When CNET Sleeps, it Dreams of BlackBerry


A rather… shall we say, interesting… article was posted over at CNET today. In the post, blogger Sean Hollister shared his dreams of a BlackBerry Droid. Yes, that’s right, a BlackBerry Droid.

Hollister seems to be an Android fan, and also states that he has spent time with the Priv. But Hollister dreams of more. Strangely enough, the first thing he wishes for, strangely enough, is for Verizon branding. The second strange thing he’s wishing for, is for Droid branding. He leads off in to the history of Verizon licensing the Droid name from Motorola and other such things, and I must admit, I’m at a loss. With everything the Priv has going for it, beautiful hardware, touch sensitive physical keyboard, best virtual keyboard available, an amazingly beautiful screen, unparalleled security in the Android space, Hollister wants to see the words Droid and Verizon emblazoned on it. While I’m left wondering if this is perhaps in the same vein that Linus wants his blue blanket for comfort, Hollister can rest assured that he shall see one of those names on the back of a Priv soon when Verizon starts carrying the newest BlackBerry device.

The third thing that Hollister hopes for, is what I’m more interested in. You see, Hollister’s dream phone has a landscape keyboard. If you scrape away the odd wants for other company’s branding, that’s the true difference between what he wants vs what is offered. He offers up several renders of what he would like in the device, one shown here, and you can see the other’s at CNET.

My take on this? I think it’s horrible. For two primary reasons. That’s one ugly keyboard. Granted, it’s a render, but that doesn’t even come close to what we expect from a BlackBerry keyboard. The flat tops, the 4 separate buttons for the space bar, could you imagine typing on this beast? He has a rather interesting idea about e-ink keys that could dynamically change with apps, and I suppose that’s the reason for the flat keys, but personally, I feel that even with that idea implemented, it just wouldn’t be worth it. By going with the flat topped keys as such, we’d lose something that BlackBerry keyboards are known for, for being accurate whether we’re looking at it or not.

Secondly, I personally hate landscape keyboards. There was a time for them, way back when cell phones were tiny. I’ll admit that when I was tapping away on my old BlackBerry Torch, there were times I wished that BlackBerry would have gone with a landscape keyboard. But things have changed since then. Phones have gotten bigger. I think of my wide working BlackBerry Passport, and the learning curve I had going to such a large keyboard. With this being a 5 inch phone, you could basically double the width of the passport keyboard. Now that would be some stretch! Would you even consider typing with your thumbs on that? Not to mention all the scrolling up and down I’d have to do when typing in landscape.

Go take a look at Hollister’s dream phone, then come back and tell us what you think. Would you pick it up? Would you prefer the old *cough cough* Droid method of a landscape keyboard vs the BlackBerry way?


BlackBerry Elite Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs and UTB Geek. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.

  • Martin

    BlackBerry already has the perfect keyboard available…your choice Passport or Classic.

  • Schmurf

    I’m thinking Hollister is imagining a small screen device. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

  • fishlove73

    I have mixed feelings when it comes to buttons. My curve had buttons which I really liked at the time, I used that phone for a good 2-3 yrs. However, from about 2010-2014.5 I used mostly all touch with the exception of a motorola photon Q (qwerty horizontal slider android in which I deeply hated). When the ATT Passport came out I bought it right away coming from a z10. Then bought SE.
    Anyway, I have not been able to really one hand a device since the curve. Even on my z10…I turned it horizontal to type because it made the keys larger and less mistakes. I guess a question for Priv owners would be…can you one hand type on it with comfort? I still hold by my saying…manufactures should always make 2 devices, buttons for button people and touch for touch people. But there is always that extra small % that wants both. I’m not a button person, but I sure love my Passport…..so IDK.

    • Martin

      Interesting, I’m wondering if the Classic might be the right device for yourself?

      • fishlove73

        It very well could have been Martin, I occasionally browse around looking to get one fairly cheap to try out, I do get a bit worried because now I am accustomed to the screen size and speed of the Passports.

        • Martin

          I find all my BlackBerry’s are rather fast with the power and efficiency of BlackBerry 10. My Passport being the quickest, but only just.
          Ironically I find my Q5 to be almost as fast and smooth as my Passport, and a tad quicker than my Z10 and Z30, although this could be because other than BlackBerry’s built in apps and BBM I only use the UTB app, Twitter and BlackBerry’s wonderful browser.

  • bartron

    One of the first things I realized when I got my Z30, is that landscape keyboards on 5-inch phones are too wide. Trying out the keyboards I had on my various digital devices, I realized that 80mm was the perfect keyboard width for me. So I was very pleased when I read that the keyboard on the Passport was going to be around 80mm wide. It’s one of the main reasons I bought the Passport.

    • Martin

      I agree Ian, I love the size, spacing and feel of the Passport keyboard. I remember being a bit hesitant of the size and spacing of the keyboard the first time I demoed the Passport, my only regret is that I didn’t buy one sooner.

  • BB Racer !!

    Mark Cuban wants wants and wants a BlackBerry Landscape phone …big time ! He said that on CNBC

  • Trev

    Ugh – I hate seeing branding on phones. It’s one thing to see the manufacturer on it, then another to see “Verizon” and “Droid” slapped on it half-assedly. It looks like a Nascar!

    “I’d like to thank BlackBerry for my win, a shout out to Snapdragon for the processor. Droid really kicked it up with the asinine amount of available apps and the team at Verizon really was on the ball today…herp derp. Oh, and don’t forget about our friends at Kleenex, they really help clean up those tears of iDiots that keep getting stuck in their walled garden!”

    Regarding landscape keyboards, I’ve never used a sliding landscape keyboard that I liked (I don’t particularly care for landscape KB’s on anything but a tablet, actually) but I did like the one on my LG EnV many moons ago. The difference is the EnV flipped open, giving the user almost the full width of the phone to use for the keyboard and finger-space around it. With a sliding keyboard, you can really only get about 2/3 of the width of the phone for keyboard space, and usually there isn’t enough space at the top so the top row of keys are uncomfortable to use.

    I believe this fellow at CNET just wants a Priv, but is still too childish to be able to swallow his own ego and buy something with a BlackBerry emblem on it (the horror!)

  • Tracmila

    When I sleep I dream of a BB10 Z50. Who cares what CNET dreams of, anyway.

    • fishlove73



    And I should care about the product of this twit’s wet dreams, exactly why?

    • Martin

      It comes down to exposure, it’s great to see the land of Android showing interest in BlackBerry. The more BlackBerry is talked about, the more likely people might consider a BlackBerry as their next device.