BlackBerry unveils Q20 QWERTY smartphone with largest display yet

BlackBerry unveils Q20 QWERTY smartphone with largest display yet

Summary: New flagship handset features hard keyboard and biggest screen on a QWERTY BlackBerry, says company.


BlackBerry has unveiled its new flagship smartphone — the Q20 with QWERTY keyboard.

While still retaining the familiar 'Menu', 'Send', 'Back' and 'End' buttons and the integral trackpad that has enable millions of customers to become adept at one-handed use, the new phone will also feature a 3.5-inch screen which the company says is the largest yet on a phone with a hard keyboard.

As well as carrying the expected features such as the keypad, the handset will have improved frets and sculpted keys for "the best typing experience", the company said along with an email service that includes new features like BlackBerry Hub, where customers "can access all their messages in one place" and enterprise connectivity through the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10.

Launching the new device, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said: "With the BlackBerry Q20 smartphone, you’ll get the familiar hard buttons and trackpad that you want, along with the best email service, the best keyboard experience and the best battery life possible."

The new smartphone will be available in the second half of 2014.

Further reading:

Topics: BlackBerry, Smartphones


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • Pity

    It's probably a great device, but in the current market it will be irrelevant :-/
    • It depends

      On how you look at it. This device is intending to win the current os7 and other legacy users to bb10. As has been reported the older, traditional os7 devices are outselling bb10 phones so really this is to get their current enterprise stake to make the jump because of the return on the "loved" button row. It's not really pointed at the consumer market.
    • No Pity Please... Not required here. BB10 is the cream.

      I disagree. Now the phones are essentially all the same. They do all the same stuff. They access most of the same apps, they allow you to talk, text and email. So saying one will die and one will excel is nonsense. The BES/4G/Security etc. is all BS relevant to my IT team.. not me... and likely not you... I mean really...?

      Now it's all about the flavour. More like Beer. Some LOVE Molson Canadian, Other choose Keith's or Stella. It's all personal preference. One is just as good as the other - brewed with the same strict processes and quality ingredients.

      It was an adjustment period going to my Q10. A long one I'll give you as I have had nothing but blackberry for many many years. But if someone told me they were going to swap my company Q10 for an Android, I'd lose my S#&T. It's an awesome phone. A delicate balance between savory and sweet. It has a heavy feel that gives the sense of quality my wifes Samsung just doesn't have... And all this in a man's tool (not a kids toy).

      Anyway, my point is, watch Blackberry dust themselves off and get back to work. All this "too late" this and "not enough" of that is crap.
  • Sadly, it's too little, too late.

    In 2004, BlackBerry had the BIG things going for it: A fully supported equivalent to Microsoft Outlook, e-mail PUSH technology, and a physical keyboard.

    In the ensuing years, Microsoft invented Exchange ActiveSync to make PUSH technology accessible to any device which supported it. The Internet became much more important to commerce. The quality of on-screen keyboards improved greatly.

    Meanwhile, BlackBerry sat on its laurels. They created multiple devices each tied to one carrier. They ignored high performance networks (perhaps since e-mail didn't need them). They focused on BES instead of the competition.

    Today, those of use who would really like a decent physical keyboard on our smartphone must choose between the traditional BlackBerry keyboard and a screen big enough to use the Internet effectively.

    That really isn't much of a choice. Had BlackBerry chosen to move to a sliding keyboard with a larger screen two or three years ago and had they adopted LTE and other 4G technologies much earlier, they might still be a player but that shipped has sailed and I don't see them being able to come back from the brink considering the options available today from iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
    M Wagner
    • BlackBerry

      Considering that BlackBerry has new contracts with Ford, Daimler, and Airbus, the new Z3 and Q20 phones, and that they still outsell several Android manufacturers, and have large market shares outside of the USA, the rumors of BlackBerry's demise are greatly exaggerated.

      I upgraded my Torch to a Z10. I gave away the physical keyboard, but the large screen and the world's best virtual keyboard are a pretty even trade.

      My next upgrade? Either a Z30 (bigger screen) or a Q20.
      • Z30 is the best smartphone of all

        Q20 is a step backward.
  • People please stop using the meaningless phrase of "Too little too late"

    BlackBerry Z30 is the best smartphone for professionals in this world.

    But Q20 is a step backward.
  • Very Smart strategy

    No one is making money in the consumer phone space on hardware and device sales. Way to competitive. However, if Blackberrydoes these niche markets well and can deman high margins, they'll have an excellent strategy.

    I can see where in 3 or 4 years, the highest end devices on the market may be those that professionals use in a specialized capacity (machine to machine communications) in the medical, military, engineering sectors. blackberry has positioned itself as that niche provider. These phones are going to be highly secure and made with top notch build quality. More over they will be expensive and exclusive - something that many consumers covet. When John Chen says we "don't need to sell tones of devices like Apple, we can be like Porsche or Lamborghini", I think he is signalling where he wants to go in terms of this niche market.
    If it works, I think it could be brilliant.
  • BB Phone

    ROFL, where's the pic of the phone......the topic was a BB phone ....right?