BlackBerry overnight announced the Motion, its long-teased touchscreen-only Android smartphone. The Motion is the second smartphone to launch since TCL acquired the rights to manufactured BlackBerry Android devices, following the KEYone.
While the KEYone was very much a traditional BlackBerry device, keyboard and all, the Motion is much more in line with what you'd expect from a modern Android smartphone thanks to the 5.5-inch touchscreen.
Headlining features including IP67 water-resistance which means you're able to keep it submerged for as long as 30 minutes at depths up to one metre, and a massive 4,000mAh battery. BlackBerry says the battery will last for up to 32 hours of mixed usage, and that you'll be able to charge from flat to 50% in just 40 minutes. One other new feature is a customisable "Convenience Key" that can trigger different actions depending on whether you're at home, at work, or in your car,
While TCL now manufacturers BlackBerry branded smartphones, BlackBerry itself is still responsible for the security focused take on Android the devices run. These security enhancements include "hardware root of trust" where security keys have been added to the phone's processor, and a preloaded app for continuously monitoring the operating system and apps for any potentially privacy and security risks.
One new security feature is a "Locker Mode" that lets you take photos using your fingerprint sensor. These images are password-protected, and won't be uploaded to cloud storage. BlackBerry suggests you might want to use this for "private selfies". I guess that's how they'll pitch the phone to "sext loving millennials".
Key specifications for the BlackBerry Motion include a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, IP67 water-resistance, a front-facing fingerprint reader, USB Type-C fast charging, a 4,000mAh battery, and a 12MP rear-facing camera. The Blackberry Motion will ship with Android Nougat with an upgrade to Oreo coming later in the year.
The BlackBerry Motion will first be available in the Middle East, with the company describing the launch as "limited". It will however be available in other markets before the end of the year. Based on international pricing, the BlackBerry Motion won't retail for less than $600 here.
Official Australian pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed however. A BlackBerry spokesperson told us the company's local arm is currently focusing on the upcoming launch of the KEYone Black Edition.