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Keyed up: the upcoming first-gen 5G BlackBerry's looks are predicted in new renders

Could the "Key3" look like this? (Source: LetsGoDigital)
Could the "Key3" look like this? (Source: LetsGoDigital)
BlackBerry's latest owner, OnwardMobility, has committed to bringing the brand's signature physical keyboard back in a 5G phone soon. A tech blog has published work that imagines how such a phone might be designed in 2021. It combines triple rear cameras and a curved display with a new take on the classic feature.
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BlackBerry may have fallen from grace as the business-class phone brand over the years; nevertheless, various OEMs have seen enough residual worth in this name to keep it going into the 2000s. The latest of these is OnwardMobility, a start-up headed by ex-Microsoft and Zynga executive Peter Franklin. The firm has announced a partnership with Foxconn in order to produce what might launch as the Key3, which it now aims to debut "as soon as possible".

This upcoming device is touted to have "premium" cameras in addition to 5G connectivity and that apparently all-important physical keyboard. This news has inspired Concept Creator (or Jermaine Smit) to generate high-quality renders of how these plans might come together.

They depict a device that is indeed a slight throwback, not only in its keyboard (which, frankly, looks always-on rather than made of individual keys) but in its rear camera array. They are arranged down the middle of the phone, in a manner OEMs everywhere seem to have abandoned completely in 2021.

The overall effect, then, is of a black-and-gold feature-phone variation on a OnePlus 8 Pro - except, of course, that it has the evergreen double-B logo on the back, not to mention the obligatory flat top and bottom edges.

On that note, the renders ditch the unusual "passport" proportions of the Key2, although the display is still devoid of a "normal" aspect ratio thanks to the need to split the front panel for its extra function.

Concept Creator has provided these renders in image and video formats, and has published them via LetsGoDigital. However, it may still be some time before the partners get to see how accurate the projections are.

The BlackBerry Key2 is available on Amazon

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 3671 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 04 > Keyed up: the upcoming first-gen 5G BlackBerry's looks are predicted in new renders
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-04-14 (Update: 2021-04-14)