I figured I should be the one to report on BlackBerry’s latest smartphone, the BlackBerry Motion, since I own a BlackBerry KEYone (and love it).
Like the KEYone, this device is made by Alcatel/TCL under the BlackBerry Mobile. But unlike the KEYone, this should appeal to larger crowd, instead of a niche market.
No physical keyboard. Huge battery.
From the looks and specs of the BlackBerry Motion, I’d say it’s nearly identical as the BlackBerry KEYone, but with an extra gig of RAM, a larger 4000 mAh battery, and without the physical keyboard.Since the BlackBerry Motion doesn’t have the physical keyboard, you’re back to a more usual smartphone with a 5.5″ full HD display, capacitive buttons along the button, and a fingerprint scanner on the bottom bezel which doubles as a physical home button.
The processor is once again the Snapdragon 625 SoC. The cameras include a 12MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture, and an 8MP front-facing camera. The smartphone is also IP67 water and dust resistant, and has Quickcharge 3.0.
For added convenience, the BlackBerry Motion also has the Convenience Key on the side. On my KEYone, I used to have it to volume control over Normal/Silent/Vibrate/DND, but now I use it to quickly access Google Assistant. You could the same, or have it a launch a favourte app, call a contact, etc.
When it comes to software, you get BlackBerry’s usual apps added, such as BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Calendar, DTEK by BlackBerry and BlackBerry Boost charging.
What’s new is Locker. Locker lets you store photos and documents to an internal storage area, which can only be accessed via a PIN code. Locker Mode also lets you take photos which will be saved into Locker, and bypass the cloud.
The OS will be released as Android Nougat, with Oreo coming in the new year. Otherwise Android is still nearly “vanilla”, and you get monthly security updates (and often OS) updates.
Who’s this for?
I’d bet many are asking who would want this BlackBerry. Without the physical keyboard, you’re bypassing a niche market (myself included). But believe it or not, there are appealing factors to to this smartphone. Sure, it still has large bezels and doesn’t fit the design standard of 2017. But BlackBerry doesn’t care about that. This is a device to get the job done, period.
Remember, I mentioned the BlackBerry Motion has a 4000 mAh battery? My BlackBerry KEYone goes two full days easily on one charge with it’s 3505 mAh battery. Think how long the Motion will go for on nearly identical specs?
The SD 635 processor may not be flagship speed (so I wouldn’t suggest heavy gaming on this) but it’s still very quick for running social media apps, taking photos, writing emails, and editing documents. All the while, simply sipping the battery juice instead of chugging it down like other smartphones.
Initially, the BlackBerry Motion will only be available in select markets, such as Saudi Arabia. I’ll update this article when I know when the device is coming to the US and Canada, as well as pricing.