Notebookcheck

BlackBerry Motion Smartphone Review

Thomas Meyer, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Tanja Hinum (translated by Stanislav Kokhanyuk), 01/05/2018

A BlackBerry without a physical keyboard! Nothing like this has ever happened before. The BlackBerry Motion shows that it can be done, without a physical keyboard. The latest Smartphone from the brand is based on Google’s Android OS instead of the conventional BlackBerry OS. The preferred audience, however, continues to be business people.

The BlackBerry Motion is going after business users.
The BlackBerry Motion is going after business users.

For the original German review, click here.

The fact that BlackBerry switched to Android last year has much to do with the new ownership of the brand. It was the Chinese manufacturer TCL that introduced the BlackBerry Motion in October 2017 in Dubai. Now the classy mid-range smartphone is also available in Europe.

The BlackBerry Motion is the second Android smartphone from the brand, the first one being the BlackBerry KEYone. However, it does not run the current version of Android, which is 8.1 (Oreo), and instead it relies on Android 7.1.2 (Nougat), which comes in nearly stock form. In addition, the new BlackBerry comes with several pre-installed proprietary business and security applications. 

The 5.5-inch display of the BlackBerry Motion offers a Full HD resolution. There is a fingerprint sensor right below the screen, which can serve as a cursor, if need be.

The case has a carbon-styled back. A 4000 mAh, non-removable battery lurks underneath the back cover of the BlackBerry Motion. The internal storage space amounts to 32 GB, although it can be expanded up to 2 TB by means of a microSD card.

The BlackBerry Motion uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 as the processing unit. This octa-core CPU runs at 2 GHz and is supported by 4 GB of RAM. The graphics unit also comes from Qualcomm. The Adreno 506 operates with a frequency of 650 MHz.

The main camera of the BlackBerry Motion comes with a 12.2 MP sensor that can record 4K video. An eight MP camera that can shoot videos at Full HD resolution is located on the front of the smartphone.

Considering these features, the BlackBerry Motion, with an MSRP of 469 Euros ($565), does not appear to be a bargain buy. Competitors with a faster processor and 64 GB of internal storage, such as the OnePlus 5T, the Asus ZenFone 4 and the Motorola Moto Z2 Play are only a little bit more expensive with an MSRP of 499 Euros ($600).

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BlackBerry Motion (Blackberry Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 506, Core: 650 MHz
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 401 PPI, capacitive, IPS, scratch-resistant glass, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 20 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5mm, Card Reader: microSD (up to 2 TB), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: ambient light sensor, magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, LED light, Hall effect sensor, USB 2.0 Typ-C
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM:850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS: 800/850/900/1900/2100 MHz, LTE:800/1800/2100/2600 MHz, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.1 x 155.8 x 75.5 ( = 0.32 x 6.13 x 2.97 in)
Battery
4000 mAh Lithium-Ion, 4.4V, charges to 50% in 41 minutes, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 32 h
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix 6 element lens, f/2.0 aperture, HDR, 4K video at 30FPS
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix f/2.0 aperture, 84-degree wide angle lens, Full HD video at 30FPS
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: virtual, BlackBerry Hub, BBM, DTEK Security Suite, 24 Months Warranty, IP67, SAR-Wert: 0,52 W/kg, fanless
Weight
167 g ( = 5.89 oz / 0.37 pounds), Power Supply: 52 g ( = 1.83 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
469 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The BlackBerry Motion is water and dust resistant with an IP67 certification. The smartphone’s body stands out visually due to its carbon-styled back. The relatively soft surface provides not only more grip, but also insures that the BlackBerry Motion will not slide around on a smooth table.

The sides of the BlackBerry Motion appear to be well-built. On the right side, there are the volume rocker, the power button and the configurable Convenience Key. On the left side, there is the Nano-SIM/microSD slot.

The fingerprint sensor is located in a central position right below the display and therefore can be reached easily. Because the BlackBerry Motion measures 155.8 x 75.5 x 8.1 mm (~6.1 x 3 x 0.3 in), one-handed operation is hardly possible.

The case of the BlackBerry Motion is IP67 water-resisant
The case of the BlackBerry Motion is IP67 water-resisant
With
The main strength of the BlackBerry Motion is its large battery
The backside of the BlackBerry Motion is extremely grippy
As always, BlackBerry focuses on the business people

Size Comparison

155.8 mm / 6.13 inch 75.5 mm / 2.97 inch 8.1 mm / 0.3189 inch 167 g0.3682 lbs156.1 mm / 6.15 inch 75 mm / 2.95 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 162 g0.3571 lbs155.4 mm / 6.12 inch 75.2 mm / 2.96 inch 7.5 mm / 0.2953 inch 165 g0.3638 lbs156.2 mm / 6.15 inch 76.2 mm / 3 inch 6 mm / 0.2362 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs

Connectivity

The BlackBerry Motion comes equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 as the processing unit. It is a mid-range SoC for Android smartphones and tablets. The Snapdragon 625 SoC is manufactured using the 14nm FinFET process. It has eight ARM-based Cortex-A53 cores, which can reach up to 2GHz.

The Category 7 X9 LTE modem has a peak download speed of 300 MBit/s and a peak upload speed of 150 MBit/s. In addition, an Adreno 506 graphics chip has also been integrated into the SoC. It supports Vulkan, OpenGL ES 3.1, IEEE 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.1. The memory controller supports (933 MHz) LPDDR3 RAM. 

The internal storage of the BlackBerry Motion comes in at 32 GB, which is relatively low for a device in this price range. However, one can expand the storage capacity of the device with an SD card (the smartphone supports SD cards with capacities of up to 2 TB).

The USB Type-C port is located on the bottom of the BlackBerry Motion and serves solely for charging and transferring data. There is an LED light for notifications in the upper right-hand corner of the display.

Software

Actually, one could expect to see Android 8.1 (Oreo) right out of the box in a smartphone released in the last quarter of 2017. This is not the case here. The BlackBerry Motion comes with Android 7.1.2 (Nougat). However, an update to Android Oreo is expected to come in early 2018.

Android’s interface is mostly unchanged, although it has been enhanced with proprietary business and security features. The BlackBerry Motion includes the “BlackBerry Hub”, which serves as the main hub for notifications. Likewise, with the preinstalled “DTEK” app, one can monitor the security status of the smartphone. 

Privacy Shade is the main innovation over previous BlackBerry smartphones. This feature is supposed to protect the display from inquiring eyes. When it is engaged only a small section of the touchscreen is active, which can be moved and resized with the fingers. The BlackBerry Motion saves documents, which must not be lost, in a special application called “Locker”. 

Active apps
Active apps
BlackBerry Hub
BlackBerry Hub
Homescreen
Homescreen
Settings menu
Settings menu
BlackBerry sidebar
BlackBerry sidebar

Communication and GPS

The BlackBerry Motion’s integrated Wi-Fi module supports the IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards and operates in the 2.4 and 5 GHz spectral bands. The data transfer speed to our reference-grade router Linksys EA 8500 is 230 MBit/s, which is a very good result. In close proximity to the router, the signal attenuation (-33 dBm) is relatively low.

The BlackBerry Motion can connect to the Internet via LTE. Naturally, it supports GSM and UMTS. Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC are also on board.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
OnePlus 5T
Adreno 540, 835, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
386 MBit/s ∼100% +12%
BlackBerry Motion
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
345 MBit/s ∼89%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
Adreno 508, 630, 64 GB eMMC Flash
334 MBit/s ∼87% -3%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
Adreno 506, 626, 32 GB eMMC Flash
48.1 MBit/s ∼12% -86%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
OnePlus 5T
Adreno 540, 835, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
650 MBit/s ∼100% +183%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
Adreno 508, 630, 64 GB eMMC Flash
329 MBit/s ∼51% +43%
BlackBerry Motion
Adreno 506, 625, 32 GB eMMC Flash
230 MBit/s ∼35%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
Adreno 506, 626, 32 GB eMMC Flash
29.5 MBit/s ∼5% -87%
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors

Geolocation via GPS functions exceptionally well outside. Inside, however, the BlackBerry Motion has some trouble with determining the user’s location accurately, which should be expected. However, a margin of error of less than 30 meters (~98 ft) is a good result for a device in this price range.

Furthermore, our team took the BlackBerry Motion and the Garmin Edge 500 on a walk around town. While the Garmin Edge 500 turned in a total route distance of 4.44 km, the BlackBerry Motion came in at only 4.28 km. This is a really big deviation, which resulted mainly from corner-cutting.

Route mapping - BlackBerry Motion
Route mapping - BlackBerry Motion
Route mapping - BlackBerry Motion
Route mapping - BlackBerry Motion
Route mapping - BlackBerry Motion
Route mapping - BlackBerry Motion
Route mapping - Garmin Edge 500
Route mapping - Garmin Edge 500
Route mapping - Garmin Edge 500
Route mapping - Garmin Edge 500
Route mapping - Garmin Edge 500
Route mapping - Garmin Edge 500

Telephone Functions and Call Quality

Contacts list
Contacts list
Phone app
Phone app

As an Android smartphone, the BlackBerry Motion comes with the well-known Google Phone app, in which favorites, as well as conversations, can be saved. Alternatively, BlackBerry users can have recourse to the BlackBerry Hub. Here you can find not only the telephone calls, but also E-mails, text messages and notifications from instant messaging services such as Skype, WhatsApp and Line.

There is nothing bad to be said about the call quality. Both outdoors and indoors, the conversation partner is easy to understand - even in areas where cell coverage is quite poor. The speakers are powerful enough so that the call quality does not deteriorate when they are engaged.

Cameras

The camera does not play a significant role for business users. Therefore, it is not surprising that the main camera of the BlackBerry Motion offers a somewhat decent, maximum resolution of 12.2 MP and an f/2.0 aperture and has some problems in low-light conditions. In low light, the flash must always be turned on if you want to get a reasonably decent image, that is.

The secondary camera of the BlackBerry Motion has a maximum resolution of 8 MP and an f/2.2 aperture. In addition, there is a front-facing flash, but it is too dim. At the end of the day, other smartphones in this price range typically offer better front-facing cameras.

Day shot
Day shot
Night shot
Night shot
Selfie
Selfie
Selfie with the flash
Selfie with the flash

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

We subject the main camera of the BlackBerry Motion to yet another test in our lab: In this test we photograph a reference image under standardized lighting conditions. This image pattern simulates tough scenarios such as fine lines or text in front of a colorful background.

Here, in our opinion, the BlackBerry Motion’s main camera does not perform very well. When compared to the reference pictures, the text appears somewhat blurry, the edges tend to exhibit chromatic aberration and, in low light conditions, the image sensor of the BlackBerry Motion falls far behind the reference devices.

Accessories & Warranty

The BlackBerry Motion comes with the usual accessories. In the box, there is the usual charging adapter, which has a socket for a USB Type-C cable. In addition to the stereo headset, there are a couple of earbud tips. There is also a quick start guide in English and German in the box. The warranty period is 24 months. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices & Handling

Unlike most modern Android smartphones, the BlackBerry Motion has a home button below the screen. It comes with a very reliable fingerprint scanner, which can also be used as a cursor. The “back” and “multitasking” buttons only light up during use.

Straight out of the box, the BlackBerry Motion comes with a proprietary BlackBerry keyboard. It allows you to use up to three languages in parallel. However, word recognition leaves a lot to be desired, and this is why we switched to the easier-to-use Google keyboard.

The display of the BlackBerry Motion leaves a good impression. It may be somewhat lackluster, but it responds with great sensitivity to touch. Even in portrait mode, typing on the screen proves to be sufficiently accurate.

BlackBerry keyboard in portrait mode
BlackBerry keyboard in portrait mode
BlackBerry keyboard in portrait mode
BlackBerry keyboard in portrait mode
BlackBerry keyboard in landscape mode
BlackBerry keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Pixel arrangement
Pixel arrangement

The BlackBerry Motion’s display measures 5.5 inches diagonally and features a resolution of 1920x1080, which corresponds to Full HD. This is normal for a device in this price range, because Quad HD displays are still reserved for the high-end devices.

The automatic brightness control of the BlackBerry Motion leaves the brightness, most of the time, below what is needed. It is, therefore, advisable to manually increase the brightness, even when gaming.

314
cd/m²
320
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 327 cd/m² Average: 318.1 cd/m² Minimum: 11.98 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 326 cd/m²
Contrast: 1019:1 (Black: 0.32 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.3 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 8.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.59
BlackBerry Motion
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
OnePlus 5T
AMOLED, 2160x1080, 6.01
Screen
40%
25%
45%
Brightness middle
326
656
101%
434
33%
425
30%
Brightness
318
634
99%
404
27%
423
33%
Brightness Distribution
94
93
-1%
81
-14%
92
-2%
Black Level *
0.32
0.4
-25%
Contrast
1019
1640
61%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.3
5.3
16%
4.4
30%
2.1
67%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.3
7.8
31%
8.6
24%
3.4
70%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.8
5.2
41%
4.2
52%
2.5
72%
Gamma
2.59 85%
2.22 99%
2.24 98%
2.32 95%
CCT
8920 73%
7905 82%
7343 89%
6455 101%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 2294 Hz ≤ 4 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 2294 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 4 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 2294 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9354 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The display flickers with a frequency of 2294 Hz. Because the frequency is so high, there should not arise any problems even for susceptible individuals.

The BlackBerry Motion’s display brightness of 318 cd/m² is not particularly high. With the ambient light sensor engaged, we measured a peak brightness of 440 cd/m². The realistically-oriented APL50 test, with evenly distributed dark and bright areas, produces a nearly identical maximum brightness of 335 cd/m² in the middle of the image with a black value of 0.32 cd/m². 

The colors of the IPS panel look relatively subdued in everyday use. The contrast ratio of the display is acceptable for a device in this price range. In terms of color space coverage, the display of the BlackBerry Motion delivers an “okay” result. The average DeltaE deviations for colors and the grayscale as well as the color temperature are okay for a device with this price tag.

CalMan - color accuracy (sRGB)
CalMan - color accuracy (sRGB)
CalMan - color space (sRGB)
CalMan - color space (sRGB)
CalMan - graysclae (sRGB)
CalMan - graysclae (sRGB)
CalMan - saturation (sRGB)
CalMan - saturation (sRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
26.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14.8 ms rise
↘ 11.6 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 52 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.8 ms rise
↘ 21.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 49 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.7 ms).

Thanks to an IPS panel, the LCD display of the BlackBerry Motion has very good viewing angles. The colors do not become distorted even at extreme angles; however the display becomes a little dimmer. Despite the relatively low maximum brightness of the LED backlight, the BlackBerry Motion remains sufficiently readable even in brightly-lit environments.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Outdoors
Outdoors
Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The BlackBerry Motion uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 as the main processing unit. This octa-core CPU, which is also used in other devices in this price range, runs at 2 GHz and has 4 GB of RAM at its disposal. The graphics chip also comes from Qualcomm. The Adreno 506 runs at 650 MHz.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
59867 Points ∼20%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
68282 Points ∼23% +14%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
67578 Points ∼23% +13%
OnePlus 5T
172124 Points ∼59% +188%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
4873 Points ∼41%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
5085 Points ∼43% +4%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
4924 Points ∼41% +1%
OnePlus 5T
6595 Points ∼55% +35%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
6264 Points ∼32%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
6096 Points ∼31%
OnePlus 5T
7739 Points ∼39%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
739 Points ∼36%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
766 Points ∼38% +4%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
10 Points ∼0% -99%
OnePlus 5T
1329 Points ∼65% +80%
Graphics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
968 Points ∼3%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1496 Points ∼5% +55%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
1006 Points ∼3% +4%
OnePlus 5T
6100 Points ∼21% +530%
Memory (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
773 Points ∼10%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1380 Points ∼18% +79%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
928 Points ∼12% +20%
OnePlus 5T
3845 Points ∼51% +397%
System (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
2800 Points ∼17%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
3319 Points ∼20% +19%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3154 Points ∼19% +13%
OnePlus 5T
5872 Points ∼36% +110%
Overall (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
1116 Points ∼13%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1513 Points ∼18% +36%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
412 Points ∼5% -63%
OnePlus 5T
3678 Points ∼44% +230%
Geekbench 4.4
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
3942 Points ∼9%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3092 Points ∼7%
OnePlus 5T
8000 Points ∼18%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
3644 Points ∼6%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
4172 Points ∼7% +14%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
4471 Points ∼8% +23%
OnePlus 5T
6670 Points ∼12% +83%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
847 Points ∼13%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
865 Points ∼14% +2%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
907 Points ∼14% +7%
OnePlus 5T
1962 Points ∼31% +132%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
1807 Points ∼40%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1751 Points ∼39% -3%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
2166 Points ∼48% +20%
OnePlus 5T
3068 Points ∼68% +70%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
372 Points ∼5%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
726 Points ∼10% +95%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
383 Points ∼5% +3%
OnePlus 5T
4016 Points ∼56% +980%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
452 Points ∼7%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
835 Points ∼13% +85%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
469 Points ∼7% +4%
OnePlus 5T
3758 Points ∼59% +731%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
1850 Points ∼42%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1785 Points ∼40% -4%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
2167 Points ∼49% +17%
OnePlus 5T
3031 Points ∼68% +64%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
701 Points ∼6%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1289 Points ∼11% +84%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
724 Points ∼6% +3%
OnePlus 5T
5791 Points ∼51% +726%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
813 Points ∼10%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
1374 Points ∼17% +69%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
850 Points ∼10% +5%
OnePlus 5T
4816 Points ∼59% +492%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
15584 Points ∼18%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
13014 Points ∼15% -16%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
17204 Points ∼20% +10%
OnePlus 5T
21348 Points ∼25% +37%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
12930 Points ∼2%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
18386 Points ∼3% +42%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
13376 Points ∼3% +3%
OnePlus 5T
58097 Points ∼11% +349%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
13439 Points ∼6%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
16841 Points ∼7% +25%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
14072 Points ∼6% +5%
OnePlus 5T
42022 Points ∼18% +213%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
22 fps ∼0%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
30 fps ∼0% +36%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
22 fps ∼0% 0%
OnePlus 5T
113 fps ∼1% +414%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
21 fps ∼1%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
29 fps ∼1% +38%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
23 fps ∼1% +10%
OnePlus 5T
60 fps ∼2% +186%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
9.3 fps ∼2%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
14 fps ∼3% +51%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
9.9 fps ∼2% +6%
OnePlus 5T
60 fps ∼11% +545%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
9.5 fps ∼3%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
14 fps ∼4% +47%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
10 fps ∼3% +5%
OnePlus 5T
53 fps ∼15% +458%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
6.3 fps ∼0%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
9.7 fps ∼0% +54%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
6.5 fps ∼0% +3%
OnePlus 5T
41 fps ∼1% +551%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
6.1 fps ∼0%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
9.5 fps ∼0% +56%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
7 fps ∼0% +15%
OnePlus 5T
37 fps ∼1% +507%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
3.4 fps ∼1%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
5.3 fps ∼1% +56%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3.5 fps ∼1% +3%
OnePlus 5T
25 fps ∼6% +635%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
BlackBerry Motion
3.4 fps ∼2%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
5.3 fps ∼3% +56%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3.8 fps ∼2% +12%
OnePlus 5T
23 fps ∼14% +576%
Lightmark - 1920x1080 1080p (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
9.81 fps ∼25%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
190 Points ∼4%

Legend

 
BlackBerry Motion Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm Adreno 508, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, Qualcomm Adreno 506, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 5T Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash

When compared to the rest of the competition, the BlackBerry Motion does not perform particularly well, as our benchmarks show. This reinforces the subjective impression that the smartphone could have had more power in one area or another. The Internet performance is sufficient for an Android smartphone with this price tag. However, website contents take some time to load. Nevertheless, the scrolling on the BlackBerry is always smooth.

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
OnePlus 5T (Chrome 63)
66.477 Points ∼100% +144%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Chrome 59)
32.796 Points ∼49% +21%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL (Chrome 62)
28.09 Points ∼42% +3%
BlackBerry Motion
27.194 Points ∼41%
Octane V2 - Total Score
OnePlus 5T (Chrome 63)
12509 Points ∼100% +184%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Chrome 59)
5204 Points ∼42% +18%
BlackBerry Motion
4409 Points ∼35%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL (Chrome 62)
4398 Points ∼35% 0%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL (Chrome 62)
9425 ms * ∼100% -1%
BlackBerry Motion
9316.4 ms * ∼99%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Chrome 59)
7667 ms * ∼81% +18%
OnePlus 5T (Chrome 63)
3096 ms * ∼33% +67%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
OnePlus 5T (Chrome 63)
181 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL (Chrome 62)
95 Points ∼52%
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Chrome 59)
85 Points ∼47%

* ... smaller is better

The BlackBerry Motion comes with 32 GB of internal storage. Here, the competitors, such as the OnePlus 5T, the Asus ZenFone 4 and the Motorola Moto Z2 Play, offer 64 GB. The connection of the microSD card is, naturally, not as fast as in the high-end devices, but it is also not particularly fast when compared to the top mid-range smartphones (Reference SD card: Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 (maximum read speed: 84.68 MB/s; maximum write speed: 61.23 MB/s)). Here, the Androbench 5 benchmark reveals an acceptable read performance, when working with large and small blocks of data.

BlackBerry MotionAsus ZenFone 4 ZE554KLLenovo Moto Z2 PlayOnePlus 5T
AndroBench 3-5
17%
49%
110%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
61.23 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
66.51 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
9%
58.71 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-4%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
84.68 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
86.93 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
3%
79.69 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-6%
Random Write 4KB
11.61
7.59
-35%
47.9
313%
20
72%
Random Read 4KB
67.25
68.57
2%
38.2
-43%
138.1
105%
Sequential Write 256KB
92.67
205.27
122%
137.5
48%
203.4
119%
Sequential Read 256KB
285.48
287.38
1%
245.6
-14%
698.7
145%

Games

The graphics unit, which is integrated in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, is a Qualcomm Adreno 506 with a core clock of 650 MHz. In demanding games, such as “Asphalt 8”, the graphics unit runs, time and again, into stutters and reduces graphics details. However, the newly-released game “Dream League Soccer 2018” is handled very well by the BlackBerry Motion’s graphics chip. Less demanding games, such as “Angry Birds 2”, do not present too much of a problem for the Android smartphone.

Dream League Soccer 2018
Dream League Soccer 2018
Dream League Soccer 2018
Dream League Soccer 2018
Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2

Emissions

Temperature

The BlackBerry Motion does not have any problems with thermal management during normal operation. When taxing the system (CPU plus GPU) with an “Application Stability” utility, the business smartphone reaches a peak temperature of 34.3 °C (~93.7 °F) on the upper side of the device. Most areas of the backside remain below 33 °C (~91.4 °F).

heat development
heat development
heat development
heat development
Max. Load
 33.2 °C
92 F
32.9 °C
91 F
32.8 °C
91 F
 
 33 °C
91 F
32.2 °C
90 F
34.3 °C
94 F
 
 32.4 °C
90 F
32.7 °C
91 F
34 °C
93 F
 
Maximum: 34.3 °C = 94 F
Average: 33.1 °C = 92 F
30.2 °C
86 F
31.4 °C
89 F
33.4 °C
92 F
29.5 °C
85 F
31.5 °C
89 F
33.3 °C
92 F
30.4 °C
87 F
31.4 °C
89 F
33.3 °C
92 F
Maximum: 33.4 °C = 92 F
Average: 31.6 °C = 89 F
Power Supply (max.)  28.3 °C = 83 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 33.1 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 34.3 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 33.4 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.6 °C / 78 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Pink noise test
Pink noise test

The BlackBerry Motion has one downward-facing speaker on the bottom edge of the device and another front-facing speaker right above the display. The maximum volume of 83 dB(A) is in good order. Furthermore, we really liked the sound quality. When playing music, we heard no crackling or popping sounds.

The sound graph of the BlackBerry Motion is somewhat linear in the mid-to-high frequency range (from 500 Hz to 7 kHz). The bass is almost completely missing. However, the super high frequency sounds, 8 kHz and above, are well-represented.

If you connect the included BlackBerry headset to the BlackBerry Motion, the performance of the 3.5-millimeter audio jack will not impress you, but it is in good order for a smartphone in this price range. The audio signal/noise ratio is also okay.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.243.42532.940.43137.234.84031.7445039.643.96328.3318027.33210026.927.612526.732.81602437.120020.944.325020.950.531519.555.140018.562.550017.564.463017.566.980015.766100015.867.8125016.667.3160015.869.5200015.471.7250015.569.931501674.2400015.876.450001672.9630016.368.5800016.366.81000016.266.31250016.468.51600016.459.7SPL28.683N1.153.6median 16.4median 66.8Delta2.17.535.236.232.929.237.228.431.73539.633.428.329.927.329.626.928.926.727.52432.720.94320.947.919.55018.55717.565.517.566.715.772.215.869.616.67015.870.315.469.615.572.91672.515.868.11669.916.371.816.369.416.264.316.461.116.455.528.682.21.152.8median 16.4median 66.72.11031.62725.426.225.331.132.930.533.627.731.626.928.425.32725.520.830.42240.121.347.720.849.721.256.919.460.919.564.217.767.517.972.317.876.317.376.917.477.116.774.117.272.718.274.917.972.617.674.317.773.517.874.517.978.818.177.818.270.43086.81.368.2median 17.9median 72.61.39.535.240.732.946.337.244.431.748.639.648.928.337.627.329.926.933.726.732.92445.520.955.320.956.619.559.118.568.417.564.917.567.415.766.215.87016.672.715.873.815.474.415.575.91679.315.8781671.816.371.516.371.416.272.416.464.716.446.328.686.31.165.5median 16.4median 68.42.18.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseBlackBerry MotionAsus ZenFone 4 ZE554KLLenovo Moto Z2 PlayOnePlus 5T
BlackBerry Motion audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.1% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 5% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 90% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 29% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 64% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 20% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 68% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 48% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 43% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo Moto Z2 Play audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 12% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 82% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 39% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 53% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

OnePlus 5T audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.9% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 7% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 89% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 31% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 62% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked!)

Energy Management

Energy Consumption

The BlackBerry Motion consumes more power than the competition. The smartphone also draws more power under load than the comparable devices. However, the BlackBerry Motion supports fast charging (Quick Charge 3.0), and therefore can be fully charged within 80 minutes.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.06 / 0.53 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.45 / 2.1 / 2.13 Watt
Load midlight 4.01 / 5.09 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
BlackBerry Motion
4000 mAh
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
3300 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3000 mAh
OnePlus 5T
3300 mAh
Power Consumption
-4%
55%
14%
Idle Minimum *
1.45
0.84
42%
0.45
69%
0.58
60%
Idle Average *
2.1
2.31
-10%
0.78
63%
1.44
31%
Idle Maximum *
2.13
2.33
-9%
0.84
61%
1.53
28%
Load Average *
4.01
4.76
-19%
1.69
58%
3.17
21%
Load Maximum *
5.09
6.39
-26%
3.79
26%
8.54
-68%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

In terms of business features, the battery of the BlackBerry Motion is the highlight. It is non-removable, but it comes with an outstanding capacity of 4000 mAh. In our battery test, the BlackBerry Motion achieved a very good battery runtime of 810 minutes. In practice, it needs to be recharged every 48 hours.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
13h 30min
BlackBerry Motion
4000 mAh
Asus ZenFone 4 ZE554KL
3300 mAh
Lenovo Moto Z2 Play
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
810
562
-31%
749
-8%

Pros

+ a lot of business and security features
+ water and dust resistant case
+ great battery life

Cons

- disappointing camera
- relatively slow processor
- dim display

Verdict

In review: BlackBerry Motion. The review device was provided to us courtesy of: BlackBerry Mobile.
In review: BlackBerry Motion. The review device was provided to us courtesy of: BlackBerry Mobile.

The heydays of the BlackBerry OS are long over, however BlackBerry smartphones are still going after business users - and so is the BlackBerry Motion. Unfortunately, this smartphone does not come with the latest version of Android (8.1 Oreo) and instead relies on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, which comes in stock form. Therefore, the BlackBerry Motion should receive updates for a long time.

In addition, the BlackBerry smartphone comes with several proprietary business features. In the BlackBerry Hub, you can see an overview of your communications channels. Security also plays an important role. The “DTEK” security suite is preinstalled and the BlackBerry Motion can be easily unlocked with a very reliable fingerprint scanner, which can also serve as a cursor. Business customers will be pleased with this, as well as the great battery life and the water- and dust-proof case. 

BlackBerry reinvents itself and pairs its competence in terms of data security with a modern operating system. However, there are smartphones out there with better cameras and CPU’s, and a similar price tag. 

We did not particularly like the display of the BlackBerry Motion. With 5.5 inches, it is sufficiently large. It comes with a sufficient Full HD resolution and responds reliably when touched. However, it is not particularly bright. At 2 GHz, the CPU is no slouch, although one sometimes wishes a little bit more performance. When compared to other devices in this price range, both cameras seem disappointing.

BlackBerry Motion - 12/30/2017 v6(old)
Thomas Meyer

Chassis
87%
Keyboard
73 / 75 → 97%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
42 / 60 → 70%
Weight
91%
Battery
96%
Display
82%
Games Performance
27 / 63 → 43%
Application Performance
48 / 70 → 68%
Temperature
93%
Noise
100%
Audio
66 / 91 → 73%
Camera
58%
Average
73%
83%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > BlackBerry Motion Smartphone Review
Thomas Meyer, 2018-01- 5 (Update: 2019-03-25)