The Motion, TCL’s first full-touchscreen Blackberry, due later this year
Why it matters to you
The BlackBerry Motion, which could be the first BlackBerry phone without a physical keyboard since the Storm, might launch before the year’s end.
BlackBerry might not design phones anymore, but its largest licensee, TCL, wasted no time in filling the old guard’s shoes. In 2016 alone, the Chinese holding company launched no fewer than three devices — the DTEK50, the DTEK60, and the flagship KeyOne featuring BlackBerry’s signature chiclet keys, enterprise software, and soft-touch plastic. If the rumors are true, a fourth phone — the BlackBerry Motion (or BlackBerry Krypton, depending on who you ask) — might be around the corner.
The BlackBerry Motion is said to be an all-metal, high-end Android phone that’s radically different from TCL’s existing lineup. It reportedly has a bezel-less touchscreen, a fingerprint scanner, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and it could launch as soon as late 2017.
Here’s everything we know about the Blackberry Motion so far.
Design and display
Hello, BlackBerry Motion pic.twitter.com/lBsdpORHW4
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) October 5, 2017
The BlackBerry Motion’s specifications remain a mystery, for the most part, but we have a pretty good idea of what the phone will look like.
VentureBeat’s Evan Blass leaked a render of the BlackBerry Motion in early October, and it’s a departure from TCL’s previous BlackBerry smartphones. A chamfered metal band wraps around the phone’s outer edges and houses two ports, a USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and three buttons. One might be a Convenience key, a physical switch (and holdover from the BlackBerry KeyOne) that can be programmed to an app, setting, or routine.
Then there’s the screen. Assuming the render is accurate, the BlackBerry Motion will boast an edge-to-edge display, which would make it the first BlackBerry handset without a physical keyboard since the BlackBerry Storm. Beneath it appears to be a touch-sensitive, BlackBerry-branded button that reportedly serves as a fingerprint sensor.
The BlackBerry KeyOne wasn’t known for its picture quality, but the BlackBerry Motion might be different. According to WinFuture’s Roland Quandt, it has a Sony IMX378 sensor — the same 12-megapixel, 4K-capable sensor as the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. Quandt says the front camera is a Samsung S5K4H8 8-megapixel model with a 1.12 sensor size and a 1080p/30 frames per second shooting mode
The BlackBerry Motion’s hardware is shrouded in mystery, but a leaked profile page on TCL’s servers hints at the specs.
According to the webpage, the BlackBerry Motion has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 or 626 processor and 4GB of RAM. The aforementioned touchscreen is reportedly Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) in resolution, and the battery is 4,000mAh (about 500mAh larger than the BlackBerry KeyOne’s power pack).
It’s also said to be waterproof. The BlackBerry Motion’s metal-and-glass casing is reportedly IP67 certified to withstand up to three-and-a-half-feet of water for 30 minutes.
Price and release date
The BlackBerry Motion is expected to launch by the end of this year, but we don’t know exactly when.
Recent regulatory filings hint at a release date, though. In late August, a phone with the model number BDD100-2 — or BlackBerry Krypton — passed through the Wi-Fi Alliance, and subsequently the Federal Communications Commission. When it comes to phones, that’s usually a sign of an impending launch.
Whenever the BlackBerry Motion does arrive, it’ll likely be widely available. Quandt reports it’ll launch on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon later this year, with Dual-SIM variants in China to follow soon after.