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BlackBerry 10 Slider May Sport Front Facing Speaker, Four Row Touch Enabled Keyboard

By March 29, 2015Editorial, Overview
MId_Slider_Keyboard

After doing some image analysis on the photo BlackBerry provided of the BB10 slider on Twitter, it seems the quick tease may have actually disclosed a bit more of the device than the initial impressions let on. The real talk point was the large “dual curved” screen. If you’re mobile stunted, this type of curved screen has been used on the Samsung Edge line of devices as a unique differentiator from standard all touch factor.

Following a few partnerships for Samsung KNOX and the enterprise space — BlackBerry has been strategically injecting themselves on the side of Android, and moreover Samsung, to parlay against the growing Apple mobile ecosystem. The move is a decidedly difficult change of pace for a company that was so siloed several years ago in terms of its ecosystem. Here’s a brief look back at the growing BlackBerry/Samsung alliance:

Have I beat a dead horse, or a Trojan horse? BlackBerry’s leadership seems to keenly understand that to ramp up their software business, they need to monetize off the successes of the mobile giants today – to enhance competitor hardware with sticky BlackBerry services and experiences that will multiple the traction of this companies continued transition.

But John Chen knows the books and he knows that the biggest chunk of BlackBerry’s sheet is hardware. With 90% of the devices last quarter being BlackBerry 10, he understands that to his customers he is the ONLY end-to-end secure mobility solution that integrates hardware as a critical access link in the chain. What BlackBerry lacks in popular applications they more than make up for in architecture. It’s devices like the BlackBerry Slider that remain a vital piece of the overall BlackBerry ecosystem.

So here’s the image BlackBerry offered on Twitter:

blackberry-slider-clean

Up front, we can collect a few things:

  • The device has a typical “portrait” sliding mechanism
  • The slider sports a dual curved all touch display with an integrated bezel
  • The device has a sleep/wake button on the middle-left side
  • The slide has a four row keyboard with a standard layout
  • It’s clearly not a final hardware revision by any stretch

Upon closer inspection and better lighting, it looks like there’s more to that bottom lip than the initial image suggests. When you really look at this, it’s hard to say it’s even a real device and not just some parts hacked together for a quick show.

Below we have re-sized, cropped and enhanced the lighting to better showcase some small accents:

blackberry-slider_KB-clean

Slider_Milan_FFSpeaker

Now I’m starting to see why we saw the BlackBerry device front and the white variants back. To hide some of the more noticeable changes to the keyboard half. As shown by the blue arrow above, there seems to be a full width grill indicating a front facing speaker, not unlike those that we see on nearly every HTC all touch.

And this would make sense considering BlackBerry has great speaker phones. A front facing speaker would make even more sense in terms of a mobile device that is great for conference calls or staff meetings. It also gives some utility to that bottom chin which would blend well with the aesthetic and usability of the phone even with the keyboard hidden.

Classic_PassportKB

Now if you look at the shape and design of the keys in the Slider images and compare them to the Passport and Classic keyboard, you’ll see immediately that the key style integrated in the slider is the same design, sculpt and shape of the Passport keys, which leads us to believe that the Slider will indeed have a 4 row touch enabled keyboard.

Classic has keys that curve and slope from top to bottom – between letters, this creates a funnel like shape. On the Passport and Slider keyboard, the lighting suggests the sculpt of the key is very angular. Straight cuts at a diagonal between the letters which create a diamond shape. This diamond shape between the keys easily identifies with the current styling of the BlackBerry’s touch enabled keyboard. In the image below, you can see the diamond shape between the center letters: TY, GH and VB.

Let me know your thoughts on the BlackBerry 10 slider. If these preliminary (read: dummy prototype) images have anything to say with what’s to come later this year, I think we’re all in for a nice treat.

Slider_KeyboardSpeaker

James Nieves

Author James Nieves

Manning the helm here @BBRYFLOW. Feel free to shoot me an email.

More posts by James Nieves
  • nerdydaddyo

    Great piece on the Slider! I’m extremely excited about it as well and hope to be able to upgrade from my beloved Passport to something like that (provided the specs meet or exceed the Passport of course).

  • Mbenasj

    Nice job! Mr. Chen

  • antonio Gregorio

    Cuando lanzarán el c30 ese parece un magnífico celular.

  • Big Chief

    Looks like this could be a pretty cool device. I did like the Torch and this one would be a little larger so that’s a good thing.

  • Ramsey

    Sigh, when will they realize that slide phones are retarded? They keep taking steps back in innovation. Who and what market asked for a slide phone when the shelves are full of hd touch screen phones? BlackBerry would be on top if they entertained the curve display, maybe. But this slide crap is so high school. My opinion will probably change once I get a hold of one.

    • To answer your question, “who and what market asked for this,” the one I’m in, someone who loves their Torch so much that I have been holding out updating hoping they would release another vertical slider

      Every time Blackberry sent out a survey, I would include in a comment the request for one.

      Blackberry has already released full touch and the standard style, a couple of versions. Why is it so offensive to you that they release *one* phone that is out of the box

      You sound like an Apple fanboy that calls anything stupid that doesn’t fit your personal preference.

  • Jackson

    AT&T Passport design is adorable than BlackBerry’s passport design. Seriously flat edge is so boring we need curved edge. And also even newly born baby windows have more its own apps than his dad BlackBerry ;-) No mater what we I love BlackBerry and wish the same.

  • Abhijit Bhattacharya

    I am very much fan of BlackBerry I want to know the specification of the BlackBerry slider and launching date in India

    • Sakazuki

      I think they will be pricing it same as the passport in india. BlackBerry passport was not a hit in india so I don’t think slider will be…..

  • Antonio Renato

    Sensacional, fantástico. O modelo slider, como o Torch 9800, é a melhor ergonomia de se usar um aparelho celular. Parabéns BlackBerry.

  • yaya

    Snapdragon 815?????

  • Martin

    Personally I’m not a big slider fan, I’d rather see two high end all touch successors for the Z10 and Z30.

  • Mark Carl

    Sliders have never been popular. Too fragile.

    • bronzedragon18

      Fragile? My Torch survived unscathed falls that destroyed my Q10 and Q5 !

  • Chris R

    Not super excited over this phone. I question the keyboard experience – being tucked closely to the body of the display. Thickness and weight (balance) are a concern, as is reliability with a mechanical solution sliding the keyboard out.
    I’d rather see a high end 5.5″ touch device, a Passport touch and a Porsche design Passport released this year vs a slider.

    • You’ll probably get the Porsche Design Passport and that’s it :/

    • Techguru

      Exactly, the Leap will be the test to see if anyone or the market want the touch screen as they released 2 overpriced and didn’t do top

  • George R. Cuervos

    Give me the same device without the slider element and loaded with the same screen resolution and specs under the hood as the Passport and I’m sold!

  • Neil

    awesome close ups! Touch screen + Touch keys + amazing stereo sound? i’m so excited for this phone!!

  • Fernando

    It is a very interesting device due to its original design and high top specs but I’m not a fan of the slider devices. We’ll see what’s new and which surprises BlackBerry is bringing to this unique device.

  • Maynor G

    I’m more interested in the comment Chen said that there would be some new features that he wasn’t going to say yet coming to this phone. I hope it has something we have never seen before. We need something innovative for once.

    • Will probably be something software related. But I too am looking forward to an explanation..

    • QNXbbx

      Well, nice phone, but I just hope BlackBerry realizes people bought bb10 devices, paying extra money, exactly because they didn’t want to mess with any analdroid miraculous “features”.
      Having a datamining gateway process running on top of a QNX Neutrino rtos it’s a CRIME!
      Specially because android apps require by default to access all your data on your device!?
      I wonder how comes BlackBerry that keeps telling its end to end SECURITY mantra, doesn’t get that securing the channel between unaware naive users and their dataminers, it’s a step forward towards the NSA hacking activities replacement and seriously undermines privacy protection!

      Now if Chen wants to expose our butt because his wife likes to have analdroid physhing fart apps on her phone, fine for them… he will maybe convince his wife to buy a blackberry device in the end…
      BUT we bb10 metal (old fashioned) users who don’t give a s.ht about the wonders of android compatibility, we would like to be given the chance to CHOOSE when and how we will take the risk!
      We don’t want to see any android player parasite process running by default on our bb10 device!!

      Gee, BlackBerry has to keep his loyal users while letting other users transition from android, not kick its existing users in the face, forcing them to let android crap run on their trusted system.
      Some people transitions already to bb10 because they were fed up with android and iPhone !? Can you get that BlackBerry?
      Thx for your understanding

    • sam

      i totally agree with your comments. Blackberry have been making some very odd decisions with the BB10 UX and genera; functionality – the guys on Berryflow touched on it in the latest UPSTREAM. They have been taking away features that made BB10 unique and great, in favour of more “familiarity”. I see this as such a waste of the amazing UX features that i LOVED about BB10, which obviously would have taken time to develop. not to mention an insane level of creative originality in UX design that i thought we would never see after Palm was killed by HP. things like “tap anywhere to take a photo” and “drag to focus” etc. Apparently the cool glow effect from the lockscreen animation is gone too. And don’t even get me started on removing FLash and Adobe air support.

      Now we live in a world where android processes are running nonstop, mining our data 24/7. At least GIVE THE USERS A CHOICE. all those UX features that were removed took time and effort to develop, and giving users the option to choose, even if it’s deep in a random settings menu would seem like a no-brainer to me.

      also, call me crazy, but what’s the point of a 5″ + slider? you’re not saving any space by cramming the keyboard in too, if it’s a phablet to begin with. What happened to the BB10 that focused on making the ONLY touch UI on the planet that was a PLEASURE to use one-handed. Some of us depend on clever UI design like this to get the most out of our devices, and i’m sorry to say, but whoever blackberry is listening to about this, is clearly not as smart as The Astonishing Tribe people that initially designed the UI and have now left…..

      Where to turn now? Jolla and Sailfish OS, anyone??