Further details have now appeared on GeekBench, suggesting that BlackBerry and TCL might be working on a more high-end smartphone, codenamed QUALCOMM BBF100-1.
The BlackBerry Motion carried the model number BBD-100-X while the KEYone carried BBB100-X, where X is a letter used depending on the region.
This alleged BlackBerry KEYone successor is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 CPU with 6GB RAM, and appears to be in the testing phase. The Snapdragon 660 packs Adreno 512 GPU as well as an X12 LTE modem supporting maximum download speeds of up to 600 Mbps and upload speed of up to 150 Mbps.
The benchmark listing shows the device to be running on Android 8.0 Oreo.
Any other information on the specifications of the phone is scant, but speculations are that the device will have a screen resolution of 1620×1080 and an aspect ratio of 3:2. Further, the smartphone is expected to come with BlackBerry’s signature physical QWERTY keypad.
TCL looks content with the performance of the KEYone as multiple variants of the phone have been launched across the world including the Silver Edition, Space Black and Black Edition. The Black Edition of KEYone doubled the internal storage from 32GB to 64GB along with expandable memory capability via a microSD. Further, the Black Edition comes with 4GB RAM instead of the regular 3GB.
Separately, the BlackBerry Motion, which launched only recently, is also said to be based on the KEYone but lacking the physical keyboard. The handset is BlackBerry’s first water and dust resistant smartphone. The company stated that for the Motion, a lot is derived from the KEYone in terms of productivity, security, reliability and privacy features.
The issue for TCL is selling BlackBerry-branded devices to non-BlackBerry users. There is an argument that the company is simply continuing the trend of sponging as much as they can off existing BlackBerry users with smartphones and various derivations of such.
The only way to judge any real success to be able to bring non-BlackBerry users back to the brand – and that is not going to be an easy task.