Although the BlackBerry Motion was announced late last year, BlackBerry Mobile and TCL used CES to announce US availability for the BlackBerry Motion and it'll be available on Friday. The BlackBerry Motion is the first BlackBerry smartphone without a physical keyboard since TCL started manufacturing BlackBerry smartphones. It's pretty impressive too. It still takes a lot of cues from the KEYone, which includes a metal build a phone that really does feel quite sturdy. But you get a full HD 16:9 aspect ratio display, instead of a shorter display with a physical keyboard underneath it.
Looking at the spec sheet, the Motion is a high-end, mid-range smartphone, with similar specs to the BlackBerry KEYone. Sporting a 5.5-inch full HD display, powered by the Snapdragon 625 processor and 4GB of RAM. But the spec that has everyone excited is that 4,000mAh battery inside. That battery should keep you going for quite some time. Especially given the full HD display and the very battery efficient Snapdragon 625 inside. BlackBerry is bringing the Motion to the US as a dual-SIM smartphone, so if you do a lot of traveling you can use that second SIM card slot for another network. But if you want more than the 32GB of storage that is included, you can expand that storage with a micro SD card in the second SIM card slot.
The BlackBerry Motion is a great looking phone, with a nice and grippy backside and a metal frame. You still get the Convenience key, as well as the power button and volume rocker. That Convenience key is great because it allows you to program shortcuts for it and be able to quickly turn off the WiFi, open an app, or really anything you want it to do. There's no physical keyboard here, but you do get BlackBerry's software keyboard on-board. And since this is Android, you can download a third-party app and use it for the keyboard - like SwiftKey or Gboard. While there is no keyboard, the fingerprint sensor is still on the front. There's a physical home button which doubles as the fingerprint sensor, and then capacitive buttons on either side for back and recents.
As far as in-hand feel goes, the BlackBerry Motion feels great in the hand. As I mentioned before, the Motion is a metal smartphone, so it feels solid in the hand, which is definitely good. But it also is a fairly small smartphone. Despite having some rather large bezels (in a world where most smartphones have smaller ones with a 18:9 display). Which means it'll fit in your hand nicely, and you can use it with one hand. Which is important for BlackBerry's core user-base, which are business professionals.
TCL and BlackBerry Mobile have announced that the Motion is going on sale in the US on Friday. It's going to cost $449 from Amazon, and it will work on GSM networks. It does not work with CDMA networks, and the company said there are no plans for a CDMA model at this point. So those on Verizon or Sprint will have to stick with the KEYone for now.