Terri wants to buy a phone with a keyboard. Can she still get a Blackberry? Leo says that Blackberry doesn't make phones anymore, but the brand/design is made by TCL. The Key2 is the new model. It also runs on Android now. Blackberry's OS died a few years ago. It will retail for $649 and is available in July. If she likes a physical keyboard, this is her last, best choice.
Gary has kept a really old Android phone because it had a slide down keyboard. He hates virtual keyboards. Is there any physical phone out there with an actual keyboard? Leo says that ironically, BlackBerry is making them with a clean version of Android installed. BlackBerry is the last phone company to make a phone with a physical keyboard, but they're really tiny. One option is to get a better phone and then use a Bluetooth external keyboard when he needs it.
Harry is with Verizon and he wants to get a Blackberry 9900 phone for AOL since it doesn't work on his 9930. Leo says it won't work. Verizon was a CDMA based network and the 9900 won't work on that. So it would be a waste of money to do so. Leo says he should just change his email so that he can use just about any other phone.
Brian picked up the new Blackberry Passport Silver Edition off eBay and he loves it. He says the speakers are great and the keyboard allows him to scroll. Leo says it's a great phone. He can even (sort of) run Android APKs. Leo's fears though is that being that it's Blackberry 10, there will be no more updates for it, since Blackberry has moved to Android. It also has little ecosystem other than a few sparse Android apps that had been ported over.
James loved his Blackberry Z10. Leo says that the Blackberry OS was great for it's time but its time to move to Android because they didn't have the resources to develop separate apps for such a limited market. In the end, it's really down to iOS and Android. The Blackberry Priv was a good Android device with a physical keyboard. The recently announced KeyONE is Blackberry's latest handset but it's not an improvement in the keyboard department.
Sensing a market for people who just want a phone, or a burner, Nokia announced at Mobile World Congress 2017 this week the return of the 3310 phone, which has over 21 hours of talk time on a single charge. It will cost just $51.
Meanwhile, Blackberry returned with the standard Blackberry keyboard on an Android phone, and Motorola is putting out a new version of the Moto G5 with a 13MP camera and faster snapdragon chips, larger screen, and more. That will retail for $200.
BlackBerry this week announced it would be getting out of the hardware business. When the iPhone came out in 2007, no one knew exactly what that meant. In fact, the CEO of Microsoft at the time, Steve Ballmer, publicly criticized it saying that it's too expensive. The lack of concern was just enough to throw them off their game for a couple of years. By 2009, when it became clear the iPhone was the future of cell phones, Microsoft and BlackBerry finally leapt into action. Unfortunately, it was too late at that point and Apple already owned the space.
Leo got the BlackBerry Priv this week, which he says has to be the worst name for a phone ever. It's supposed to mean "Privileged" and "Private." Leo says that since BlackBerry has dropped their own OS in favor of Android, that the Priv is a very good mobile phone. There are some old things that make it a BlackBerry, like the physical keyboard. It brought back memories, but Leo says it was a difficult experience to use to type, leaving Leo to think that this kind of design is an anachronism. It's a feature whose time is over, and we've moved on.
BlackBerry is releasing the new BlackBerry Priv, which will run Android and have a slide down keyboard that BlackBerry fans have come to know and love. Leo says that while this could indicate a renaissance for BlackBerry, he isn't holding out much hope that it will save the company long term.
Kevin updated his BlackBerry to the new 10.3 OS and now some of his apps don't work. Kevin did a "sideload" to update his phone, and Leo suspects the issues he's having is due to the carrier, namely Verizon.
When sideloading an OS, he's not getting the approved carrier edition of the operating system, but the version directly from BlackBerry without Verizon's customization. It's likely that it's an APN setting issue within Verizon's servers that is causing connection issues with Kevin's phone. This is why sideloading can be problematic.