Blackberry's Newest Blackberry Wasn't Made By Blackberry

Tweet on 21st February

Starting with the design, BlackBerry went with a pretty minimal but cluttery look, if you will, as the combination of sensors and the physical keyboard make the front look busy while the rear looks like your typical BB-branded handset.

The KEYone isn't for everyone, but is it for you?

Who said that one had to keep the device a surprise till the day of its announcement? Called the BlackBerry KEYone, the Android-operated device featuring the beloved QWERTY keyboard is the first launched under TCL's licensing agreement with BlackBerry to use its brand. It sports metallic frame with a soft textured back.

This device has got the QWERTY backlit keyboard with capacitive touch. But to their defense, I don't think BlackBerry is trying to claim that's the case. Finally, the KeyOne's space bar doubles as a fingerprint reader. That phone is now the BlackBerry KeyOne, a mid-range QWERTY-bar phone.

In addition to entering text, the KEYone's physical keyboard can be used for shortcuts to your favorites contacts and apps, and you flick predictive text up onto the KEYone's screen. The keyboard's spacebar doubles as a fingerprint sensor, while the keyboard itself pulls double-duty as a scroll pad. The smartphone comes with 32 GB internal memory, expandable up to 2 TB with memory card. This chipset isn't exactly fantastic, found mostly on mid-range devices in the sub-$300 realm.

The performance of the phone seems solid - probably comparable to that of the Moto Z Play which is powered by the same Snapdragon 625 processor. There's also auto-focus, phase detect auto focus, 4x digital zoom, and an f2.0 lens. It features a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and LED flash. It includes features more advanced than those we've already seen on the BlackBerry Priv.

Turning to the battery, we get a fairly sizable 3505 mAh battery. The display is not too big but BlackBerry has made sure it is not too small either and at 4.5 inches, is a decent size for typing. Regardless, the good news is that the phone also offers quick charging technology onboard.

Approximately 207,900 BlackBerry units were sold last quarter, Gartner reported, which amounts to 0.00048 per cent of the global market now dominated by Android (81.7 per cent) followed by Apple's iOS (17.9 per cent). The DTEK app which was introduced with DTEK series is also present on the KEYone smartphone to make it more secure.

There's also the DTEK security suite, which is created to constantly monitor and protect the OS, letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and providing you options on how to improve your privacy.

The phone comes with Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box, but you'll find some BlackBerry Apps preloaded on the device including BlackBerry Keyboard, BlackBerry Hub and DKET by BlackBerry. The keyboard might hold an utter resemblance to original BlackBerry keyboards but, take caution, it is not an ordinary 4-row physical keyboard.

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