A new rumor has begun circulating that BlackBerry is working on a new smartphone. The device is believed to be powered by an MSM8953 CPU, the same Snapdragon 625 chipset found on the KeyOne.
This new smartphone was uncovered by one of the users in the CrackBerry forums. The leaker says that he discovered the the relevant information by looking through the user agent profiles (UAProf) on one of TCL’s websites. TCL is the Chinese company that currently manufactures BlackBerry phones.
The still-unannounced BlackBerry device comes with the model number BBD100-1. The device is listed as having a 1,920 x 1,080 full HD display and is powered by an MSM8953 CPU. The CPU is believed to be the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor that powers the BlackBerry KeyOne, which was released recently.
The leaker also pointed out that the MSM8953 CPU could even possibly be the Snapdragon 626 processor. The processor was released by Qualcomm back in October 2016, and it is capable of delivering 10 percent higher performance than the 625, which came out a bit earlier in the same year.
The reason for the confusion is that the 625 is called the MSM8953, while the 626 is called the MSM8953Pro. The suffix “Pro” disappears when trying to look it up through benchmark databases, as pointed out by GSM Arena.
Going back to the display, this BlackBerry device is believed to have a 5.2-inch screen, according to Ubergizmo. If this is true, this device’s display size is larger than the 4.5-inch panel that’s on the BlackBerry KeyOne.
The KeyOne featured BlackBerry’s physical QWERTY keyboard, which also functioned as a touch-sensitive sensitive surface fro navigating the phone’s UI. The spacebar also doubled as the KeyOne’s fingerprint sensor.
The KeyOne’s display had to be smaller to make room for the physical keyboard. With this newly discovered BlackBerry device seemingly having a larger screen, the BBD100-1 phone is believed to have an all-touchscreen design. This device could look similar or have the same design as the BlackBerry DTEK50 and the DTEK60, both of which were released just last year.
However, TCL has made a big deal about BlackBerry’s signature physical keyboard and it has been received well on the KeyOne. It’s also possible that this new device could still come with a physical keyboard like the KeyOne, but comes with the larger 5.2-inch screen.
If that’s the case, this handset would be a lot bigger if we consider the sizes of the screen and the keyboard itself. It could be TCL’s own version of a BlackBerry “phablet.” Another possibility is that this device might be another slider phone like the BlackBerry PRIV.
Although it wasn’t part of the leak, it’s very likely that this device will be running Google’s Android mobile operating system. Blackberry has stopped using the proprietary BlackBerry operating system ever since the companies jumped to Android for the BlackBerry PRIV back in 2015.
BlackBerry has been committed to using Android OS for its new smartphones, so it’s very unlikely that it would go back to using its own OS. BlackBerry 10, the latest iteration of the software, was released in 2013 and the BlackBerry Leap was the last device that ran the software.
BlackBerry’s next smartphone might look more like the DTEK50/60, instead of the KeyOne.