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Are you excited for BlackBerry phones to return?

BlackBerry Priv
BlackBerry Priv (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Last week, a news story popped up that was straight out of the early-2000s — BlackBerry is back!

A company by the name of OnwardMobility is working with BlackBerry to release BlackBerry-branded phones starting in 2021. Details on the phones are still very thin, but we know that at least one of them will have a physical keyboard and 5G.

We saw this attempt once before with TCL, but that partnership died just a few short years after it began. That's raised some concern as to whether or not this latest attempt will have any legs to stand on, resulting in some of the following comments from our AC forum members.

Skimmed the article, here are my thoughts. Blackberry had it's day. They are going to need to pull out all the stops to make a device that people will buy. If they want to survive, they need to do the following (in my opinion): 1. Regardless of the diehards, get rid of the physical keyboard. Sure the purists want that, and I understand, but this is a business. A business needs to sell a lot...

Golfdriver97

I do agree with you on all of your points. They need to make a phone that's a hefty contender. I am a physical keyboard enthusiast but I do see what you are saying about what the overall market desires in a smartphone. Of course, they could make the flagship-level phone with a full touchscreen and the mid-range or entry-level phone with a physical keyboard. The way they manufactured the Z10...

Morty2264

I have zero interest. The device is going to have a physical keyboard, which I haven't used in over 8 years. At this time I have no desire to return to a nostalgic form factor that provides no benefit to me but simply takes up extra space, adds extra weight, and adds an additional point of potential hardware failure. I suspect this device will be as much a failure as all the other attempts to...

Laura Knotek

One would think that a moderator of CrackBerry forums would have some level of interest! And we know you wouldn't buy it anyways even if it didn't have a keyboard, because who buys a SlabBerry? If it's gonna be like any other piece of glass, what's the point? Also, a keyboard doesn't take up more weight, the KEY2 LE (156g) is most likely lighter than the slab you're using. And the few...

the_boon

What about you? Are you excited for BlackBerry phones to return?

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

35 Comments
  • I for one am really excited. But... for me, the form factor has to be one of at least of that of the BlackBerry 9900 or BlackBerry Classic. I owned the PRIV and KeyOne and they disappointed me. I could not get used to those form factors. I know they're going to make more than one style of phone, but for me to buy, one has to be of the form I mentioned. ✌️💪
  • As a guy typing this comment on his Key2, I am excited for a new BlackBerry phone! I would prefer a form factor closer to the Key2 rather than a Passport. But my dream device would be a BlackBerry Classic with updated internals and Android! That would make me incredibly happy!
  • Me as well. Classic like form factor with wider keyboard. Maximum efficiency in screen space for larger viewing and a track pad for one handed operation. Needs long battery life and a SOC one tier below flagship. Similar to all the excellent devices with the 765G 5G chip these days. Pricing will need to be between 500-600 and will need to be carrier supported for adoption and success.
  • Would like to see a Priv2 with the keyboard opening horizontally instead of vertically... this allows for the user to have the option of the PKB and On-Screen in one...
    Has to have a SOLID camera setup..
    At least 90Hz display..
    Coming out in '21 means 5G should be standard..
    And it needs a reliable chipset, Snapdragon 7xx-8xx series. (I'd still be hesitant as a consumer about MediaTek for another year or so while they ramp up their manufacturing processes) and coupled with a minimum of 8GB Ram and 128GB UFS 3.1 storage.. Keeping in mind the device is aimed at business professionals who will have multiple apps running and workflow there between them.. I really miss my Z30 !!
    Still have the Priv in a drawer in my desk...
    So, I fall into the "excited" camp, yet remain cautiously optimistic...
  • No. Nope. Been there done that. Got burned as a customer in more ways than one. So no... thanks!
  • Agreed. Many broken promises from BB. I'm done with them and they won't get another dime of my money. My Passport SE was my last Blackberry.
  • But, but, Lucy promises not to pull away the football this time. Really.
  • If you're happy to type on glass, move on, there's nothing to see here.
  • I have already moved on. Away from Blackberry. Couldn't be happier.
  • Guess what? I've been "burned" by ALL the other manufacturers that aren't giving me the one feature I want most, the physical keyboard.
  • All the other manufacturers that burned you give their customers, with varying degrees of success, pretty much everything they need, minus those features they don't: a physical keyboard and a tiny screen.
  • Yes, but it would have to be a premium device at a reasonable cost.
  • Foldable Blackberry with a physical keyboard. What do you think?
  • Yes. Give me back my HP 200LX keyboard.
  • Absolutely interested. A new BB 5G device with Pixel 4a/5 internals would be appealing priced in the range of these devices. BoA has a 400 device order already it seems so the device will be as secure as can be for the security minded. Typing on a keyboard will be fun again although today's slab keyboards do the job just as well as a pkb, particularly Gboard + larger screen. Any new device should be welcomed, but for this new device to survive it'll need to match Knox and iOS in terms of security and committ to 3yrs of OS updates and 4yrs of patches.
  • For me to buy a new blackberry it’s gonna have to be a clone of the bb q10 or a classic blackberry with all the new hardware. I don’t even care what OS it runs as long as I have access to all the apps. Oh yeah, that only leaves one OS this new blackberry will run :)
  • Curious, not excited yet. Keep the hype!
  • I loved my blackberry devices, and got burned on every device from the storm 9530 for unreliable hardware. torch 9860 for the last bbos07 disaster. BB10 lack of support. Priv disaster. .... But I will be buying the new crackberry device .... Cause I need it
  • USB cable to plug into your arm for the fix? Ha!
  • BlackBerry should come back with its own OS not Android. There is no alternate for BlackBerry OS.
  • it's a thing of the past, it about the apps and not the os, blackberry had the lead but the fail, because they were riding the gravy train
  • phones with physical keyboard are a thing of the past, blackberry needs to look into the future, people needs more screen space, blackberry had its days but they fail to innovate, apple came from nowhere and take their market share.
  • No. Every BlackBerry that didn't have a keyboard failed hard in the market. Why? Because people buy a Berry BECAUSE it has a physical keyboard you can FEEL. If you want to type on glass, there are plenty of other generic slabs to choose from.
  • "Are you excited for BlackBerry phones to return?" Don't care ... Never was a fan.
  • YES YES YES! I loved my many blackberries over many years. What I miss the most is the efficient OS. Would get another blackberry smartphone in a NY minute for that OS. Nothing wrong with androids, but they are oinkers.
  • For me a pkb is essential... Typing on glass is frustrating for me as I use my phone predominantly for business... Have a KeyOne and a Key2, this will be a day one purchase for me...
  • Depends on the price - expected can be one to one price like Xiaomi. It's the sales volume they should after not pricey phone.
  • Very excited, will buy as long as it works on Verizon. I would prefer a device closer to the old Bold or Classic format, but will still buy even if it is closer to a Passport or Key 2 format. I still wish for a newer BlackBerry OS and not Android but I will take what I can get. Don't want anything to do with all touch screen phones and would be perfectly fine with a smaller screen to get a larger keyboard. Been scared that the Key2 I am typing this comment on was going to be the last. So relieved that my nightmare of having to use an all touchscreen phone will not come to pass.
  • To be brutally honest BlackBerrys stopped being BlackBerrys when they lost the SoC (System on a Chip) and farmed out the manufacturing to TCL (in China). At that point BlackBerry's bullet proof security was gone. BlackBerry tried to hang on to its reputation as "the most secure smartphone in the world" by introducing DTEK on all its Android phones. BlackBerry said that DTEK wasn't just another security app but was INTEGRATED into the Android OS. OK......fine. I guess that's better than nothing and it was enough to make me a customer for a few years even if the PRIV was more or less a design failure. The Key2 was doing something better but the Keyboard just didn't do the magic of the old BB Bold which I could effortlessly write a book on. So here's BlackBerry in round three of the smartphone game or is it still BlackBerry and can they capture the old magic in a bottle? Can the new masters of the BlackBerry brand succeed where TCL failed? As a die hard BlackBerry user who is ready to give up the dream that began in Kanukistan I need reassurances this time round....yeah, you heard me! You guys need to knock this one out of the park or it's no deal and I won't even do the Canadian thing and say "SORRY" at the end of that.
  • Nope. How many times do they need to die before they take the hint?
  • I'm glad they're around for those who want a physical keyboard. They're clearly not for you, so keep tapping on your glass slab
  • I am very excited to hear that BlackBerry phones may return. They are by far the best phones and I have been using BlackBerry phones for years.
  • The virtual keyboard of BlackBerry is better that any other, exploit it. When I bought the Priv I barely used the physical keyboard because of the amazing writting prediction of the software and moreover that you can choose the words just above the letter. For me this is the key to success. I have never wrote any faster with any other physical o virtual keyboard. So yes, Im excited by a new BlackBerry!
  • 13 years never owned anything but . Key2 now , looking forward to new device .
  • I lovedy Z10 and adored my passport. I don't think I would bother especially if the quality wasn't there and the back up was poor from some small player.
    Tbh I'm.happy buying a Motorola or Sony or Nokia for a few hundred pounds or less And changing it when Ive had enough. So far my G6 play has given me nearly two years for £135 can't ask for more than that.