BlackBerry Passport 2 concept images emerge, sporting iconic physical QWERTY keyboard + a dual-lens main camera





It seems like the ‘berry still has some juice left in it! The Passport 2 concept builds on the successful 2014 BlackBerry Passport, and does what BlackBerry does best… provide a uniquely different smartphone experience that’s characterized by that beautiful QWERTY keyboard.

For everyone who thought BlackBerry was done and dusted, 2020’s been a pretty interesting year for the company. Chinese giant TCL no longer holds the rights to manufacture BlackBerry phones, and since August of last year, the Canadian smartphone company has been partnering with American brand OnwardMobility to keep the BlackBerry name alive. While both companies have been pretty mum about what’s in the pipeline, Ts Designer and LetsGoDigital have been cooking up some concepts based on the fragments of news they’ve gathered from press releases and company statements. Meet the Passport 2, a conceptual Android-running BlackBerry phone with a 4.5-inch touchscreen display, a physical keyboard, and a 5G chip on the inside.

I have to admit that seeing a new BlackBerry does give me a bit of nostalgia. I’ve never been a fan of touchscreen keyboards, and that’s a complaint that BlackBerry and I have always had in common; although BlackBerry phones have an archetype, and it’s safe to say that the archetype isn’t really popular anymore. However, there are still probably some people who would prefer a BlackBerry in 2021, and I’d venture a guess that the Passport 2 concept is targeted firmly towards them. LetsGoDigital reports that the Passport 2 is envisioned as BlackBerry’s first 5G-ready phone, with a waterproof exterior and Android OS interior. The overall aesthetic of the phone hasn’t deviated too much from BlackBerry’s signature style, and it looks every bit like the Passport from 2014, although with a slicker design featuring a slimmer upper bezel, gold accents around the sides and the keyboard, and a nifty dual-lens camera on the back… you know, to keep the customer happy!

Sadly though, the Passport 2, as exciting as it may look, is just a fan-made concept for now. OnwardMobility and BlackBerry are definitely working on a 5G Android phone according to reports, and I’ll be pretty happy if it looks even half as good as this!

Designer: Ts Designer for LetsGoDigital

Images via LetsGoDigital

From Apple to Android, these framed disassembled smartphones make for a worthy designer gift!





When you buy a new phone, all that’s worth appreciating is the design engineering of this little gadget that rules our lives. Disassembling your phone and then preserving it in a picture frame is not an everyday affair, but some creatives have made a skillful enterprise from this. Not a long while ago, we saw Indie art studio GRID amaze us with the iPhone 5 Framed Edition. And now we have a featured artist with a massive collection of teardown smartphones and tablets well preserved in photo frames for generations to appreciate – because why should iPhone users have all the fun!

Computer engineer Kevin, inspired by Todd McLellan’s Things Come Apart series, went on to dissemble popular phone models right from the nostalgic Android Blackberry and Nokia models to the much modern ones like the Apple iPhone 8 and Honor 6 Plus. It all started with his first iPhone that was taken apart and then framed in his living room. Then he couldn’t stop himself from dismantling his old gadgets, including iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and Sony rx100m2. On posting the setup on social media, the pictures attracted fans who also wanted their gadgets to be framed for cherished memories on their living room wall or bedroom desk. This fueled his passion, and Kevin ultimately opened his own Etsy shop that goes by the name FEIPPO. The idea is to keep your keepsakes safe – maybe it was the first gadget you bought with your own salary, a gift from your spouse, or just because you love watching the individuals that make up these complicated gadgets. This is a great way to memorialize your device instead of having it collect dust in the corner of your desk.

The taken apart mobile devices are meticulously preserved in glass frames with the optional frame choice in chestnut, tan, black or white. These decorative art pieces for any desk setup are absolutely hypnotic, especially how all of the disassembled parts are explained in detail with accompanying text descriptions. Since Kevin’s collection is enormous, we have handpicked our favorite Android and Apple devices for you to enjoy. If you are also thinking of framing your old gadgets in this manner, you deserve a hi-five from me!

Designer: Kevin

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Disassembled Gadget Art: Where Old Smartphones Go to Die

Inspired by Todd McLellan’s Things Come Apart object breakdown photography series, Kevin of Etsy shop FEIPPO carefully disassembles smartphones of yesteryear and frames all the pieces for display as wall art. I say smartphones, but he also has some classic Nokia brick phones available as well, which I’m surprised he was able to tear down at all based on how well they were assembled in the first place.

Prices range from $140 to $240 depending on the phone, and each includes all the phone’s original components, although there’s no guarantee if you reassemble all the pieces that it will work again. Still, certainly something to keep in mind in the event of an emergency.

I wonder what my grandchildren will think when they see one of these hanging in the hallway when they come to visit. ‘Whoa grandpa, what the heck is that thing?’ I imagine them asking while taking digital photos with their cybernetic eyeballs and posting them to the latest social media platform telepathically.

[via DudeIWantThat]

BlackBerry is still alive… And its latest smartphone will have 5G and even a physical keyboard





It seems like BlackBerry still has some fight left in it! After being unceremoniously dumped by TCL following a failed 4-year license agreement, BlackBerry partnered with OnwardMobility, a mobile security company, to work on its upcoming line of smartphones. In August last year, OnwardMobility issued a press release highlighting that they would be launching a “5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with a physical keyboard in North America and Europe.” The company even stated that they would be partnering with Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile Limited to design and manufacture these smartphones. As we gradually approach the launch of these phones, Jermaine Smit (better known as his internet alias Concept Creator) has partnered with LetsGoDigital to envision what these phones will probably look like… and let’s just say, they’re about as long as a meatball sub.

Ask any Max-sized iPhone users what an annoyance it is to reach the back button on the top-left corner of a screen and you’ll probably figure out that smartphones are already pretty big to begin with. The Blackberry Key 3 concept adds a further 1.5 inches to the smartphone’s height with a dedicated, physical, touch-sensitive keyboard. Now I don’t mean to dunk on the Key 3, the physical keyboard has always been BlackBerry’s schtick… but maybe a slide-out keyboard would work better for a smartphone in today’s world. That aside, the Key 3 looks rather impressive.

The BlackBerry Key 3 concept comes with a profile that’s reminiscent of the Note 20 Ultra. It features a flat surface on the top and bottom, while cascading edges on the sides result in a phone that’s comfortable to hold, along with a waterfall display, there may be a chance of the phone registering accidental palm touches. The camera setup on the back features 3 lenses and a flash, looking quite similar to the one found on the OnePlus 8, and sitting right beneath that is the familiar BlackBerry logo. Flip the phone back over to the front and it kind of looks slightly meme-ish. It’s obscenely long, considering the screen’s already 20:9 to begin with. Adding to that is a slight forehead bezel (which features a single front-facing camera) and a massive chin, which houses a full QWERTY keyboard. The QWERTY keyboard, from what I can tell, is a part of the display, but it’s always there… even when you don’t need it. Sort of like the soft keys often found on Android phones, the keyboard is static in its position, and can easily be used when you need to type. This ideally means a keyboard never blocks or overlaps elements on the screen, so you’re always treated to a full-screen interface all the time. I’m not entirely sure if the keyboard’s layout is dynamic, i.e., whether it changes to reveal emojis or other languages, but if I were a betting man, that would honestly be a pretty remarkable feature. I could even imagine having app-specific controls, like playback controls for YouTube and Netflix, or gaming controls while you play games (reminds me of the LG Wing if I’m being honest). There are a few undeniable perks to owning a BlackBerry phone, and I’d say the Key 3’s no different. Aside from the keyboard, BlackBerry phones are known to have a much higher security standard than your regular Android or iOS device. If you can somehow look past the length of this phone, the Key 3 could actually be a compelling device to a certain subset of people. Besides, look to the base and you’ll even notice a 3.5mm headphone jack!!

Designer: Concept Creator (Jermain Smit) for LetsGoDigital

A closer look at the camera module, which looks heavily borrowed from the OnePlus 8. There’s no reason to believe that the original BlackBerry phone will sport the same camera module, so we can write this one off as Concept Creator’s own personal touch. That being said, if the BlackBerry did have a camera that was as good as the OnePlus 8, it would still be leaps and bounds ahead of what they’ve currently got.

From the looks of it, the phone sports a brushed metal back, which would probably mean no wireless charging. There is, however, a Type-C port on the base… and I may be sounding like a broken record here, but I’m still pretty impressed by the fact that flagship phones in 2021 can still have 3.5mm jacks!

There’s no indication of what this concept’s dimensions are, although it’s worth remembering that the BlackBerry Key 3 is just a fan-made concept phone. OnwardMobility announced that BlackBerry would launch its 2021 smartphone sometime in the first half of the year, so if things are still going according to schedule, the phone should ideally be announced in the next 2 months or so!

Image Credits – LetsGoDigital

An iPhone with a Nokia-style sliding keyboard would make more sense than a folding phone

It’s the year 2005, and Nokia’s E-Series phones have a cult following that’s difficult to ignore. The phones came with a relatively large-ish screen, but what really sealed the deal was the fact that you could slide the screen to reveal a nifty, usable QWERTY keyboard underneath. Before the iPhone became the computer in your pocket, the Nokia E-Series phones were the computers in everyone’s pockets. The E stood for Executive, and it wasn’t uncommon to see businessmen in suits strutting down the road with Nokia phones in their hand and Jabra earpieces in one ear. It was the iPhone and AirPods combo, nearly 15 years prior.

I think the fundamental problem with the smartphone touchscreen isn’t its size, it’s how we use it. Screens have a finite amount of space for infinite amounts of data, which makes designing interfaces really complicated, and using them even more so. In that regard, just empirically, a bigger screen on a smartphone doesn’t make it ‘better’… which is why this concept by Johan Gustafsson feels so refreshing. In a world where smartphones are finding new ways to push more pixels into a smartphone, Gustafsson’s iPhone Q brings a level of sensibility to that computer in your pocket – by simply making it a miniature computer!

The iPhone Q (named after the fact that it comes with a dedicated QWERTY keyboard) presents a bold ‘new’ vision for the iPhone. I use the word ‘new’ in air-quotes because while adding a dedicated tactile keyboard to a phone isn’t new, it’s new for the iPhone, and more importantly, it presents a new format as smartphone companies desperately try to make their phones look less blockish and more gimmicky. In a world of folding phones with creased displays, pathetic battery-lives, and clunky bodies, the iPhone Q feels like that perfect premium, enterprise-grade smartphone to pair with the iPad Pro or the MacBook Pro. The phone comes sans a notch, but makes up for the lack of a front-facing camera with a complete tactile keyboard right underneath the screen. The screen slides upwards in landscape mode, revealing the 42-key keyboard below, which can be used as a much more functional alternative to the on-screen keyboard, allowing you to quickly replay to messages and send out emails in a jiffy. A dual-lens camera on the back reinforces the fact that the iPhone Q is less of a multimedia device, and more of a piece of functional hardware, designed for a niche of executive users.

Sure, the iPhone Q is just a concept, but even conceptually, it feels much more contextual and sensible than a folding iPhone with a larger screen. Quite like the iPhone Pro, designed for professional media-creators, the iPhone Q serves a niche group of users, becoming a perfect alternative to people who still use BlackBerries. Sure, they may be a small group RIGHT NOW, but if the iPhone did sport a dedicated slide-out keyboard, I’m pretty sure a lot of executives and office-goers would promptly make the shift!

Designer: Johan Gustafsson

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