February 19, 2018

BlackBerry’s newest research, in motion

By Matthew Pirante-Perez

The BlackBerry Motion is a competent phone but it’s hampered by dated hardware and style. However, it has generous battery life which could go on and on.

Although BlackBerry has been a known name, it is now still in the process of finding that perfect formula for that one device that could pout them back to the top.

With the decline of BlackBerry in the last decade, I found myself rooting for them to make a comeback. BlackBerry released a series of phones which were met with terrible sales such as the Q10, but that isn’t stopping the company from pushing forward in hardware development.

Enter BlackBerry Motion.

I must admit I was excited to get my hands on the BlackBerry Motion as it already embraced the Android OS. I was impressed by how it looked. It felt hefty when I held it which I personally like. It had the understated elegance of a business phone which had always been the hallmark of any BlackBerry phones. The sides are aluminum while the back had a sort of carbon fiber design and the metallic strip on top was plastic.

The bezel in front is fairly large which was off-putting especially when smartphones now are striving to have an edge-to-edge screen or as unobtrusive a bezel as possible. It comes with a physical home button with the BlackBerry logo on it which wasn’t to my liking. I was happy with the silver logo emblazoned on the back cover. It also had capacitive buttons on either sides of the home button. The left side or edge of the phone only had the sim tray and the right edge had the convenience key, power key and button keys. I honestly found it strange that the convenience key was the textured one instead of the power key. I kept mistaking it for the power key and took a bit of getting used to but I managed to ease into it.

It also came with a pair of in-ear headset which I love. The cables are flat so it tangles less. Also came equipped with extra ear buds. The USB cable type C could have been longer so you could lie in bed and use the phone comfortably while charging but it is a minor, even insignificant annoyance for me. As tempted as I was to use my Note 8’s USB Type C, I wanted the full BlackBerry experience.

There wasn’t much to get excited about this phone as we have seen it all. A 1080p IPS LCD with a 401 PPI or pixels per inch. Similar to the Samsung J7 Pro which I also have except it comes with a super AMOLED display.

It also water and dust proof at IP67. The first thing I did while I was having coffee at Tim Horton’s was to pour water over it, much to the shock of the baristas and even the security guard. I just had to test it.

As for the camera, it offered 12 MP but that’s already been offered by other smartphones and it isn’t all that great. It’ll do the job but it wouldn’t go the extra mile. Speaking of extra mile, I found the 32GB internal memory quite lacking. While it has an SD card slot, 32GB for its price point and o my 3GB of RAM? I expected more.

It could do pretty much everything other smartphones can do but it lacked the latest technology to compete with the likes of iPhone, Samsung and Huawei in terms of hardware. It is a serviceable phone but that really is just about it. Nothing to write home about.

Is this a phone I will consider buying? No. Not even for its price point. There are other phones with similar offerings at a lower price point.

BlackBerry was a beloved brand and has the potential to return to prominence when it starts producing flagship phones that could rival those of Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.

Hardware specs

Display: 5.5″ 1080×1920
PPI: 403
OS: Android 7.1 Nougat
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Storage: 32GB
Rear camera: 12MP
Front camera: 8MP
Battery: 4000mAh
Others: IP67

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