Fake of the week: BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha with a full QWERTY keyboard

BB10 Dev Alpha Keyboard
By Adam Zeis on 24 May 2012 06:36 pm EDT

It's been a while since we've spotted a good fake BlackBerry, but this time around all the work was done for us. Forums member Superfly_FR posted up this Photoshop of the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha sporting a full QWERTY keyboard. As noted in the forums post, there is certainly enough room for a standard BlackBerry keyboard (I'm down with a Bold 9900 keyboard on this baby). As RIM CEO Thorstein Heins said at BlackBerry World, we'll still see BlackBerry devices with a physical keyboard, so maybe down the road this won't be too far fetched.

What do you think of this design? Is it good? Bad? Ugly? Sound off in the comments!

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Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Fake of the week: BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha with a full QWERTY keyboard


people gotta understand that a phone like that won't be comfortable to hold. he bottom lip is too short, the keyboard will be annoying to type on b/c the weight of the thing is too far off balance.

think of how it is to type on the torch slider vs. any other berry. the torch sllider is too top heavy. i've gotta put extra effort into holding the top b/c of the uneven weight distribution. other phones, not a problem.

anyone agree or disagree?

I never put much thought into it, but you know you're right. Typing the Torch hasn't been as nice as my old Bold 9000, but I thought it was just the small keyboard area. But yes, the balance is off and probably does have a negative effect on typing.

Good call.

Agree and disagree. Ur right about the keyboard spacing from the bottom, but the balance arguement is flawed. If it would be too 'top heavy' for typing, the what ur saying is the dev alpha currently is too top heavy for portrait typing. That of course isn't correct, and I like typing on mine in portrait. It gets even worse for ur theory as they physical weight to the keyboard would actually lower the center of gravity of the device, so it would be perfectly fine.

Of course this debate is pointless as its a mockup, but u see my point I hope. The torch is made 'top heavy' by the center of gravity moving when you open it. A non sliding device the same dimensions as a full touch with no moving parts wouldn't suffer that issue.

I disagree, I never found my torch to be top heavy. The weight is towards the middle anyway because the top is lighters. Plus the bigger screen with a keyboard makes it easier to view than a Bold. (I can read more of an email before scrolling, I like that)

I'l hoping that the BB 10 is a slider. It makes more sense to keep the screen at the same ratio as a touch screen model instead of having two different size screens.

I have no balance issues while using my Torch slider's keyboard. It might have a slightly different balance if you do a back to back from a Bold directly to a Torch slider. IMHO, it doesn't seem like much of a change to me in daily use.

Hopefully they find a way for the qwerty model screen to be the same aspect ratio and resolution as the all touch model. Making it as easy as possible to develop for is essential.

Add the trackpad and normal buttons and we have a winner.

And for the LOVE OF GOD!!!! Please, have at least two convenience keys.

Thank you.

Agree. The track pad and the 4 dedicated buttons make it so much more productive, and they set Blackberry apart from the competition. Without them, it is just another "me too" Android-wanna-be.

People at the company known as RIM are not as smart as you. So, I don't think the RIM's hardware engineering people can beat Samsung or Apple. I am sad too..... :(

I want the new BlackBerry 10 to have a slider like the Torch so I can have my beloved keyboard. I won't be sporting a phone without buttons.

They better come out with a keyboard or they are going to lose majority of there customers. They should just make it like the Torch. That seems like the only way they can keep the screen ratios FULL HD!

In case you haven't noticed, they already are losing the majority of their customers... RIM's focus on an awesome full touch is the right approach to the market, and they have already confirmed that they will *also* have a traditional style BB10, so all will be happy.

"In case you haven't noticed, they already are losing the majority of their customers.." that's amazing... so can you tell me how in their last call why their subscriber base went up? - as in gained more customers - Market share is going down that doesn't mean you have lost customers.

But anyway I am looking forward to BB 10.

I would like a 9900 keyboard on the next bb10 device BUT I am not sure if it is possible. The device would have limited appeal for playing games horizontally and when used in portrait mode there maybe balance issues when typing. These comments have been stated before by other CB members.

I'm a current Torch 9810 user. I would buy a landscape slider with full horizontal Blackberry esque keyboard in a heartbeat. The Torch keyboard as it is is simply too small for most male hands - though you sort of get used to it. I realize a horizontal slider wouldn't exactly be torch like in name/spirit so name it something else if you must, but that's my future phone if it comes out. Don't even get me started trying to type on a 3.2" touchscreen screen in portrait mode...

I guess I'm at the point in my life where I'd much rather have the larger screen surface then sacrificing it for a physical keyboard.

I'm also hopefully that RIM doesn't release a myriad of screen sizes/resolutions for the BB10 phones as has occurred with all of the previous phones. From what I hear from developers, this makes it substantially more difficult to develop for.

Having the same screen, standardized, on all phones - touch only/keyboard only - would be much better for developers.

As far as this fantasy fake render goes...I love the keyboard on my bold 9900, just like the 9000 one as they are the same. But for a phone dropping end of 2012/start of 2013 its time to get some new design language onto the keyboard and not use the same one as four years ago. Specifically because bb10 is a completely new blackberry OS and a new beginning for RIM. Keep functionality or try to improve it *somehow* but change the look to make it appear new and different.

There really isn't much you can do to the BB keyboard that won't make it less good. The key shapes and layout are there for a reason: ergonomics. Real ergonomics, not "how can we claim stroking a flat slab is ergonomic?"
But big screens are also ergonomic: 120mm diagonal seems about the biggest that fits into a sane size of phone and also doesn't require too much finger movement, while displaying sufficient information.

The combination of keyboard and large screen is very, very difficult to solve. This, I imagine, is the real reason that you won't be seeing one for a while.

As much as I like the full keyboard I think it is important first to maintain the same screen aspect ratio to get and KEEP developers.

I believed if there is going to have the physical keyboard, it must be a slider. It cans slide vertical/horizontal.

I hate to lose the big screen that they have on the full touchscreen device. Would prefer a slide out keyboard. I'm use to my Torch and the nice size touchscreen. It may be easiier to incorporate a slide while maintainig the same size front screen and bezel. Hopefully, they can incorporate the swype banner across the bottom once the keyboard slides out so you can maintain the efficiency of your typing.

Again, keep the screen as big as possible (4.2") while maintaning the phone's portability.

It actually looks really nice.
Now...if it was white, YES!

I hope RIM releases white versions of the BB10 phones at the same time of the normal black ones. Especially for Sprint. ^_^

I'm really looking forward to a slider at this point. I'm loving my Bold 9930, it when it comes to BlackBerry 10, I know I will want screen almost above keyboard. So for me it will be full touch or better yet, a slider that has a keyboard closer to the 99xx rather than the current Torch 9810.

That's absolutely right ... even the reason why I don't like portrait sliders. Also the reason I wrote :"Imagine the keyboard can slide from top to bottom" ;-) then you can adjust it exactly to fit you needs ...

I'd prefer to keep the 9900's current format factor or a little taller and wider with the same design. I have a Playbook so a larger screen isn't necessary.

The truth is that this is an example of what was wrong with the Motorola Pro. They had a larger screen and a poor attempt at a BlackBerry keyboard. However, even if it were as good a keyboard the idea of jamming two good things together and creating something better did not work on this one.
The reason the BlackBerry Bold is so awesome is largely ergonomic and also the weight/balance factors. By enlarging the screen the balance point on the device just shifted and the natural feel of our BlackBerry Bold was lost.

I realize the BB10 is in many ways the future but compromising two good ideas may not result in one better product unless it is carefully thought out and designed to perfection. I believe this may be a factor that has caused some delays in the past.

BB10 is going to be a completely new device (sure it will have the security, BBM, get'er done attitude, push everything all the time, etc., but the guts are just the next generation) and when BB releases one with a real keyboard it needs to be a work of art, like the Bold 9900. Just awesome.

I know this is a photo shop but I really don't like it. Looks too small. All those wanting a physical keyboard are going to miss out on the awesome new touch screen keyboard software. I'm sure RIM can make it functional on the physical device but the experience probably won't be the same.

The great BlackBerry TK Victory concept was more a Bold form factor, I guess. The illustration by itself has no real sense here, I was just playing/wondering around with keyboard considerations. As noted, there will be a bad balance point and - unless the rotating keyboard appears - a screen resolution puzzle :).

(to all) Please remember it's a 20 minutes photoshop fun, not a concept by itself !

I really wish the users could help build a BB 10 phone. We have some of the most insightful ideas. I love the TK VICTORY although it looked funny without the call, menu, trackpad buttons, but I'm sure I'd get used to it. It was also too thin in my opinion. Basically I would like to see a 99xx but 21mm taller and 5mm wider, slim down the call-menu-track pad buttons down 3mm to provide not only a larger screen but a more powerful processor and an exceptional battery life, oh and let's not forget the auto focus camera. Since I'm at it why not have a second led light, second convenience key and second speaker. That completes my BB 10 dream phone.

They need a cool look to their devices like the Blackberry Blade. I don't want a phone that looks like Apple or Android.

Just give me the dev alpha phone and im happy with it. Perfect size, thickness is good, so it has enough space for a longer battery and fully auto camera...

I would buy one. I don't think typing on that phone would be a problem. My PlayBook is much bigger and I manage to type on it just fine. I don't think I can wait for the qwerty version and we know full touch version will be released first.

LOL. nice concept design. Maybe a touch up of here and there of the keyboard and it may well sell well.

1. It's fake.
2. Running windows CE or android
3. Shut up, none of RIM's devices are outdated. You just cannot appreciate anything.

I hope not. Not sure about folks' eyesight but that is the worst I've seen yet. It's even uglier than the 9981.

Simple...take the current 9900 and move the keypad, function keys and trackpad down until the spacebar is at the exact bottom edge of the phone. Then stretch the screen vertically so the bottom touches the top of the function keys and trackpad, and the top touches the ear-speaker. Then stretch the screen horizontally so the edges touch the exact edges of the phone. Done.

To put it short, maximize the 9900's real-estate to allow for the larger screen and the resolution needed to be equivalent to that of the full-touch and the PB (higher dpi but same res).