After months of speculation and leaks, Vietnamese tech firm Bkav finally unveiled its flagship Bphone on Tuesday, with its CEO proudly telling a 2,000-attendee event in Hanoi they have succeeded in making the world’s best smartphone.
Nguyen Tu Quang, who founded Hanoi-based Bkav in 2001, took the stage to deliver a presentation on his brainchild in what obviously reminded viewers of the way late Apple CEO Steve Jobs or his successor Tim Cook told the world about their iPhones.
“This is the best smartphone in the world. We did it!” Quang told more than 2,000 tech enthusiasts and the media who filled the Vietnam National Convention Center, which was hosting what is believed to be the biggest tech event in Vietnam so far.
Bkav had intended to invite only 1,000 guests but eventually had to double the number as the Bphone has been making headlines for more than four months since it was first introduced at the Consumers Electronics Show in Las Vegas early this year.
All eyes of tech enthusiasts in Vietnam have since been on the much-awaited product, and the firm kept leaking information about what Quang described in March as the world’s most beautiful smartphone, whose stylish design even beats that of Apple’s iPhone.
However the company said nothing concrete about its Bphone, not even its full design let alone tech specs, until today’s official ceremony.
Quang said his handset was made from 800 different parts, provided by 82 suppliers worldwide, and Bkav has held the patent for the phone design since 2011.
The Bphone is 7.5mm wide with a Sharp 5.0 inch full HD screen, protected with Corning Gorilla Glass, which Samsung and Apple also use for their devices.
The full aluminum body handset is equipped with Toshiba’s 3GB RAM, and the Qualcomm CPU Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.5GHz. Quang said Bkav is the first firm in Southeast Asia to contract Qualcomm to supply the latest CPU.
The Bphone’s 3,000mAh battery is facilitated with a fast-charging technology called Quick Charge 2.0.
It has a 13MP primary camera and a 5MP secondary one, both covered with sapphire glass.
The Bkav CEO asserted that the phone design is comparable to Apple and Samsung handsets.
The Bphone apparently aims to attract shutterbugs as it offers such technologies as UbiFocus, allowing users to select their focus after they have taken a picture, and Fast Tracking Auto Focus, also available on the Samsung Galaxy S6, which enables users to capture fast-moving objects.
Bkav uses its own operating system, called BOS, for the Bphone. The BOS is in fact based on Android Lollipop.
The Bphone has a built-in Bkav, the company’s flagship antivirus software, which makes the smartphone “the safest of its kind on earth,” according to the CEO.
The Vietnamese firm also introduced its cloud storage service BDrive, the company’s equivalent to famous names such as Microsoft’s OneDrive or Google Drive, and the BChrome web browser, apparently based on the open source of Google Chrome.
The Bphone uses the Transfer Jet technology for data transfer, which boasts 200Mbps speed, 500 times the popular NFC technology, according to Quang.
“The Bphone is the first in the world to use the [Transfer Jet] technology,” he said.
A 16GB Bphone sells at VND9.99 million (US$455), whereas the 64GB and 24k gold plated 128GB editions fetch VND12.96 million ($595) and VND20.19 million ($927), respectively.
All prices are exclusive of taxes.
The 16GB version is only available in black, while there are three colors – black, white and champagne – for the 64GB gadget.
The devices will not be on sale via retail chains but will only be available online at vala.vn, starting June 2. Users are allowed to return the product within 14 days from purchase.
The Bphone unveiling ceremony has rocked Vietnam’s tech industry with tech websites running live coverage of the event, besides the official live broadcast provided by Bkav.
Tech aficionados and writers constantly updated their Facebook pages with the latest information from the Vietnamese company that reportedly spent VND10 billion ($459,348) on organizing the event.