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BlackBerry Teases Unnamed Curved-Screen Slider At MWC 2015

Image courtesy BlackBerry

At BlackBerry's MWC 2015 press event today, the Canadian company teased an upcoming flagship device that will be released later this year.

BlackBerry Devices Executive Ron Louks was on stage talking about the 2015 device roadmap, which already includes a new device by Porsche Design and the mid-range, all-touch Leap, and he mentioned that it will also be releasing an innovative new "dual-curved" device later in the year. With that, he pulled out black and white versions of the mystery phone from his pocket and flashed them at the audience for only a couple of seconds.

Unfortunately, while it wasn't on display long enough for us to get our own photograph, BlackBerry did share one on social media (above). You can see that this unnamed device has a large screen that curves on both sides like the Galaxy S 6 edge, but it's not clear if Samsung is indeed the panel source. If it is, could this be a 5.7-inch version destined for the Note 5 edge later this year?

It also has a portrait slider keyboard, which means that with such a large screen it is going to be an awfully tall, and potentially top-heavy, device with the keyboard exposed. The last phone BlackBerry released with a slide-out keyboard was the much-maligned Torch, but many users loved the form factor. It was the archaic software and underpowered hardware that held the Torch back more than its design. In fact, this new BlackBerry slider is more reminiscent of the Dell Venue Pro Windows Phone 7 slider from 2010.

Image courtesy blackberries.ru

The rest of the phone's specs remain a mystery, but seeing as it is a flagship device coming out later in 2015 it should pack some powerful hardware. In the second image above (courtesy of blackberries.ru), it looks like the raised camera module has two smaller openings next to it, which look to be for a dual flash or an IR module for laser autofocus.

With BlackBerry's growing relationship with Samsung on enterprise management and security, and the fact that it is no longer manufacturing its own devices, it is possible that this phone could be made by Samsung for BlackBerry. However, that is only speculation on our behalf.

Along with the recently released Passport, it looks like BlackBerry's high-end device strategy is to release unique products that may not appeal to the masses, but focus on customers with very specific desires. We enjoy seeing a company forge its own path rather than release another 'me too' product, so we are very much looking forward to seeing this phone again.

Hopefully, BlackBerry will let more details slip soon on what looks to be the most exciting device it has made in a long while.

Follow Alex Davies @alexbdavies. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • andre_888
    I speak fewer bad words when I use my BlackBerry. QWERTY keyboards are more satisfying to use than a touch screen.

    It would be nice for media keys to return. There is something to be said about being able to change tracks, or fast forward, without looking at a screen.
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    The only thing holding them back now is the US. They are doing ok everywhere else in the world. But the US is the biggest spender on phones & it hurts them not to be popular there. Unfortunately most people in the US think of BlackBerry from the OS5/6 days. They on 10.3.1 now which is a very modern OS that is nothing like the older.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    Blackberry launched the Z10 with the same issues as previous Blackberry phones. They were plagued with instability and lacked apps available on every other platform. The few apps that they had, were largely overpriced. I jumped on the Z10 the week it was launched. After 2 months of having to pull the battery regularly, I didn't have a choice but to get rid of my Z10. It's build quality was vastly superior to any Android phone available at the time, but it's OS just didn't function properly and lacked too many features/apps. If Blackberry wants to get a foothold in the US, they need to step up their game.
    Reply
  • thundervore
    The problem with BB is not the hardware or software is the corporate adoption rate.

    For instance, most companies out there are still using BES 5 licenses, for them to use these new devices the need BES10 licenses and BES10 servers. If RIM would let companies migrate all their BES5 licenses to BES10 licenses for free many more companies would jump on it.

    This means they will buy new hardware and BES10 servers. But to buy new licenses, hardware, and servers that's too much for some companies.
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    @sykozis
    Yes they ruined the launch with a unfinished OS. That's why I waited for the 10.2 to be out and loaded the leaked 10.2.1 the day I got it and its amazing. 10.3.1 is best OS ever and runs most android apps very well.
    If they had it out with 10.3.1 on day one it wouldn't have made a difference. I know for a fact that there is a negative social stigma to owning a Blackberry in the US. People are ashamed to admit to using one as its not considered acceptable and its uncool. I was in the US and I pull out a blackberry and people start staring at me like i'm some weirdo or crazy man LOL I guess I should hide in a corner so people don't see me with it. Actually I pulled out a Q10 then pulled out a Z30 and they stared even more. Wish I recorded it. Never get that reaction in Canada but Blackberry is more acceptable here.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    My first smartphone was a BB Pearl.... It was an amazing phone for it's time. The only issue was the freezing and lack of apps. The BB Z10 had considerably better build quality, but the user experience was the same. Constant freezing and lack of apps. According to my phone, it (the Z10) received OS updates almost daily for the 2 months I had it but it's usability never improved. The OS was actually in worse shape when I finally got rid of the phone. It had gone from freezing once a day, to freezing nearly once an hour. I had my Pearl for almost 18 months when I finally got rid of it. On it's worst days, it only frozen 2-3 times a day. Prior to buying the Z10, I picked up a BB Playbook. Of course, as soon as I got it BB announced that it would received BBOS10.....then recanted, then dropped support for the Playbook entirely. That's part of the reason people in the US will never flock to Blackberry. The Playbook had the potential to be big.....but Blackberry made all the wrong decisions and said all the wrong things. It's still a nice tablet, it just doesn't have any apps to make it useful. I've had the Playbook, Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 and a Toshiba Win8 tablet. My son even has a 7" Kindle FireHD. The Playbook has the best build quality, but is the most useless because there's no real apps available for it. The lack of apps is literally the ONLY downside to it.

    Enough of that rank. For Blackberry to ever get back to where they used to be, they need to offer something special. Something unique. They also have to offer it before Android and iOS manage to implement it. Right now, they offer nothing that Android and iOS don't aside from no ecosystem and a minuscule app store. Even Android has gestures.....and unlike the Z10 at launch, Android's gestures actually work properly. Blackberry also has to offer their phones at reasonable prices for their features. My Z10 was almost $600 while comparable (more "feature complete") Android phones were in the $250-$350 price range. A proper app store is also a must.
    Reply