec sheets show RIM addressing LTE band 1, as do both current iPhones and Lumia phones. This band supports some of the largest LTE installations outside the US, in S Korea and Japan. In these countries, alternate operators do use other frequencies covered by the Aristo EU/APAC model. But these spec rumors would indicate that RIM is not really trying to push into S Korea and/or Japan, while Apple is.
    10-08-12 11:58 AM
  6. TRlPPlN's Avatar
    wow, you actually had time to analyze all that? excellent analysis IMO. now we just wait...
    drjay868 and 00stryder like this.
    10-08-12 12:16 PM
  7. Balti43's Avatar
    Okay curious question... is there various names for LTE? because i noticed only one of them has word in the spec sheet.
    10-08-12 12:26 PM
  8. undone's Avatar
    And what if RIM is in bed with TI and is going to offer the yet released OMAP 5 to all their phones? Hasn't TI chips been used in every QNX BB device to date? And how would the Paratek chips fit in with all this (or would they)?
    10-08-12 12:35 PM
  9. sf49ers's Avatar
    TI OMAP is not bad in comparison, the PlayBook(OMAP 4430) is the first ARM based tablet that can decode a 1080p H.264 High Profile video stream. TI IVA 3 multimedia accelerator is what makes full 1080p30 playback and recording possible on the PlayBook and no other tablet it's league(including ipad2 and gazillion tegra 2 based tablets ) was able to achieve it.

    OMAP has the advantage of using the NEON ARM instruction set to boost multimedia performance.
    Also OMAP4 platform makes use of an additional hardware accelerator called IVA 3 that makes encoding and decoding HD video a snap.
    Also OMAP makes use of a dual-channel memory controller. multitasking system means that data is constantly being moved into, and out of, active memory. OMAP 4 embraces a dual-channel (2 x 32-bit) LP-DDR2 interface giving it twice the theoretical bandwidth compared to others.

    Any non-3D performance differences would likely be due to software optimization, not hardware limitations.
    10-08-12 12:56 PM
  10. jedibeeftrix's Avatar
    I don’t like this approach, because it means TI will always be behind others when it comes to new GPU features, like OpenGL ES 3.0 or OpenCL
    Agreed with the quote.

    It would be a crying shame if RIM do not use the opportunity of a brand new platform to standardise on OpenGL ES 3.0 compliant hardware accross the range.

    RIM, do not use TI, and only use Adreno 320 sporting S4 variants.
    10-09-12 04:03 AM
  11. MoolahMitch's Avatar
    This has tempered my excitement as I am on T-Mobile, meaning if they offer BlackBerry10 it would be the rest of the world model. My other option would be to get the AT&T version to use on their refarmed 1900MHz band but thats only for HSPA+ and still no LTE. Dang it!
    10-09-12 08:07 AM
  12. mithrazor's Avatar
    I'm pretty sure they're going to use the GSM model for T-Mobile. T-Mobile will be able to use AT&T's LTE bands because of the merger not going through. The London is a world phone. Meant for markets that don't have LTE yet.

    US does, and T-Mobile's moving towards LTE soon. Not giving T-Mobile, one of their biggest backers, an LTE capable phone would be a horrible move.
    10-09-12 08:36 PM
  13. 00stryder's Avatar
    Amazing analysis, very thorough and balanced with what appears to be very little bias. A bit of the discussion went way over my head, but I think I understand the gist of it. Although I don't particularly mind if my future Verizon-branded BB10 cannot access LTE networks outside of North America, this model of implementing what appears to be the bare minimum of radio bands is somewhat alarming as it reminds me of RIM of yore. I hope there is more to it than simply cost cutting (as you said, perhaps a concession to AT&T and/or Verizon). Honestly though, if BB10 runs smoothly on the Laguna and I get a great user experience out of it, I don't really care if it isn't "the best." I'm definitely not waiting for the Aristo to come out before I get a new phone.
    10-09-12 10:24 PM
  14. JR A's Avatar
    I just wanted to say that was a great analysis.

    I read the whole thing and thought you were quoting a news article. I

    I didn't realize that was original work of yours...


    Anyway, I really hope BB10 can be used on AT&T and T-Mobile with LTE and HSPA+ . I hate having AT&T branded BBs that can be unlocked, but will only get EDGE when used on T-Mobiles network or vice versa.
    10-10-12 03:47 AM
  15. LoganSix's Avatar
    The most confusing thing is London/Lisbon/Laguna all have BT 2.1 and Aristo has 4.0. What's up with that?
    10-10-12 09:53 AM

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