Will BlackBerry’s 2021 QWERTY Comeback Spare Its Blushes?

BlackBerry will be launching its 5G smartphones in 2021.

Published
Tech News
3 min read
The BlackBerry Key2 was launched in 2018.
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BlackBerry (BB) is set to make a comeback (again) and the Canadian enterprise software company is set to resurrect the physical QWERTY keyboard that was once one of the most-loved features of a smartphone.

After announcing that its severing ties with its former manufacturer TCL in August last year, BB has now joined hands with Austin-based OnwardMobility and FIH Mobile Limited, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group to make smartphones that sport the old BlackBerry design philosophy with a physical QWERTY keypad.

The new BB phones are scheduled to be unveiled in 2021 and will also come with 5G technology as confirmed by its manufacturers. At the moment, the phone will only be made available for the US and European markets.

Playing The Nostalgia Card

Ever since it launched its first phone, the BlackBerry 850, an email pager released 19 January 1999, the company never looked back and brought forward innovations that set a benchmark in the smartphone industry.

One of the biggest USPs of a BB phone was the physical QWERTY keypad which even today draws fans from across the globe.

BlackBerry will launched the its new smartphone next year.
BlackBerry will launched the its new smartphone next year.
(Photo Courtesy: BlackBerry)

The last BB smartphone to sport a physical QWERTY was the BlackBerry Key2 which was launched in 2018. It carried the utility of Android and the ergonomics of a BlackBerry. Despite that, it could not win many hearts resulting in underwhelming sales performance.

People today have gotten used to touchscreen and very few would agree to go back to a physical QWERTY keypad for a phone. Ask yourselves, would you?

It’s a no-brainer that BB is playing the nostalgia card here and is wanting to rope in die-hard BB fans who’d be willing to pay for a BB phone purely because of that nostalgic sentiment.

Because in terms of speed and utility, I doubt that a physical keypad is faster than touch.

What to Expect from BB

There has been no official word on the specifications of the upcoming BB device or how much it will set you back. As of now, what is confirmed is that it will run on Android‘s latest version and come with 5G technology.

In terms of the design, you can expect the new BB phones to look similar to the BlackBerry Key2 which is an Android smartphone with a QWERTY keypad.

The upper half of the Key2 houses a 4.5-inch FHD capacitive touchscreen while the bottom half is reserved for the keypad that also supports gestures – a feature that the new BB phone may get.

Since earlier BB phones used Qualcomm’s chipset we can expect the new BB phones to be powered by the latest Snapdragon 865 processor which also supports 5G.

Since security is at the forefront of BB’s portfolio of smartphones, the upcoming BB phone could be protected by the company’s DTEK security platform.

Information about camera, battery and other specifications will be revealed later and we will keep you updated about the same.

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