Beepberry is a Blackberry keyboard toy from the founder of Pebble

Are you a hacker who misses his Blackberry? there seems to be a new product that’s just your speed – the “Beepberry”. It literally grafts the keyboard from a Blackberry Classic onto a custom pocket-sized board designed to fit a Raspberry Pi Zero W, all paired with a 400 x 240 “Memory LCD” display that looks like it’s straight out of an old graphing calculator, but it’s an un little more sophisticated.

Beepberry is designed by Eric Migicovsky, founder of the late-but-not-forgotten Pebble smartwatch, and most notably co-founder of Beeper: the all-in-one messaging app that populates everything from WhatsApp to iMessage (using a jailbroken iPhone). ) In one single place.

The device is apparently designed to run Beeper without any other online distractions, but Migicovsky knows what you’re thinking: so does he describes Beeberry as an “e-paper” laptop for hackers.

In case you’re wondering about that “e-paper” display, it’s not technically e-ink, but it’s a LCD made by Sharp with a one-bit memory circuit embedded in each pixel for e-ink-like image retention.

for $79 you get the Beepberry, mounting screws, and a 2000mAh battery, though you’ll have to find a way to hold the battery in place. (In some demos, the creators literally wear a rubber band.) In addition to the 2.7-inch display and Blackberry Classic Q20 backlit keyboard, you get a USB-C port, RGB LED, side button, power switch, and general purpose input/output (GPIO) breakouts.

A Beepberry installed inside a 3D printed casing next to a Pebble-like ‘Watchy’ smartwatch.
Image: SQFMI

For $99, you can get a Beepberry kit which includes a pre-installed Pi Zero W. If not, you’ll have to bring your own computer chip or another single-board one like the Radxa Zero or MQ-Pro, which you have to drag and drop since the Beepberry has a solderless header.

Notably, the Beepberry itself lacks hardware for cellular data connectivity, so it’s not a standalone beeper. in the traditional sense. You’ll have to use the Raspberry Pi’s built-in Wi-Fi, perhaps connect it to a smartphone when you’re away from home, unless you’re willing to design a cellular plugin that connects to your headends.

If you’re interested in a Beepberry, you might want to act fast – there are only 50 available to ship initially. You will need to place your order and then complete the Early Access Program Form at the bottom of the page to let them know you want it now. The site doesn’t mention how many of the initial 50, if any, remain available for purchase.

Beeberry specifications.
Image: SQFMI

It’s important to note that the software/firmware is still actively being developed and nothing is final, so don’t expect a lot of out-of-the-box features if you get your hands on one. If you simply want something with a full out-of-the-box experience and a black and white screen, Playdate may be more your speed. And if you’re just looking to support the next effort from the Pebble founder, you can look forward to the next small Android phone from his team.


Scroll to Top