When you think of BlackBerry smartphones, you will almost certainly picture the QWERTY keyboard that has adorned the vast majority of the company’s handsets. However, the firm has just announced a new phone that has ditched the keyboard in favour of a full touchscreen.
The BlackBerry Motion was revealed on Sunday (October 8th) at the GITEX 2017 electronics trade show in Dubai, although a few images of the phone were leaked beforehand. However, UK customers won’t be able to get their hands on it for a while yet, as it is only available for pre-order in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia at the moment.
This will be the second phone created by BlackBerry under a brand licensing deal with Chinese tech firm TCL. The Asian company – best known for making budget televisions under the Alcatel OneTouch brand – also created the BlackBerry KeyOne, which was revealed earlier this year and comes with the iconic keyboard as well as a touchscreen.
The BlackBerry Motion will come with a 5.5-inch HD display and 4GB of RAM as standard, has space for two SIM cards, and will be rated IP67 for dust and water resistance. It will also include a fingerprint sensor, as well as all of BlackBerry’s security apps.
However, the real star of the show is the battery, a 4,000mAh model with support for QuickCharge 3.0. BlackBerry claims that this extra-large battery will be able to support around 32 hours of continuous mixed use, which would be very impressive with the increased demands that modern apps put on smartphones.
This is not the first time BlackBerry has abandoned the QWERTY keyboard that made it famous. It has utilised keypads and touchscreens many times before, such as in the Z30 and DTEK50 models. However, this is the first keyboard-less handset announced by the company since its decision to stop manufacturing smartphones themselves, which in turn led to the deal with TCL.
BlackBerry phones have increasingly struggled to remain a market force while competing with the likes of Apple and Android. However, potentially the BlackBerry Motion can turn this around for the firm.