BlackBerry 5G phone is still coming – and possibly soon

BlackBerry Key2 LE in a hand
A BlackBerry Key2 LE (Image credit: Future)

You’d be forgiven for forgetting there was a BlackBerry 5G in the works, as it was scheduled to land in the first half of 2021, and pretty much all news of it dried up in the second half of the year.

This led many to wonder whether it was actually still coming at all, and the good news is that it is, at least according to OnwardMobility (the company making the phone).

In a brief blog post, the company has explained that it faced “various delays that prevented us from shipping in 2021”, but that the company is still working on an “ultra-secure 5G enterprise smartphone” with a keyboard, and that it will be providing more regular updates starting this month.

The company hasn’t said when the BlackBerry 5G will actually now ship, but from the wording of the statement it sounds like additional information on the phone might be released soon, so hopefully we’ll have more details before long.

Interestingly, there's also no mention of the BlackBerry brand name in the statement, so it's possible that the phone won't now launch with BlackBerry branding - but that's speculation for now.

In any case, we’re hopeful that it will launch sooner rather than later. Given that the goal was to ship in 2021 (and the first half at that), it’s entirely possible that the device is close to being finished, even with the delays faced by OnwardMobility. But we can’t be certain until we hear more, so stay tuned for updates.

A close-up of the camera on the BlackBerry Key2 LE

A BlackBerry Key2 LE (Image credit: Future)

Analysis: what we know about the BlackBerry 5G so far

Given how long it’s been since we last heard news about the BlackBerry 5G, a refresher might be in order.

That said, there’s not really much to know. OnwardMobility has previously said that the BlackBerry 5G will have a top-of-the-line camera and run Android. We also know that it will have a physical keyboard, support 5G, and that it’s aimed primarily at enterprise, government, and security-conscious users who want a productivity-centric smartphone.

Beyond that it’s anyone’s guess really. In fact, we don’t even know what the phone is called, with BlackBerry 5G just being a term we’re using for convenience until we learn the official name. And as noted above, there's a chance this isn't even a BlackBerry anymore.

This lack of information might mean it’s still a long way from launch, but equally it’s not a super high-profile handset, so the makers may have been able to keep things quiet.

Hopefully we won’t be waiting too long for it to launch, but if you can’t wait then there’s always the new Astro Slide – a potentially similar handset that was announced at CES 2022.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.