Onward Mobility announced back in August 2020 that it had entered into a licensing partnership with BlackBerry to develop the first 5G ‘Berry. At the time of the announcement, the plan was for BlackBerry to release a 5G Android-powered handset with a physical QWERTY keyboard sometime in 2021. There has been speculation that the name of the phone will be the BlackBerry KEY3 following previous releases of TCL’s KEYone, KEY2, and the KEY2 LE.
In April of this year, Concept Creator released a video showing a concept render envisioning the new 5G ‘Berry with a tall and thin design, 5G connectivity, and a curved screen. It looks a bit like a BlackBerry Priv with its vertical sliding QWERTY fully opened.
Today, a new concept render of the first 5G BlackBerry crossed our desk, created by Niel D from Behance. It features a round single HD camera and a frosted glass panel in the rear, a screen with thin bezels, and the Display Keyboard (which takes up roughly 25% of the screen). The keyboard is unique as it is made up of tiny squares that can change their labeling from letters to numbers, to emoji. There is also a rectangle for the space bar.
The keyboard can also become the controls for streaming music, and answering phone calls. It also shows previews for Map apps, and more. It’s a pretty cool concept, but will users get used to viewing a display that is partially made up of individual buttons covering a quarter of the display? And once again, we need to remind you that this is a concept render with a heavy emphasis on the word concept.
We still expect to see the first 5G BlackBerry pushed out by Onward Mobility sometime this year.
Concept Renders of the unannounced 5G BlackBerry Key3