BlackBerry ‘Slider’ announced at MWC 2015, alongside ‘Leap’

BlackBerry has been lurking around MWC for the past few days now, without revealing so much as a new partnership with Samsung on the Knox encryption tool. Today’s press conference however, the company spread its wings once again, and outed two new phones that are so ridiculously different in thinking that we’re still stumped in the office.

The BlackBerry Leap, first of all, seems like just another one of those 5.0-inch full HD smartphones that have taken over this year’s mobile announcements, but a closer inspection shows a bit more drama than that.

“The BlackBerry Leap fits nicely into the BlackBerry portfolio offering an affordable device for those out there who prefer an all-touch option,” notes notes Donny Halliwell, the senior product marketing manager.

“It boasts the features of a ‘hero’ device with the price tag of an entry-level one.”

There’s an 8MP camera at the rear, which is coated in a BlackBerry Classic-like soft back, making the phone easier to hold. There’s also a claimed 25 hour battery life from the 2800mAh reservoir, which is about three better than the Classic.

blackberry leap 1

But more importantly, the most interesting aspect of the entire phone is the end-to-end screen. It’s practically bezel-less, which is a major issue and aesthetic gripe with some handsets nowadays. Granted, other specs are rather rudimentary: 16GB of onboard storage and the phone’s a rather thick-considering its competition 9.5mm. It will retail for US$275.

That wasn’t quite all though.

In 2015 we’ll have a high-end luxury phone, designed in partnership with #PorscheDesign codenamed ‘Keian’ in honour of Keian Blundell #MWC15

— BlackBerry (@BlackBerry) March 3, 2015

And then this happened.

What a Surprise! Ron just pulled out a dual-curved, all-touch display with a Keyboard – yes a slider device!

— BlackBerry (@BlackBerry) March 3, 2015

Although Samsung beat the company to it, BlackBerry has also unveiled a smartphone with a dual-curved screen just hours after Samsung’s big Galaxy S6 Edge announcement. It will be called BlackBerry Slider. Probably.

Read more: 10 things you should know about the Samsung Galaxy S6 launch

Details are scant at the moment, but the phone features a full keyboard and a slide design. Yes, BlackBerry has gone back to 2009 again, it seems. It reminds one of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 that graced the South African market not too long ago.

There are no details regarding availability but it’s probably the most interesting device launched at MWC 2015 thus far.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has noted that the company aims to focus on the QWERTY segment going forward, and my, what an enormous statement this new phone surely makes.

Updates to follow…

Andy Walker, former editor


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