Blackberry used to dominate the QWERTY keyboard phone market. Though it’s slowly fading with the advent of Android phones, the company still tries to survive by introducing its own Android models. Feature phones have long been replaced by Smartphones. However, some people still can’t enough of them, which is why some manufacturers still release feature phones to meet the demand. The Blackberry KEYone is great to have just for the nostalgia. The company has released the Passport before. So to those who want to upgrade, now is the time.
Blackberry remains true to its roots with this phone. It still features the famous keyboard. Unlike the older siblings, the keyboard is the highlight. It comes with so many capabilities. Broadly speaking, the KEYone looks like a typical Blackberry phone when it still ran its original OS. The keyboard looks prominent on the front. It’s easy to mistake it for an old Blackberry if it wasn’t for the touch function. The rear camera looks obtrusive, but done tastefully at the same time. It resembles a pocket camera to some extent. There are also capacitive keys, flanked by the display and keyboard. The build quality is good, which is expected because it uses aluminum.
There is nothing special about the 4.5-inch IPS LCD display, but it looks distinctive due to the keyboard addition. Don’t expect a larger screen because it has to create room for the keyboard. Otherwise, the phone will be so bulky. Unlike recent releases that have a 16:9 aspect ratio, it is in 3:2, so won’t stretch too far vertically. The resolution is 1620 x 1080, which results in a very sharp display. Quality-wise, we have no complaint so far because the colors look vibrant and beautiful.
The 12MP rear camera utilizes Sony IMX378. Meanwhile, the front is a 8MP sensor. If you’ve had a hands-on experience with the Google Pixel, it’s not hard to assess the KEYone’s performance because both use the same Sony sensor. In other words, the photos are nothing short of amazing. Colors are not only well-produced, but they also look balanced. Besides, they also show lots of detail. It only struggles when the environment doesn’t provide sufficient lighting. Without Optical Image Stabilization, blurry shots comes as no surprise.
The keyboard is immensely attractive. As said before, it is the KEYone’s top feature. It will take time to get used to it especially if you haven’t used these kind of phones for a long time. The quality is well put together. We’re not just talking about the design, but also the typing experience. Of course, because it’s a phone keyboard, the key travel isn’t like that on a laptop. Well, we’re not supposed to type with all fingers. Just two thumbs are enough.
Judging by the specs, the Blackberry KEYone will have a hard time keeping up with flagships of other companies. The processor is a Snapdragon 625, which is not a bad SoC by itself. However it needs to be paired with the right software to bring out its performance. 3GB of RAM is included for smooth multitasking. Despite not being a powerhouse, the handset can still handle daily tasks. Just make sure to not push it to the limit by running heavy 3D games because it’s not meant for gaming. It’s mostly intended for productivity just like the original Blackberry series.
Blackberry KEYone specs:
- 4.5-inch LCD 1080p touchscreen, 3:2 aspect ratio
- Snapdragon 625 CPU
- Physical Smart Keyboard
- 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage
- 12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
- Android 7.1 Nougat OS
- 3505mAh battery