BlackBerry wants to reinvent the smartphone with keyboard

BlackBerry was showing his new smartphone with keyboard, which goes on sale in September. Although it did not do official release, John Chen (company director) did a sort of informal presentation late last month, but did not elaborate.

blackberry square screen

Square Screen
As can be seen in the photos, it is a rare phone: physical keyboard is something unusual for these days and a square screen, 4.5 inch, high resolution (1440 x 1440 pixels). BlackBerry 10 and, of course, with version 10.3 will be ready in the coming months, which improves compatibility with Android. The company does not yet confirmed the rest of the hardware, although some rumors suggest quad-core chip, 3GB RAM and 3850 mAh battery.

The approximate size is that of a passport and hence its name – and with the BlackBerry tries to defend one of their strongest points (the keyboard) but giving a spin to avoid falling into the traditional computer (which will also come, end of the year, as BlackBerry Classic; is a Bold with BB10).

According Blackberry, square screen allows you to see a lot of information without having to change direction the phone – key on a computer with keyboard. The company says most of the books take 66 characters per line; that a modern smartphone hit 40, and Passport shows 60. For some applications – view spreadsheets, maps, diagrams – sounds like a very interesting option.

Keyboard with buttons, but sensitive to touch
In regards to the keypad, maintains physical keys, but also transforms the entire keyboard into a touch-sensitive surface. This lets you use the keyboard three lines as a sort of touchpad, to avoid lifting your fingers and touch the touch screen; sliding your finger over the keys navigate a page scroll as if it were made by touching the screen; the same to change the cursor position and not to cover the text when it is being edited.

If the operation required, the physical keyboard are added on-screen options (symbols, etc.). And the gestures on the keyboard allow you to choose a word suggested by predictive text, correct again, and so on.

It is a choice niche, no doubt, but it’s a good idea to BlackBerry: make a phone with keyboard, but trying to avoid the limitations (in screen size) that historically imposed that format. Remains to be seen, of course, what price will, if the market remains interested in computers keyboard, and if that will be enough for the company to recover some lost ground.

For those who prefer something more traditional, the company will sell the BlackBerry Classic in November, with BlackBerry 10.3 and modern hardware, but returning some historic elements of the BlackBerry: keyboard buttons that separate it from the screen something that the Q10 does not have.