BlackBerry goes back to its roots with the Q20 smartphone

Physical keyboard? Check. Trackpad? Check. Function keys? Check.
BlackBerry goes back to its roots with the Q20 smartphone

BlackBerry has revealed plans to launch another BlackBerry 10 handset with a physical keyboard - the Q20 - which will follow on from the Q10.

Making the announcement here at Mobile World Congress, the once-mighty smartphone superpower is going back to its roots by reviving the trackpad and function keys of the BlackBerry devices of old.

The move comes as a response to consumers, who apparently miss navigating with the trackpad, and appear to be lost without the Menu, Back, Send and End buttons.

Specs are scarce for the time being, but we do know that the Q20 will sport a 3.5in touchscreen, which is the biggest yet for a physical keyboard-toting BlackBerry device.

A large battery is also promised, along with premium materials. We have no idea what it looks like, but we imagine it'll be similar to the Q10 pictured above, with an added row for the trackpad and buttons.

It'll hit shelves before the end of this year, for an undisclosed price.

What's the appeal?

Having been a long-term Q10 user, I can't personally see the point of bringing back a trackpad or function keys. I mean, am I missing something here, or does a touchscreen not instantly negate the need for a trackpad?

While the menu buttons might be a tad more useful, once you're used to the Q10's physical keyboard shortcuts (which come in seriously handy) then there's no need for the function buttons either.

BlackBerry might be struggling at the moment, but I can honestly say that I got things done much faster on the Q10 than I have done on any other handset I've ever owned, and I'm not sure if this attempt to win back past customers is the right move.

BlackBerry also announced the Z3 - a touchscreen-only device and the first handset to come out of its Foxconn partnership. It'll be available in Indonesia for under US$200

READ MORE: Mobile World Congress 2014 – the biggest MWC smartphone news so far