New BlackBerry 2021 : date, price and specifications
A new BlackBerry phone will launch in 2021. Yes, you are reading correctly: BlackBerry is back. What can we expect from the new BlackBerry?
The topic of the rise and fall of BlackBerry is something that within the world of technology has become all too common in the last three years.
Let’s not forget that BlackBerry was once the queen of phones, back in 2000. However, its distinctive physical keyboard and device software failed to compete with the new iPhones and Android phones.
Let’s not forget that BlackBerry launched an Android smartphone, the Priv, however, it soon stopped making mobiles.
The TCL company bought the rights to launch the BlackBerry brand phones. These phones were the KeyOne from 2017 and the Key2 from 2018, an even better sequel. Another pair of partner phones were also announced, but as of August 31, 2020, TCL stopped supporting these phones.
It was fun while it lasted, but it didn’t last long, so this new venture fills us with cautious dread.
With some surprise we learned in August that the American company Onward Mobility has licensed the BlackBerry name and announced that it will work to launch a 5G BlackBerry device with a physical keyboard in 2021.
This is what we know about the new BlackBerry
New BlackBerry 2021 release date
The new BlackBerry Android phone will ship “in the first half of 2021,” according to a press release.
The phone will be launched in North America and Europe.
The price of the new BlackBerry 2021
We don’t have any indication of the price yet, but we think it will be quite high, probably around $ 800. The phone will not be sold in large quantities, and the BlackBerry TCL phones were more expensive than the guaranteed specs and compared to other similar spec phones.
A BlackBerry in 2021 is a niche device to say the least, and the premium price will try to reflect the exclusivity of a secure keypad phone, but the reality is that it will likely be expensive because not many people will buy it.
New specifications of the BlackBerry 2021
According to Onward Mobility, the new BlackBerry will have 5G network capabilities and a physical keyboard. These are really the only two specs hints we have other than the phone running Android, as currently the announcement is just of the association’s existence and nothing else.
Onward Mobility has licensed the BlackBerry name and is also working with FIH Mobile Limitied, a Foxconn subsidiary, to manufacture the phone.
The only part of the ad that hinted at the phone’s specs says that “there is an absolute need for a secure, feature-rich, 5G-ready phone that improves productivity.”
That is still very vague but suggests that the current BlackBerry company could be involved at the software level as it was with the TCL phones. It didn’t design the hardware, but its security software was intertwined with Android, and it might as well be in the new phone, too.
“Rich in features” might mean that the new BlackBerry will be a high-end device that sings everything, unlike the KeyOne and Key2. 5G phones don’t need to promote the latest and most powerful Snapdragon chipset, but it could help the new BlackBerry last a few years for buyers. The KeyOne in particular runs quite slow today and was not well prepared for the future.
What we would like the BlackBerry 2021 to have
With so little concrete information to go on, here are a few things we hope the new BlackBerry 5G will have to make the famous brand’s return worthwhile.
A high refresh rate display
The KeyOne and the Key2 used the exact same screen and it wasn’t a good one. The colors were a bit dull and the brightness was not very good. A premium BlackBerry should have a much better display, and we expected one with a 120Hz refresh rate. If Onward Mobility wants to appeal to business professionals, it should treat them to a premium display.
A superlative keyboard
Needless to say, the physical keyboard has to be good, but the last great keyboard on a BlackBerry was the 2014 BlackBerry Classic. The click-touch keys haven’t been recreated since. Key 2 came close, but the keys were too small and too square.
The problem with putting larger keys is the expectation of the form factors of modern smartphones. The KeyOne and Key2 had pointed screens so that you could fit a physical keyboard underneath them and still have a manageable size phone. We think the new BlackBerry should recreate the form factor of the BlackBerry Priv, with a normal smartphone touchscreen and a sliding form factor that hides a physical keyboard.
On the other hand, if the phone adapted to the compact design of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and made Android work properly, we would be in nostalgia heaven.
The cameras on the TCL BlackBerrys were all weak. We hope that the BlackBerry 5G has cameras that can stand up to modern smartphones. If companies keep bringing branding back, they need to stop compromising on camera quality, one of the top things people value on their phones – even entrepreneurs.