Not every concept is created equal.
There’s a concept video making it’s way through various BBM groups which I am a member of. The concept video is for the BlackBerry KEY3. Oddly enough, it’s not a new video. It was published back at the end of July, but seems to be picking up some sharing steam. The video description claims that it is based on “latest rumors and leaks”. Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been out of the loop for a bit, but I’d love to know where these rumors and leaks are coming from, because I haven’t heard any.
First, let me start with the good. It’s a very nice set of renderings. I wish I had the talent and skills to create a realistic looking rendering like that. To those that created it, good job.
Now, for the important part. BlackBerry Mobile, please don’t do this. Please don’t do anything like this.
Now you’ve seen the video. If you haven’t seen it already, and you’re a BlackBerry fan such as myself, it’s probably got you excited thinking about the next BlackBerry phone. However, if you’re like me, you probably saw some glaring issues with the phone. Let’s run through them.
Issue #1: The size.
A 5.5″ screen? I get it. People want a larger screen. Folks on slab phones look at the KEY series phones and just can’t imagine having a phone with that small of a screen. Folks like me look at people on slab phones and wonder why they’re choosing to type on glass when there is a better way. The fact is, we trade off screen size for a physical keyboard, and I’m totally ok with that. The 4.5″ screen is completely usable, and I honestly can’t think of a time that I’ve complained about screen size on a KEY series device. The same can’t be said about earlier BlackBerry phones.
I do believe that the screen on the KEY devices could potentially be a little bit larger. But a full inch? No. Not at all. The phone would become top heavy and unwieldy. No longer could it be a one handed device.
Issue #2: The Keyboard
One of the greatest improvements of the KEY2 over the KEYone is the stretching of the keyboard. It may not seem like much looking at it, but once you use it, the 20% larger keys of the KEY2 are a vast improvement. Now why would you possibly shrink the keys back down to KEYone size on the KEY3? Oh yeah, to get a larger screen. Totally not worth it.
Issue #3: The Chin
Again, this choice was obviously made in order to have a larger screen on the phone. The chin has been removed. Unfortunately, you need a chin with the physical keyboard. This tall phone with the larger screen and no chin below the keyboard would make this keyboard completely unusable.
Issue #4: The Camera
Why change the orientation of the camera? In order to make it look like an iPhone? No thank you sir. No thank you.
Issue #5: The Notch
This is the biggie. The notch.
No. No. No.
Right now, this is a deal breaker for me. Who knows? Once I thought Android would be a deal breaker for me, and I’m now loving my KEY2 more than any past BlackBerry phone. But now, at this moment, I can’t imagine using a phone with a notch on it. I truly believe that the notch will someday be looked at as one of those embarrassing design choices which manufacturers will be embarrassed by. For me to use a BlackBerry with a notch, there will need to be some fairly extreme innovations to offset that design choice, and this rendering doesn’t cut it.
The biggest flaw I see with this device? It seems to be a “me-too” device. It seems to be someone secretly wanting to turn a BlackBerry into an iPhone. From the camera orientation to the notch, to the choices made which would make the keyboard unusable in order to have a larger screen, this design seems to be made by someone who has never actually used a BlackBerry KEY device. I really enjoy seeing concept phones, but I’d love to see some made with function in mind.