Hoping for a BlackBerry Passport running on Android? The Unihertz Titan could be the next best thing

Hoping for a BlackBerry Passport running on Android? The Unihertz Titan could be the next best thing
UPDATE: You can pre-order

Sure, the BlackBerry KEY2 is the phone to buy if you need an Android handset with a physical QWERTY keyboard. But there are still quite a few fans out there of 2014's BlackBerry Passport and its wider passport shaped form factor. The extra width (nearly three-quarters of an inch difference between the Passport and the KEY2) allowed BlackBerry to make the keys on the Passport's QWERTY wider. There are some issues with the physical keyboard on the handset; it still feels cramped despite the extra width, and there is no shift key or numbers row. There is a touchscreen keyboard above the physical QWERTY that will show punctuation and numbers. The options change depending on the app being used. And the physical keyboard can also be used as a touchpad.

While the Passport has its fans, the problem is that the device runs on BB 10, not Android. And even though a Passport running Android 5.1 Lollipop surfaced in 2015, such a phone was never released. Note that the story makes a reference to an Android-powered BlackBerry slider codenamed Venice; this would be the BlackBerry Priv. That model was the first 'Berry to run on Android. And while BlackBerry no longer makes its own phones (TCL is responsible for the KEY2), there are some consumers out there who have expressed an interest in a refreshed Passport running on Android.

The Unihertz Titan will be similar to an Android-powered BlackBerry Passport


While we might never see an Android-powered Passport, the closest thing to such a device will soon be available on Kickstarter. According to CrackBerry, a phone manufacturer called Unihertz is planning on releasing a model called the Titan. The handset will reportedly be equipped with a Passport-esque 4.5-inch LCD display carrying a 1440 x 1440 resolution. The device will also pack a massive 6000mAh battery and offer wireless charging, a fingerprint scanner and a face unlock feature. It also will come with NFC (for Google Pay), dual SIM functionality and Global LTE support. Similar to the Passport, the Titan keyboard has three rows of keys and will probably feature a touchscreen QWERTY above the physical one. Those helping to fund the device through Kickstarter might be able to pick up the phone for $199.


We have no idea when the Kickstarter campaign will start, but when (or if) it does, we should learn a lot more about what would appear to be an intriguing device. And don't forget that later this summer, we should see the F(x)tec Pro 1 start shipping. This is an Android-powered handset with a slideout QWERTY (think the HTC Touch Pro2 although that ran on Windows Mobile). Pre-orders for this device have been open since earlier this year, although credit cards won't be run until 2 to 3 weeks before the device is shipped. Priced at $649, the phone is powered by an aging Snapdragon 835 chipset.

If you're wondering which BlackBerry had the best physical QWERTY keyboard, that honor might go to the BlackBerry Bold 9000. With large sculptured keys, slightly curved frets, shift and symbol keys, and a well-placed space bar, this is still the gold standard for smartphone keyboards. While the Bold 9000 took BlackBerry to a new level, it still couldn't compete with the touchscreen Apple iPhone released the year before. And that set the stage for one of the most over-hyped failures in the history of the smartphone, the BlackBerry Storm. The first touchscreen 'Berry was the subject of a huge marketing campaign and was designed to make the user feel like he/she was tapping on a real keyboard instead of a virtual one. A Verizon exclusive in the states, the device sold well but was a complete mess and nearly all units had to be sent back for replacement models. The company fixed the problem with the much improved BlackBerry Storm2.

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12 Comments

1. ing0ram

Posts: 19; Member since: Jan 15, 2019

No, thanks. I would rather prefer BB11. But unfortunately this probably won't happen :(

2. Venom

Posts: 3388; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Better off just sticking with the overpriced KeyONE and KeyTWO devices. Outside of price, they have all the conveniences of Android.

3. VariableCheapskate

Posts: 102; Member since: May 29, 2019

I'd take it just for the keyboard. I do document editing for several hours. The price is worth the productivity output.

4. Joosty

Posts: 471; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

In for one. Will join the campaign for $199.

5. RicoRecklezz

Posts: 30; Member since: Jun 04, 2017

Shoot I'll buy two of em

6. RicoRecklezz

Posts: 30; Member since: Jun 04, 2017

Hope it comes out soon

7. Polaris1983

Posts: 33; Member since: May 22, 2019

Why not? looks like a good mini android tablet design to me.

8. BigVanVader

Posts: 49; Member since: Jan 01, 2016

Looks awesome

9. Lbaranouskas

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 18, 2018

Yep, in for anything Bold-like, and Titan with a trackpad sounds about right (although form factor looks a bit big). Why BlackBerry doesn't -also- license BB07 to TCL like they have certain BlackBerry attributes for Android is strange to me; would kickstarter $1k+ for a straight-up Bold with new CPU & RAM alone.

10. matistight

Posts: 976; Member since: May 13, 2009

Using the Priv for the last week, I am not too excited for this. This phone is probably gonna be heavy as hell. Also for $200, getting a good processor is not likely, especially when you'll need an SD 835 or comparable to make the phone usable (the SD 808 on the Priv is horrible).

11. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3122; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Did you not read the article? It states that it will be using the "aging" SD835.

12. AlienKiss

Posts: 134; Member since: May 21, 2019

If only Samsung could make a galaxy S10+ or Note 10 Pro with a slide and full querty keyboard (laptop like). I'd pay 1000-1500$ on the spot for one of those! Just shut up and take my money!

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