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Blackberry is Back with the Blackberry KEYone, which is the flagship device for 2017. Before you think, oh its a Blackberry, lets take a look on what it has to offer.

Blackberry KEYone Smartphone Review

Blackberry have had a tough time in the mobile industry but there not alone. Blackberrys are known for the full qwerty keyboard smartphones but does a device with a physical keyboard have a place in your pocket in 2017? Without a doubt the headline feature of this Blackberry Smartphone is the full qwerty Keyboard, which comes with a bunch of features built right into the system.

Design

The KeyOne comes with a 4.5 inch screen , the text and icons look fairly sharp and works great on a day to day use. The IPS panel also offers clean whites and colours are also reasonably good. Above the display there is an front facing camera along side the earpiece grill, a notification light and also a few sensors. Underneath the Display is were you will find the Physical keyboard, which offers a lot of features including a backlight & many shortcuts.

Blackberry KeyOne Design

Personally I like that design of the Blackberry, I think it looks sleek and very clean with the addition of a keyboard. Most of the old Blackberrys were made of plastic, however this time around the phone is crafted from an aluminum frame with a soft grip rubberised texture on the back, which makes the device easy to hold. The camera on the back has a glass lens, so it wont get scratched easily, and is also accompanied by a two tone flash.

Back Cover Blackberry-KeyOne

On the Right hand side of the phone there is a sim tray , which doubles up as a micro SD card slot,  the volume rockers & also the famous blackberry connivence key. Moving over to the left hand side is where the the lock button is placed, its very odd blackberry decided to place this here as you keep getting it mixed up with the lock button.

The connivance key is a button which can be mapped to any application you want, it was a great feature in the old Blackberrys and its nice its still here.At the top is were the headphone jack & also a microphone is placed and at the bottom we have a microphone, USB charging port , which is nice to see & also a pretty loud mono speaker.

Camera

The Front Facing camera holds a 8mp sensor, which takes some great selfies. Everything you would expect from a front facing camera but with a bit of extra quality.

The Rear Camera on the KeyOne is  a 12-megapixel shooter with phase-detect autofocus, a bright aperture of f/2.0 and a dual-LED flash. The Camera is the same as the Google Pixel, however the software that processes the image is different. The KEYone’s rear camera captured crispy shots, reasonably accurate colours and performance was quite very well. Things start to change when lighting situations get a little darker, you start to notice the image is a little softer and you start to loose a little detail in darker areas.

The Video records fairly decent video footage but does lack IOS so you might get a little shaky videos. Slow Motion and a few other modes are also available to use in the camera app.

Specs

  • Display : 4.50-inch
  • Processor : 2GHz octa-core
  • Front Camera : 8-megapixel
  • Screen Resolution : 1620×1080 pixels
  • RAM : 3GB
  • OS : Android 7.1
  • Storage : 32GB + Micro SD Card slot
  • Rear Camera : 12-megapixel
  • Battery Capacity : 3505mAh

Software

The KeyOne runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat with BlackBerry’s Software added in. You have access to all of the Google Play Store apps & games and also the BlackBerry Hub which is the highlight of Blackberrys Software.

Blackberry-KeyOne-Android-7.1.1

It combines all of your notifications, messages calls, and events into one streamlined location. You can also  add accounts for just about everything: BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), texts, email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Slack, WhatsApp and Twitter and the list goes on.

Keyboard shortcuts are quite useful, letting you turn every single key into a multi-function with a long press. You programme a long press for the letter ‘i’ and make it launch Instagram or call somebody. Its something no other device can offer due to the lack of buttons. Something I really like about the design of the KeyOne is the FingerPrint Scanner is implemented into the spacebar, its a great design choice and it works really well.

You can also you the keyboard as a scrolling wheel in most applications. Swipe up down, left to right to scroll in webpages, apps and even on the home screen. You might tap the keys above the keyboard by accident, but you’ll master the art yourself eventually.

Blackberry KeyOne Keyboard

Blackberry Launcher also has a few tricks up its sleeve, you will notice a few icons with three dots underneath, this means if you swipe up on that icon a widget for that app will appear, which is pretty neat. Its not a new feature as its available in a few other launchers however its not to see its built into the system.

DTEK is the Security app which comes installed with your KeyOne this app keeps your phone safe and lets you know immediately when it’s not. It constantly monitors your device’s security status level and even gives you a rating.You can also review permissions of every app on your phone to understand what information your apps have access to, and keep track of what your sharing.

DTEK App for Blackberry

Software on the Blackberry has improved as its now running Android. I have experienced a few crashing of applications however nothing major, I think this version of Android just needs to be tweaked a little for this Smartphone. When I was setting up my device, I had problems with connecting to my wifi, I do not know if it was the phone or my network,, as my iPhone & Mac are connected to it.

Performance

Blackberry went for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octo – Core chipset, now this is fast enough for almost all day-to-day work tasks, and its 64-bit capabilities ensure multitasking is remains fairly smooth. The device will start to get a little laggy when playing intensive games,  but you have to remember this Smartphone is not really for heavy gaming. The 3GB of Ram and the chip set work well together, however like I mentioned earlier I have had a few app crashes and software problems. 

Battery life on this Smartphone is crazy, it lasted my a whole day without a charge. I was using the phone to search the web, play music and other various tasks thought my day and I was very surprised to see that I had around 20% charge left. The battery is a huge selling point and my iPhone hardly last’s half of my day but this Blackberry will last a long time with a full charge. This BB also has fast charging capabilities so you can get around 50% in 30 mins with the help of that USB 3.0 port.

Fast Charging KeyOne

Overall I am happy with the performance of the KeyOne however them app crashes have started to get a little annoying. The Camera app woks great and I have experience no crashing there and same goes for most stock apps.

The keyboard on the KeyOne performs well, buttons are clicky and are not to small for my hands. I have had a few typos but the dictionary works really well and fixes them.

Conclusion

I am a iPhone user, however I wanted to pick up an Android smartphone so I thought the KeyOne fits right for me. I have always wanted to purchase a Blackberry again, most of us have all previously owned a Blackberry and after using this smartphone it does live up to its standards as a modern day smartphone. I really think Blackberry have stepped up there came and this could be a game changer for them.

While using the KeyOne I have wanted to use my phone more to get my jobs done. I don’t know if it’s the keyboard or maybe a different look from the average smartphone, nevertheless I keep wanting to take advantage of the keyone’s keyboard.

The phone comes with a pretty cool features such a the physical keyboard and also the notification light, which I love. The phone is a little bit chunky but I think it adds a nice bit of assurance while holding the phone, in addition the battery life lasts all day and im very impressed with it. Android works well with the KeyOne and so does the pre installed Blackberry Apps.

Some things with the device should be updated, more functions with the trackpad and maybe an option for a cursor, nevertheless Let us know what you guys think in the comments!

 

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