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New renders hint at a BlackBerry with an interesting take on the physical keyboard of the future

A designer imagines a next-gen BlackBerry. (Source: Behance)
A designer imagines a next-gen BlackBerry. (Source: Behance)
BlackBerry is now linked to a 5G smartphone that will also bring the brand's hallmark physical keyboard back in 2021. A designer has released renders of what might be a new spin on this concept: one that may be made of the same material as the rest of its display panel. Then again, it is still divided into discrete QWERTY squares, thus allowing for visible mode-switching and alternative uses.

The start-up OnwardMobility has announced its plan to reboot the iconic BlackBerry name with the brand's first-ever 5G model. Rumors of this smartphone, projected to be called the "Key3", have resulted in renders incorporating a physical keyboard. However, the latest round of such images are a considerable departure from the last.

Earlier work has imagined that this next-gen BlackBerry will have to be a markedly tall device in order to shoe-horn its signature feature in there. However, the latest renders, created by Niel D on Behance, "re-thinks" this idea and comes up with a relatively short, squat form-factor with a single extra-large rear camera that is patently geared towards keyboard space. Then again, the buttons in question are considerably different to what might be expected.

Rather than a conventional array of conventional button-phone keys, the board is essentially a continuation of the display on this "New B Berry", albeit one divided into the tiny squares (and larger rectangle for the space-bar) required. This leaves scope for number/symbol and emoji "display keys", and also means they can change appearance for different modes, call management and music controls included.

Niel D also imagines they could also convert into an extension of the main display at need, although this would give a slightly odd "video-wall" effect. All in all, it is an interesting concept, although it would almost certainly prove complicated and expensive to manufacture in real life. As for the "real" next-gen BlackBerry, it is still slated to launch during the remainder of 2021.

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The new renders outline the "display keyboard" and its use-cases. (Source: Niel D via Behance)
The new renders outline the "display keyboard" and its use-cases. (Source: Niel D via Behance)
 
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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 5109 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 07 > New renders hint at a BlackBerry with an interesting take on the physical keyboard of the future
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-07-12 (Update: 2021-07-12)