2 Likes 5 Dislikes
BlackBerry has a mixed history with its all-touchscreen phones. The reason is simple: the company has made (and continues to make) handsets with the best physical keyboards going, which is arguably a large part of why it has such a loyal fanbase.
Times change, though, and the company has had to adjust and adapt over recent years. Before its recent switchover to Google's Android operating system, BlackBerry's BB10 system - as nice as it is to use - simply doesn't offer key features, like access to lots of apps. With Android at its core, touch-focused use was perhaps an inevitability.
Initially the company's touchscreen devices, sold under the DTEK banner, were simply Alcatel Idol clones that cost more than their Alcatel equivalents. Now, however, comes the first unique all-touch BlackBerry device running Android: the BlackBerry Motion.
Still looks like a BlackBerry
IP67 water and dust resistant
Soft touch Kevlar-like weave back
155.7 x 75.4 x 8.1mm
If there's one thing that's key for BlackBerry-branded devices, it's that they have to look and feel different to the mainstream. Despite being an all-touchscreen device without a physical keyboard, the company has definitely achieved that in the Motion. Parts of the design are reminiscent of the KeyOne launched earlier this year. Rounded corners at the bottom are juxtaposed with the right-angled square corners on the top.
What we really like about the Motion's design is the blend of materials and colours. The dark grey aluminium sides and bottom edge are completely flat and finished with the usual angled, polished chamfers. Combined with the flat, nano-diamond coated glass on the front the handset has a restrained but sophisticated aesthetic. This look is further enhanced by the soft-touch, textured Kevlar-like finish on the back. On the whole, it's a design that's unique, classy and understated.
Despite its large size, the Motion is still light and easy to carry around. It's not entirely ergonomic, but in two hands, when typing away, it feels effortless. However, there are two issues that detract from this otherwise great look and feel though: the large chin, or bezel, below the display is big; and the choice of home button design just isn't right.
The home button - complete with its embedded fingerprint sensor - has a BlackBerry logo on it, front and centre, which detracts from the phone's otherwise sophisticated look. What's more, the home button feels a bit spongy and unbalanced when pressed - there's no solid click, and it moves unevenly from side to side.