Remember BlackBerry, the once powerful phone maker that has spent the past few years on the brink of extinction? Well, it’s still around and still working on recapturing its former glory. The company’s latest attempt at reclaiming its mojo came today at Mobile World Congress 2014 with the announcement the BlackBerry Q20, a new flagship phone.
The Q20 – or BlackBerry Classic as the company’s CEO John Chen has taken to calling it – brings back the beloved QWERTY keyboard that was once a staple of the BlackBerry device, now with frets and sculpted keys for a better typing experience. BlackBerry claims the Q20 and its 3.5-inch screen make it the largest display on a phone with a physical keyboard. The phone also retains the Menu, Send, Back, and End buttons and integrated trackpad for one-handed use.
Why is BlackBerry bringing back the QWERTY keyboard? John Chen explained in a press release, “I consistently heard from our ardent BlackBerry customers that the hard buttons and trackpad are an essential part of the BlackBerry QWERTY experience … I want these customers to know that we heard them, and this new smartphone will be for them.” In essence, BlackBerry is looking to go back to its roots in hopes of winning over some of the customers it has lost over the year.
The Q20 smartphone will also include BlackBerry Hub, giving users access to all of their messages in one place, which the company believes will help to provide an ideal emailing experience. BlackBerry has also stated the phone will be made of “premium materials” and will have “a large battery” but provided no specific details.
No official release date or price point has been set, but the Q20 is expected to be available come the second half of 2014.