Of Course BlackBerry’s Upcoming Android Phone Is Awkward

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Meet the FrankenBlackBerry. Is it an Android phone? Is it a BlackBerry? No, it’s the new BlackBerry Android phone! If you ever wondered what would happen if you slapped a BlackBerry keyboard onto an average Android phone, look no further. BlackBerry has this device for you.

Notorious leaker Evan Blass shared a rendering of the new device on Twitter. It’s everything you’ve ever dreamed, and probably even a bit more. As you can see on the picture, it runs stock Android. BlackBerry opted for a more traditional 16:9 display instead of its tiny square-ish displays as well.

But the downside is that this thing looks incredibly tall. Of course BlackBerry had to tilt the rendering angle a bit so that it doesn’t appear as tall as it seems. But I can’t help but see a gigantic TV remote control.

So what’s BlackBerry’s solution to make this device fit in your pocket? A slider! It’s 2005 all over again. Sliders are great. Except that they break, make phones less durable, add weight and thickness and are inconvenient. And given the tall form factor, it will probably be very uncomfortable to type on this thing as the display will feel heavy.

The keyboard looks very flat as well. You might not get the good old BlackBerry feeling when you type on this device. We will have to try it to know for sure.

BlackBerry is throwing everything against the wall to stay relevant — square phablets, classic BlackBerry phones, modern 16:9 BlackBerry phones… Nothing seems to appeal to customers.

Android is a much needed improvement as developers have abandoned BlackBerry’s operating system years ago. But BlackBerry can’t just become yet another Android OEM — all of them are already suffering from too much competition. That’s why adding a keyboard makes sense, in some way. I’m just not sure about the execution. But this FrankenBlackBerry might be too little, too late anyway.