CrackBerry Asks: What's your favorite BlackBerry smartphone form factor?

Bold 9930 Keyboard
By Adam Zeis on 26 Oct 2011 12:39 pm EDT

I've always been a big fan of full QWERTY devices for the most part, but I do have a soft spot for full-touch devices. With so many various form factors out there, it's fairly hard to pick just one. As much as I love having a physical keyboard, there is something to be said for a touchscreen device with a much bigger screen as well. Then there is still that special (albeit small) place in my heart for the good ol' Pearl. I'm curious to know just what form factors are the most popular among the CrackBerry Nation. Is it the full touchscreen of the Torch? Amazing keyboard on the Bold and Curve? Or does the slider reign supreme? Cast your vote in the poll above, then leave a comment letting us know why you picked what you did.

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

Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: What's your favorite BlackBerry smartphone form factor?


Not doubting the results, but the questions are loaded. It shouldn't be

Full Touchscreen

etc., it should be

Full QWERTY/Full Touchscreen
Full Touchscreen

etc., because the Torch 9810 is BOTH a full QWERTY AND a full touchscreen.

The BOLD 9000 had the best, most comfortable keyboard, imho. Typing on that thing was like 60-70 WPM. But right now I'm using the TORCH 9800, its keyboard is not as comfortable and I can't type as fast as on the 9000, but it's a sacrifice I made for the larger screen real estate and touch abilities. Though it is okay for me because I have small hands. Would love the new BOLD 9900 if I could afford it.

You will not believe me, but the 9900 keyboard is even better than that of the 9000!

After using the 9900 for a while I find it kind of hard to use the 9000 (still have it as option is the 9900 brokes) now.

The keys are a lot "heavier" on the 9900 to press compared to the 9900. (I'm still not sure if the 9900 keyboard would be better if it would be a little bit heavier to press)

As long as your trackball is still working (that was my reason, after almost 3 years BB9000) the 9000 is still a pretty good device - on OS5 (incl. mem-controlle app ;) )

Definitely agree. The keyboard of the 9900/9930 is simply the best.
Since my 9930 bricked last week (***** ****) I had to take again my "old" 9800... And you really feel the difference.

Anyway, I'm surprised by 10% votes on "full touch screen".
10% users who probably should go with a toy like an iPhone next time :)

I would die before ever switching to the itoy(a bit extreme but its the truth) . I am an extremely proud Canadian and BlackBerry fan. I resent the comment I should get the itoy just because I decided to go with a full touch device. BlackBerry is far superior to the itoy in everyway imo. I do not need a toy with lots of games that's what I have a PS3 and a Xbox 360 for.

I had the 9000 for 2.5 years to the point where I could no longer use the trackball. It was a fantastic phone, I still use it when I travel to Europe and only need it for calls and texts, not for surfing.

I haven't had the luxury of trying the 9900 keyboard yet but when you say heavier, do you mean more resistance?

Either way, the 9000 and 9900 are both very similar in dimension and perfect for any kinds of hands - big or small.

can we get an option for `touch and qwerty` as in the 9900, as i think thats really the best of both worlds.

It shouldn't be a choice because you can't type on the 99xx touchscreen. The basic form factor of the device is the same as the 9000, 9700, 9650, etc. While it may be your favorite device, the form is no different than any other traditional BB.

I like the full QWERTY keyboard form factor, because I do a lot of messaging and it's much easier for me to use a keyboard then to use a touch screen.

I also agree 100 % with BBThemes, that the 9900 is really the best of both worlds with the touch and qwerty.


Hi @Chaviv and @BBThemes,

Alex from RIM here. Just like the both of you, I went with the Bold 9900. I’ve always been a big fan of the form factor, and its QWERTY/touch combination, faster browsing and sleek size make it my favorite BlackBerry since the Bold 9780.

We recently shot a new video comparing the new Bold 9900 to the Bold 9700. When you get a chance, give it a watch and see how the latest Bold stacks up:

Alex, RIM Social Media Team

Love love love my 9930. I can truly say that a flip wasn't that bad. I had the style and if it was made with an inner touch screen and 1.2 snapdragon...maybe a slightly larger keyboard/screen it would have received more attention.

u took the words right out of my mouth. I would love to see the style reinvented. I love this phone and would pay top dollar for The BlackBerry (Style-X). I thought up everything you just said but with an outer screen that allows to view and take pics/video also.

Ha, it would be like a front facing camera. Pure GENIUS!!! It would be hard to get me off my 9930 but if it didn't exist then the Style X would be lovely.

I like the style as well... Perhaps making the outside screen a bit larger add touchscreen with more functionality.

None of the above.
I wish a 4"+ LCD for good browsing experience, and a large horizontal slider keyboard like the Bold 9900.

A 4"+ LCD screen Torch with a HORIZONTAL (Landscape) keyboard with full number keys, & up/down/left/right arrow keys, lighter weight, slimmer like the Bold 9900. (Basically like the Motorola Droid3 but a slider).

Currently the Torch1/Torch2 has a vertical (portrait) keyboard slider, which prevents the LCD screen from being bigger (otherwise top heavy and won't balance well in your hand--tends to flip out and fall to the ground).

Oh, and a lighted LED that rings around the micro-USB slot on your BlackBerry device, because it is a nightmare to try to plug this in semi-darkness each evening!

I have the 9900 and for me this is the best compromise of both worlds.

I don't like the sliders as these devices are too heavy and too large. It's probably because I'm not very used to type on these keyboards but I like the 9000 and 9900 keyboards a lot more as any other device I tested/borrowed etc.

Oh and my 9900 has a feature which is called light bleeds (just recognised it last week) and in the dark and with active/bright display I this feature, a micro usb port light ;)

(usually I am known as an pessimist so you could think of that as irony or sarcasm O:) )

PlayBook has warmed me up to full-touch devices.

I will sacrifice the keyboard for a bright, crisp screen with games and easy-to-read websites.
I hope they can deliver on the BBX phone early next year because my patience with RIM is at an all-time low.

I know about your disdain for the storm line, but since we're talking about form factor and not os, it's gotta be included.

I know there are a ton of us who LOVE SurePress tech. If paired with the right os and hardware it would help take the touch experience to a new level that I honestly could see implemented along all of their touch devices.

Get the Storm2 in there.

Rim is in a bad position. They are known and loved for their full qwerty. They are also trying to compete with iphone and android no button all touch devices. There is only one solution.... The 9800/9810 form factor. QNX needs to have 4 inch screen slider with 9900 quality qwerty keypad. I think that would satisfy the majority.

Solution: 4"+ HORIZONTAL (Landscape) Slider with a Bold 9900 quality qwerty keypad, with full set numerical keys!

(Note that the Torch 9810/9800 is a vertical (Portrait) slider that actually limits the size of the LCD screen, since you need it to balance properly in your hands while typing.

+1000! This would be an awesome form factor to compete with Android/iOS. I remember a while back reading about some prototype drawings/patent requests here on CrackBerry passing through the FCC from RIM with the form factor you describe. RIM is so good at making excellent keyboards with minimal space so imagine what they could do with that much real estate!

After years of using all types of BlackBerry devices (starting from the 850) I am sold on the Slider for now. It's been a year and it still does everything that I need and more.
Perhaps (sadly) it's just my aging eyes but the pinch/tap zooming has become extremely useful. There is no way I would do without a real keyboard, so for me it's the Torch slider.
I agree with others who say it would be nice if it where a bit thinner an lighter but I am yet to struggle with it's current size and weight. If I ever do then I suspect I have bigger physical problems to worry about than what phone I choose.

Perhaps a big question for those taking this poll is, are you bias or have you actually tried the other forms for a few months or more, before judging them?

probably should seperate the poll from CURVE keyboard and BOLD keyboard both styles are very different.

Full QWERTY has been my preference. I found the original Storm lacking> The slider/QWERTY Torches were not tested when I was more involved in the provisioning of BBs for my former employer.

My plan for testing devices (since I am currently eligible but still have another loyality bonus that comes available in April) is to test the Galaxy Nexus, the Droid Bionic, the full touch Torch, and the Bold 9930 (aka The Gretsky).

My favorite so far is the 9900. The 9000 was a close second and the 9700 was not far behind. Not crazy about the curves, pearls, or torches.

Torn between 9700/9780 or 9900 form factor. Either way it needs a Bold keyboard of some kind (Rather than full touch or Torch 9800 style keyboard)

I have a 9930 and love it but if Sprint had the Torch slider I would def give it a try. The big screen and a qwerty keyboard would be so sweet. Like others here, I wish it would be slimmer.

pearl 3g is awesome. such a sweet phone in such a small package. the hp veer also really appealed to me.. thought it would be sweet if RIM took that slider design and applied it to an updated pearl. i would buy one FOR SURE. Maybe 2.

I want to say QWERTY Slider, but I happily gave up my Torch for the beauty of 9900. In other words, I'll sacrifice screen size for a better keyboard.

I want there to be a QWERTY slider, that is as thin as the 9900 with the 9900 keyboard, but the screen size/res of the iPhone.

I have has a pear, Pear flip, bold and Torch. My favorites are the bold and the pearl flip. I love the small size of the pearl/Flip. I love that it is light, fits in a pocket and has all the power of a regular BB. I CANT STAND the touch screen! Gets all greasy. Funger prints drive me crazy!

I use my BB for work, entering data and messaging are just so much easier on a qwerty that it's worth having a smaller screen. The Bold 9900/9930 has the best full qwerty keyboard I have ever used and its touchscreen has the advantage of faster navigation, BRILLIANT!
When and if I ever retire, I'll switch to a touchscreen.
I don't care much for portrait slider or landscape flip and I like the BB style concept (especially for work), but if I were to replace my 9650 now, it would be the 9930, it's just too awesome.

I love the idea of a slide out kb with large portrait screen but the torch just feels awkward to type on compared to Bold, so i have to go bold.

One thing that has me worries is whether or not RIM will include an optical trackpad on their first (or any) BBX Phone. I think the trackpad is a very useful feature that is often overlooked. I even wish I had a virtual trackpad on my PlayBook right now (I've mentioned this several times here and in the BetaZone forums). It would make editing this entry so much easier since my device doesn't auto correct, or spell check, or email... ;) ("They see me trollin', they hatin'... something something riding dirty!".... you know where I'm going with this...)

I have the 9900...and it's my third. One bricked and the other had the JVM 517 dread. I love the device, but if this one has problems, I'm gone. I love the 9900's keyboard. Can do 80 wpm. My perfect form factor would be the 9810's form factor with a 3.5" screen with the 9900's keyboard.

If RIM made that form factor and put in a great Internet experience, it would be a winner. The extra width wouldn't bother me at all.

I was playing with the HTC Amaze today and really enjoyed it. The speed of the Internet blew my 9900 away. Problem is, I love the Blackberry keyboard...a much more important factor for me than the Android and iOS bells and whistles. I just can't create written content on glass.

My beloved Pearl is taking such a licking.

I still think it would be wise for RIM to have a device that has buttons bigger then pin heads.

Bold is my favourite for last phone was a 9780 and my next phone which is coming next week is a 9930...stick to what u know and love!!!

although i voted for the full QWERTY, if RIM ever punched out the Torch to 3.5 inches and slimmed it up just a bit, I'd jump in and never look back!!!

Hope RIM takes a look at this poll and takes it into account when planning their new phones. I will never buy a non-qwerty blackberry and I get the feeling that I am not alone.

Well since I have gotten the 9860 I have to say the full touch is my favorite however a part of me misses the sliding form factor of the 9800 and the keyboard there. I love the 9860 and would not change my mind about getting it