Exclusive: First Image of BlackBerry Milan - next generation BlackBerry 10 slider!!

By Kevin Michaluk on 7 Dec 2011 12:02 pm EST
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BlackBerry Milan

Well that didn't take long. Last week we posted our BBX (now BlackBerry 10) Roadmap Preview for 2012, where we dropped a number of new codenames into the mix beyond the already photographed BlackBerry London. Lisbon, Nevada and Milan were among the codenames of upcoming QNX-based phones mentioned, but the details we're still pretty slim. 

With the first image of BlackBerry Milan above, things are getting more clear for the next generation of BlackBerry 10 phones. While we don't have any specs just yet for Milan, the photo above says a lot. It's a slider BlackBerry, featuring the physical full qwerty keyboard that BlackBerry addicts know and love. And I'm hearing all of these next generation BlackBerry devices sport amazing displays (higher pixel density than the iPhone 4's retina display), which will really add to the sex appeal here. It's interesting to note that the design on this one seems to merge together two looks: at the top are rounded corners, similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, while along the bottom we have the sharper edges simliar to the photo of BlackBerry London. There's still time for RIM to tweak things up before locking down final hardware design for manufacturing so I'll be curious to see if things change up from here at all by the time we get this phone in our hands.

This image also gives us a big hint as to how the traditional BlackBerry experience will evolve on BlackBerry 10. Gone is the optical trackpad, call, hang-up and menu and back buttons from the main navigation area of the phone (where the BlackBerry logo is in this image). This means we can assume a much more PlayBook like experience moving forward, even on BlackBerry 10 phones that have a full qwerty. Expect a lot of bezel gestures! Just looking at the phone you know some of that one-handed ease of use of the traditional BlackBerry experience will be sacrificed here, but I don't think many people will care about that given how much more modern and intuitive the touchscreen user interface will be.

Overall, pretty damn exciting. A full, BIG touchscreen along with a physical keyboard on the next-generation BlackBerry 10 OS could be the ultimate phone for a LOT of people out there in 2012. Keep it locked to CrackBerry for more info as we get it!

PS. If you haven't entered yet, be sure to check out our CrackBerry Santa contest where you can win an IOU for a free BlackBerry 10 Phone of your choice. All you gotta do is leave a comment to enter!

Reader comments

Exclusive: First Image of BlackBerry Milan - next generation BlackBerry 10 slider!!

407 Comments

RIM should also move to no carrier branding, just let the model [numbers] tell what features the phone has. Pure RIM phone. Thinking about iPhone, you see no carrier branding; keeping the design as intended.

I was considering canceling one of my four lines of service (I personally carry two phones). Perhaps, I should wait and see which of these Berries comes to Evil Red... I'll stick with the Tour a while longer. *Shrug* But why would anyone upgrade to a 9900/9930 with devices such as these waiting around the corner?

oh yeah, baby.....I'm ready to move up to a Blackberry 10 and this looks terrific!

Been a blackberry user for a very long time. Currently, I'm Storm 2 with Playbook 32GB. That combo allows me to easily access the internet wherever I am. Can't do that with an iphone/ipad. So, when I'm away from home WiFi, I still access internet on my Playbook. My barber, was amazed and had no idea. My insurance guy, friends, people at the mall. Most everywhere I go, I'm accessing the internet and people wonder how I do it. AND, my Storm2 is in my pocket! Yes, I love blackberry. Trust me....the hype over other OSs and phones out there is overdone. And rather underdone regarding blackberry and what it can do.

Now, I'd like to bring my phone up to the latest and greatest, Blackberry 10. Help me out here. My Storm2 still does as much as I can expect from a phone that old, including linking to my Playbook, but its time to move that forward, as well. Thanks!!!!!

BB knows today what they need to get out of this slump. For those out there that might still be confused, here's a recap: new OS reflecting the future, and not holding on to the past (a bit like that video posted for BB enterprise software where everything was so ahead of its time), sexy solid devices, and HARDWARE, high end software: translate simply to what, Highest possible RESOLUTION for their new screens (must seek 4 inch mini form factors and maybe throw into the mix something like the Galaxy Nexus with a whopping 4.65 inch display (I'm sure they ladies would love that, me too by the way). Come on BB, I really need to replace my Bold 9700, but I don't know how much more I can wait, and fight your battles (my iPhone and Galaxy S2 friends are pounding me here into the deepest abyss there can be). RIM has to dazzle us, the world, at the CES show coming up early 2012 with a new phone down the pipe for MARCH ! RIM CANT RISK holding out any longer ! One, and one point that RIM HAS TO LOOK INTO ASAP (more like yesterday) is setting up a REAL CEO (yeah, ONLY ONE) who's vision will carry the company into the next millenium (some may argue that RIM just carried over their late nineties TECH into this new era). Well, time to go to sleep, pretty late here in Paris, FRANCE ! Come on Crackberry, PICK ME, I need a new BB10 superphone NOW !

IMO this phone isnt quite as sexy as the "London" that was leaked prior, but its still super clean and simple. Only thing that i question is how the keyboard would feel and react. If you dont like the physical keyboard, atleast you have the option of using the touch screen keyboard. If you still wanna complain about about keyboards after that, buy yourself a bluetooth keyboard and sync it to your phone. You can be THAT guy... hahaha.

are all you people blind????
I CAN CLEARLY SEE 2 BLACK DOTS IN THE LEFT HAND CORNER OF THE PHONE
ONE OF THOSE IS DEF A FRONT CAMERA.

Bring on the BlackBerry lovin'! I feel like when the Mayan Calendar ends in 2012, it marks the end of the Apple mobile empire, and the beginning of the RIMpire striking back! Here's to a year of awesome surprises from RIM!

I would like to get this phone into my hands not so much because I love the form factor but simply because I want one of the first QNX phones.

I am much more excited about the 9900 QNX device that will be dropping later next year but would love to get the first one as well.

RIM is going with new but classy look, I like it wouldn`t mind having one of those.
ButI do agree that keyboard layout might loose that efficiency we all are accustom to.

Definitely ... I want it... I need it... the first look is nice and modern, regarding the buttons I think it's an evolution necessary to reach the competitors (iPhone, Samsung, etc). The combination full touch screen plus slider keyboard is a win win proposition.

This really makes me doubt! Should I go for a slider or Touch screen only... or maybe if it comes.. more like the 9900..... damn. Looks very sexy though!

The more I look at this image, the more I wonder what the designers were thinking.

At first I thought the keyboard was awful. But it's much worse than that. It's a piece of crap. I'm staring at my 9900 on my desk and wondering "what the hell are they thinking... you designed this beautiful 9900, and then you come up with THIS?" The keyboard is just plain fugly and narrow and useless, and that big area with the "BlackBerry" logo, what a waste of real estate. You could easily fit a trackpad and the four navigation buttons right there, and they'd fit right into the smooth design if you copied the 9900/9930 buttons.

Take the 9900/9930, add a vertical slider with a large screen like this prototype, and ta-da.

New devices are looking sweet. Still not sure about the sliding function, although full Qwerty may offset that. Still, I'll be very happy to see some new devices out there that will put BB back on top.

The keyboard is far too small, looks even smaller than the 9800 one unless the pic is deceiving. The screen size is great but add a Bold 9900 keyboard with a similar screen size to the Galaxy S II and I'm sold...killer device! They also need to do something with those terrible edges at the bottom, looks like someone took a knife to it!

If RIM don't f*ck this up then I really think 2012 is their year to shine. Fingers crossed...

Something new to get excited about, at last! I hope the hell that RIM gets the new devices out in a timely manner...

Damn thought I was sold on the London for my next berry but now after seeing this, I'm not so sure. Think I'm going to have to go with the Milan. I have the 9850 now & love it but there's a few things I miss about having a keyboard such as keyboard shortcuts. This Milan might be perfect for me.

I love this phone...

This is just a photo...where's the front facing camera?

I hope they put an all-around superb camera in this phone...

Literally took one look and said ewwww.. so ugly its a good thing this is just a prototype and the original torch series looks way better

This company is suppose to pride themselves on being professional and yet they always have leaks

i have man sized hands.....i think i need a track pad, but we will see. Bold form factor is my preference and i could stand it to be a little larger if I got one of those great screens, bring the smile back on my keyboard. But that is a large area beneath the screen for gestures so i may be good without a trackpad.....

This could be my next BB if it comes to pass. I have a Torch 9810 and really like the touchscreen and keyboard combo but wish the screen was a bit larger. BAM, enter the Milan. Now come on RIM, bring it out in a timely fashion, oh and completely operational.

3 words...."freakin love it".....RIM is hitting a home run here. Ive been a member of CB for a few years and the normal post are dropping....whine whine whine. RIM will never get it right for some. How bout that its still a BB...and will do MOST of the BB things..I'm diggin it!!!

To be honest...I'm not a huge fan of this look but I really do like the London. I'm excited to see what BB will be coming out with next year. But what they need is 1.HD Displays, 2.Faster processors, 3.FRONT CAMERAS. I hope these don't go almost obsolete like the BB7 line :/...they better keep up.

I'm just glad that it appears that I wont have to settle for a full touchscreen device if i don't want to.

Trackpad FTW !!!
Use it every day.
While touch screen is good without the track pad this will be just another iPhone knock off.
Keep blackberry ...well ...blackberry!!!

i am definitely not upgrading until i can get one of those!

cougar boost ? your growling drink intrigues me !

I can't believe there's no trackpad. What a pain. Ever tried to position the cursor on a Playbook? Impossible to get it first time.

Keyboard looks as cramped as the Torch if not more so.

Gorgeous screen though.

Not for me.

May God give us a horizontal Bold slider one day.

I can tell you all why this phone was just announced:
Because I just bought an Android.

Nevertheless.... I'm getting this blackberry if it actually happens.

What took one or two steps with the blackberry (to communicate) is taking me 5 to 8 steps on the android.... and requires that I look down at the phone far, far longer.

LMAO- so another 10 month wait for a phone w no apps, and a whole lot of over promiseing and under delivering. Came back to BB for 9930 POS that bricked twice so I am now thankful for Apple once again and the Iphone...too little too late RIM = RIP

I am in love with the look of this phone. Super sexy and it's got the physical keyboard that I can't go without. The best of both worlds!

Not sure about you folks - but my Playbook has now superseded my new Bold 9900 on feel, looks, presentation, etc. . I look forward to the convergence between the tablet and mobile phone (hope I'm considered an applicant in the contest!).

Looks nice. I have to agree to some of the comments made of the keyboard but I prefer the phone to be asymmetrical. Of the two models shown so far I prefer the London over this one.

I agree, the trackpad is speed and precision. I watch my daughter and two friends on their iPhones and see how hard it is for them to accurately select items and text without zooming, especially doing corrections, and they all use two hands. One handed with the trackpad is the definition of speed and ease. That's my opinion, as those who think the trackpad is unnecessary have an opinion. But, their truth is not my truth, so live with it.

"If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong"

If there is no Bold like replacement, I'm fone from Blackberry! If these phones are just going to mimmic Droids what's the point of staying loyal to Blackberry?? The whole pint to me has been the unique format!

If blackberry kept the same phones they have now, they would be obsolete in 1-2 years. The market has changed and they need to adapt.

Ahhhh, something to look forward to. I don't know your criteria for selecting who gets one from this post, but assume I'll be buying one if I don't get picked. I've been holding out for an upgrade as well. I love the BlackBerry line: rock-solid security, user friendly and serious. Neither 'fun', games and digital toys as selling points are not what attracts me. Reliable bells and whistles do, hands down.

Sorry if someone already said this, but it looks like there's no front facing camera on this device... that would be a bit of a fail for RIM at this point. (the two dark spots in the top right look like an LED and light sensor to me)

It's got 2 things at the top right. One is the notification and the other is likely a front facing camera. Hopefully this is a good phone, one thing i didn't like about the playbook is trying to get in between letters if i misspelled a word and fighting with it.

I would absolutely LOVE one of those awesome slider phones to go with my PB! Thanks for the contest!

If people are complaining that the two holes are the LED and light sensor, well there is a hole on the top left, along with a vertical line. HMMMM. I want this so bad.

buying it day 1111111111111111111, imma huge fanboy. dont care ill pay too much for it. hope rims still around to release this phone next year. love having a phone upgrade every year

It seems to be a nice design, I just hope the length of the bigger screen doesn't interfere with the physical keyboard typing experience. 2012 is going to be a huge year for blackberry. I think they can seize the market of android users tired of the multiple low grade phones that are pushed out everyday with horrible battery life. I think BBX touchscreen phones will be a big hit with consumer and business users.

Looks great and sharp display specs with the bonus of a keyboard...nice. I personally would like a keyboard with frets. What is the weight gonna be? I moved to a 9900 from a Torch and i found the Torch was always "top heavy" in my hands with the slider open. Probably not a 1 handed device this Milan.

This is absolutely amazing! And like everyone else, I would really love to own one of these devices. Thanks CB for the endless great work. :)

looks great! just imagine that keyboard coming out from the side and larger (of coarse). that would be an amazing phone! i just got the bold 9930 and i fell in love with blackberry again. I think RIM need to up their game by adding a front facing camera to their smartphones it will be great for conference calls and face time. and something like Siri a personal assistant on your phone since blackerry is all about how it such a good business phone why not add those features. and im sure sales would jump like crazy! Blackberry for life! cant get enough of these phones.

Drool!!

Now thats an impressive looking next gen phone ....must write letter to self

Dear Santa,

For Christmas i would like .....

When reading comments here, it reminds me of why companies don't release pictures, specs etc... of new products that haven't officially launched yet.... There is a saying that goes...."Never show an unfinished painting to a fool."

well I hope they don't take too long to release it. Pretty sure it wont be February as they said BBM won't be included in the 2.0 release.

Slider is great format (Re: my 9800).

Track pad is hand as the pocket on shirt for my overall cell useage.

9000/9900 keys layout is perfect for my hands.

BB10? Keeping improving OS.

Looks like a nice delivery package, now to have a feature(s) that will make it an industry standard and a "must have" device!

Looks like a nice delivery package, now to have a feature(s) that will make it an industry standard and a "must have" device!

I don't care whether next HHs of BB will be fully touchscreen or not. I just care about the battery life.

Many BB users always compaint about this, including me. The next HH shall meet these criterias to become the winner in smartphone contest:

1. Stylish
2. Powerfull
3. User friendly
4. Can adobt many applications
5. Can be used for work or play purposes
6. Good hardware durability
7. Long last battery life
8. Competitive price

If the next BB 10 handheld meet those what I mention, RIM will lead the smartphone market.

This getting me amped for whats in store. RIM, time to get the market you started back.

Only thing I think they should re design is the keyboard. If they could drop the bold 9900 keyboard (assuming there will be enough space for that) on to this phone, there will be simply no competitor. The best of both worlds.

I'm excited for the next wave of phones from RIM. This looks like a great phone that gives us the best of the touch screen experience and the keyboard we know and love from RIM. I'll definitely will be adding this to my shopping list come next year even if the specs aren't mindblowing when compared to the competition. I'm a fan of RIM and the products they build, I'll be here for the long run...

now that large screens are becoming the norm will the bb10 version of the bold look like an oversized + sophisticated version of the pixi?

This may have been asked already, but could you post a picture of the phone without the watermark. A better loook at the keyboard will be helpful. Gotta say, first impression is pretty sweet.

looks good so far. i don't know why the top corners (rounded) and the bottom (angled) are different. do you? also Wonder about the balance when using the keyboard -- will the device be top heavy? that said, i still love the idea and hope it comes out early next year.

I love the look of this phone!! I want one!! I love my Torch 9800 and this would be a sweet upgrade to go along with my Playbook

I really do like the design.. Even if it does look just a bit like an Android. However it does appear to have a sexy metal edge just like the beautiful 9930. This BB 10 phone is what RIM needs. QNX, full screen for the masses and still that awesome BB keyboard for the BB faithful. I really think they have a winner! I just hope that it is as thin as the 9930.. But Oh Yeah.. I Will Have One! I'll Be Waiting In Line For This One!!!

Can't wait for these phones to release. Does that look like a 4" screen to anyone though besides me?

I'm liking the preview of the BB10 phone. I'm sure it will get tweaked by the time it gets released. The chatter about missing a trackpad is valid and I like the trackpad. I am willing to bet the area where the logo is (bottom of screen) will be the new and improved trackpad (trackarea?).

A new generation of BBs every year means that there will be no more OS updates for existing phones and nobody bothers about developing apps because after a year you can start all over again? Is that RIM's definition of "downward compatibility"? How about 100 new phones with 10 different OS every year?

This thing looks terrible. I don't get it -- no one seems to be complaining about the way blackberries currently look. In fact, it's about the only thing going for RIM these days. The problem is how the phones work, not what they look like. Please continue producing great looking phones like the 9700 and 9900, just load them with os 10.

I like the idea of a full touchscreen slider, but it needs to slide horizontally-T mobile My Touch 4G Slide-to allow for a full QWERTY keyboard that is larger than I have on my my Bold 9900! That would truly be a WORLD BEATER!

Looks interesting. But with any device we have to wait and see what the final product is going to be. I'm looking forward to seeing what Blackberry has in store for it's users.

I am liking this. I currently have a Torch 9800 and I really like the larger touch screen combined with the physical keyboard. I will definitely check this phone out when it drops in 2012!

After all the stress I have been through with my 9900, I will calmly sit and watch to see which of these gadgets would be stable enough. I will be in no hurry to purchase one....

Looks like a very sleek phone, however im a bit weary of the keyboard...seems a bit out of proportion. I do want one though haha

I say make 2 version one with trackball the other without ; ) make everybody happy!!!! ok RIM listen to the people.....

if they make the bottom part of the bezel where "BlackBerry" is touch-sensitive so it can mimic the behaviour of a trackpad, count me in. If the four hard buttons become softbuttons with an option to have them ALWAYS there, there only when "needed" (whatever that means) or press&hold on the bezel to bring them up, that would possibly be a 'workaround', but it would be a hard sell for me.

If the Milan, as pictured, ALSO had the hard buttons and trackpad, I wouldn't even have to stop and think about whether I'd buy one on launch day. As it is, I would have to consider "will they launch a Torch 9810 form factor with BB10? but with a slightly larger screen? Maybe I'll wait..."

Without the trackpad and the convenience keys, this blackberry milan is getting closer to the mundane hardware that is out there already by all the other phone makers. I can see how bb could get rid of the hang up/call keys -- perhaps. The keyboard, trackpad, and convenience keys are one of the reasons I have stuck with blackberry. Blackberry should be embracing their keyboard design -- trackpad and convenience keys and all -- and emphasizing this as a differentiating point. Once they go toward the touch screen too much, they start to look like every other smartphone maker. If they make this change across their product line, they may lose me as a customer.

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