BlackBerry’s newest phone is decidedly different than its peers. It’s designed by Porsche … and it costs nearly $2,000.
The BlackBerry P’9983 is hand-wrapped with leather, and it features “glass-like keys” and a graphite, stainless-steel-color frame made of “blackened glass.”
The new phone is so exclusive, it even comes with a unique BlackBerry PIN ID for BBM messaging. Every Porsche-designed BlackBerry starts with the prefix 2AA, ” which sets you apart and makes you instantly recognizable among other Porsche Design users,” BlackBerry says.
It’s a cool-looking BlackBerry for sure, but for $1,950, you’d think BlackBerry would up the ante a bit on the phone’s guts.
The P’9983 has a teeny 3.1-inch screen. It has a classic QWERTY keyboard, so you’re not going to get an iPhone 6 Plus-like screen size. But it’s small even when compared to the 4.5-inch screen on the high-end BlackBerry Passport (which sells for $600). And the resolution is just “meh.”
Its 64 GB of storage is respectable, but the Passport has 50% more memory than the P’9983’s 2 GB of RAM.
What’s particularly disappointing about the P’9983 is its battery life. It’s a relatively tiny battery for any smartphone, let alone one that costs three times more than an iPhone. The Passport’s battery is 64% larger.
Then again, if you’re buying the P’9983, you’re probably not in it for the specs.
This is the third collaboration between BlackBerry and Porsche Design. The previous phones have been priced similarly.
The P’9983 phone was first announced in September.
Porsche Design was founded by Porsche 911 creator Ferdinand Alexander Porsche in 1972 after he left the automaker. The company designs a variety of luxury goods, from clothing to luggage to watches.
BlackBerry is in the midst of a difficult turnaround effort. The company says it thinks it can still make money in the handset market, but executives say the focus going forward is on providing software and services to business customers, particularly those in heavily regulated sectors like finance and insurance that demand top-notch security.