Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Jan 2017 22:46 UTC
Android

Ahead of CES 2017, TCL teased that they would be offering a look at the first device to come out of their smartphone software and brand licensing deal with BlackBerry and they've now made good on that, though, they're keeping a lot of the finer details surrounding the phone secret for just a bit longer.

It runs Android, and it's got a keyboard. What more do you need to know? The world needs more of these types of phones.

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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 4th Jan 2017 23:47 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Dope. I've been looking to snatch up a used Priv, since it's got essentially identical specs to my current phone, but with an actual keyboard. I am sick of onscreen keyboards.

I'm not likely to get this one, but I'm really glad somebody is building one.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Adurbe on Thu 5th Jan 2017 09:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

I have a priv.
What blackberry have done with the OS is great and i love a qwerty. However I dislike vertical sliders mainly because once open the phone becomes top heavy. This new BB/TCL phone looks like it is back to my ideal!

(my ideal is a BB Q10 form factor with android and modern hardware, but this is as close as I think I will get!)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by leech on Thu 5th Jan 2017 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Oh how I miss my N900... I had high hopes for the Note 7 and was going to get their hardware keyboard add-on, but unfortunately we all know what happened with that...

Although I have to point out that I got an update for my Samsung Gear S2 Classic 3G this morning, and when I pulled it off the charger after it finished the update, it was rather hot.. then a warning popped up saying it was going into a cool down mode, which lasted a minute or two, then it was running normally again. Why on earth they couldn't have done with the Note 7....

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Thu 5th Jan 2017 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

How does it feel in the hand, besides being top heavy with the keyboard slid out? A couple of reviews paint the phone as rather flimsy and cheap feeling.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Moochman on Fri 6th Jan 2017 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

It feels pretty decent in the hand, with a solid heft and a satisfying sliding mechanism, though the back is oddly hollow and flexible (like, there's a good millimeter or so you can push it in). Also it tends to develop some minor creaks over time, but nothing serious. It seems to be sturdy - mine has taken a number of falls with aplomb, showing only a few minor scratches and otherwise none the worse for wear. Only thing to watch out for is that it's not remotely waterproof and will in all likelihood die if even very briefly submerged. (Yes, I speak from experience.)

If I were looking for a new phone, though, this new one would be the one I'd be more interested in. Rumors are it will have slightly better specs than the Priv (remains to be seen) and I personally like the form factor a bit better since it's smaller/more compact. That said, it's a compromise since the screen is a bit smaller AFAIK. And as for cost, I guess it's possible to find the Priv for not too much money these days, at least second-hand if not new.

Even though it's totally unnecessary since I have a Priv, I might end up purchasing one of these new phones anyway, maybe a bit after initial release so that the price goes down a bit. If for no other reason than to keep supporting keyboard phones! ;)

Edited 2017-01-06 01:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Adurbe on Fri 6th Jan 2017 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

Closed, the phone has a weight to it. Depending on your view its either reassuring or old feeling. Same with the thickness. When you open/close the keyboard it has a definite *clunk* to the mechanism, you soon learn to have a decent grip in case it escapes! (this is because closed you feel you can hold it balanced quite low on the phone which obviously shifts when opening)

One thing I would Not describe the phone as is cheap feeling. Its weight combined with the styling gives it a feeling of robustness. I'm looking at the phone while writing this and honestly nothing is screaming "cheap part used there". I think this criticism came only because the phone launched with such a high price. That price is still nothing compared to the new Pixel/iPhones and it feels in that category.

In use and in hand my only usability issue has been with the curved screen (similar to samsung edge phones) as it doesn't always pick up commands on those edges, but nor does a samsung...

Reply Score: 2

Fit and finish
by chrish on Thu 5th Jan 2017 13:21 UTC
chrish
Member since:
2005-07-14

Based on those shots, it doesn't look like TCL licensed BB's key designs for the keyboard... the keys aren't sculpted properly the way a "real" BlackBerry keyboard is.

If you're wondering TCL designed the two DTEK phones BB released in 2016, and AFAIK the hardware is all built by Foxconn.

Reply Score: 2

Security
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 5th Jan 2017 15:14 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

That's what else I need to know. Will it get monthly security updates?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Security
by joekiser on Thu 5th Jan 2017 21:50 UTC in reply to "Security "
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

Overall, BlackBerry is one of the better companies to provide monthly security patches to their Android handsets. Only complaints come from the low-end DTEK50 users, who got the November and December patches late in the month.

So probably more likely than other Android handsets to get security patches in a reasonable amount of time.

For whatever it's worth, my three year old Z10 backup/duty phone received an update last month, in South America of all places.

Reply Score: 2

And now I know I'm a true geek
by darknexus on Thu 5th Jan 2017 20:28 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

When I saw the headline of this article, I wondered what the heck the TCL scripting language had to do with introducing a phone. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Hahah lol that was my thought, too

Reply Score: 2

Looks awesome!
by Moochman on Fri 6th Jan 2017 01:20 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

I for one am extremely happy that someone is still stepping up to bring out solid keyboard phones! Go BlackBerry/TCL! ;)

Looks like this might be another impulse buy, after all who knows when another phone like this might come out?

Reply Score: 2