Skip to main content

A new BlackBerry with a keyboard is still on the schedule for 2022

A new BlackBerry phone is still in the cards for 2022, according to hardware partner OnwardMobility. Following a breakup with TCL in 2020, BlackBerry partnered with the little-known Texas company OnwardMobility to launch a new phone in 2021. After missing that launch period, the Onward Mobility team shared an update this week, letting BlackBerry enthusiasts know that their phone was still coming.

“Everyone has eagerly awaited additional information following our last announcement, but 2021 was truly a challenging year to launch a new phone, much less one with the high expectations we set and the fact that we want to get it right!” the OnwardMobility team wrote, “While we encountered various delays that prevented us from shipping in 2021, we will be providing more regular updates starting this month that will clarify and answer many of your questions about the ultra-secure 5G enterprise smartphone (still with a keyboard!) we’re bringing to market.”

They weren’t the only ones to experience shipping issues last year. In the midst of a supply chain crisis exacerbated by a pandemic, even Samsung and Google were affected. Google’s excellent Pixel 5a was restricted to a launch in the U.S. and Japan, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Fan Edition (FE) was pushed back to 2022, and will launch just weeks before the S22.

At the same time, in an era of folding phones, a keyboard phone sounds more than a little retro. The problems that led to the adoption of full-screen phones will still remain, like a smaller screen space for instance. There are advantages to it, though. For those who like to take copious notes on their smartphones or send a lot of emails, a physical keyboard can be intuitively faster than a touchscreen keyboard. It’s also easier to tap out long missives on a moving keyboard than one with no travel, no matter how good you are at touch typing.

OnwardMobility’s timing isn’t random. BlackBerry this week finally turned off the servers powering its older and more classic handsets, from BlackBerry 7 to BlackBerry 10. With the brand in the news for a not-so-positive story and nostalgia levels on the rise, this new company was keen to remind others that it wasn’t dead. Should the phone eventually arrive, it wouldn’t the first modern keyboard BlackBerry to launch, with the KeyOne and Key2 already having been launched under TCL. Whether this new partnership can make a difference remains to be seen.

Michael Allison
A UK-based tech journalist for Digital Trends, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a…
The Black Shark 5 Pro delivers gaming goodness without the headaches
Black Shark 5 Pro in hand showing back of phone.

You know the drill by now. A new gaming phone launches, it has trigger buttons, some kind of cooling tech, below-average cameras, and a gigantic body that makes for an unwieldy daily driver. The Black Shark 5 Pro uses some of the same formula, but it's more graceful with the triggers and has a 108MP camera, as well as a cooling system that actually works. After gaming on this smartphone for three days now, I’m impressed with the sheer amount of functionality it offers.
Impressive hardware across the board
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered smartphone has a lot going for it apart from the flagship processor. For one, it features a top-notch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate and 720Hz touch-sampling rate. Secondly, the trigger buttons bring something new to pop-up buttons.

The Black Shark 5 Pro sports two magnetic pop-up triggers that are pretty responsive. When not in use, you can make them disappear with the help of the hardware toggles located right beside the two trigger buttons.

Read more
All the best new smartphones from MWC 2022
Oppo Find X5 Pro camera module.

Wondering which companies have released new smartphones during Mobile World Congress 2022? Due to several launches happening just before the show itself, it has been difficult to keep track, so we’ve collected the best of them here.
Oppo Find X5 Pro

Announced a few days before the start of Mobile World Congress 2022, the Oppo Find X5 Pro is one of the top flagship phones at the show. The sequel to the Find X3 Pro (don’t go looking for a Find X4, as it doesn’t exist), the phone is made from ceramic and metal and has two Sony IMX766 50-megapixel cameras on the back along with a 13MP telephoto camera.

Read more
BlackBerry’s latest revival attempt crashes before launch
BlackBerry Key2. Credits: BlackBerry official.

Just weeks after announcing that it would definitely launch a new BlackBerry-branded phone in 2022, OnwardMobility has announced an immediate shutdown. The company will no longer be making a new Blackberry phone, and the future of the storied brand in mobile technology again appears bleak.

The Texas-based company had acquired rights to use the BlackBerry brand for mobile in 2020, with a phone initially planned for launch in 2021. When that didn't pan out, the company also announced that it was still on track, but it would just take a little bit longer. With supply chain issues affecting companies as large as Samsung, it was understandable that a small startup would be unable to make headway.

Read more