The BlackBerry KEYone isn’t necessarily a new phone, we saw this exact device when it was teased at CES 2017 back in January when it was under the codename “Mercury”. Details about the device were pretty scarce when it made its first reveal back at CES, but now the curtain has been fully opened.
If you were hoping for a high end device with the latest and greatest specs, then you are going to be very disappointed, and here they are.
|Display||4.5 inch 1620 x 1080|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 clocked at 2GHz w/ Adreno 506 GPU|
|Storage||32 GB Expandable via MicroSD up to 2 TB|
|Camera||12 MP rear camera, 8 MP front-facing camera|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
|Software||Android 7.1 Nougat|
These aren’t the most impressive specs, but the power efficient Snapdragon 625, the larger battery, and with the lower screen resolution, battery life is bound to be nothing short of amazing. Also, according to BlackBerry, the KEYone can be charged form 0 to 50 percent in just 36 minutes.
Design and Build
The KEYone has without a doubt a very unique design, and it’s all thanks to that physical keyboard. The devices features an aluminum frame with a soft touch textured backing, but obviously the highlight of the device is the keyboard. Similar to the BlackBerry Priv, the keyboard can be used as a trackpad to navigate around Android, and it can be especially useful when typing. Another neat feature is the ability of program the keyboard with up to 52 customizable shortcuts -that’s a lot of shortcuts. At first glance the device doesn’t appear to have a fingerprint scanner, but it’s actually hidden inside the spacebar of the physical keyboard. I’d say that’s pretty clever.
The KEYone is going to be running Android 7.1 out of the box, and it looks pretty stock looking, but there are plenty of BlackBerry extras such as BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Keyboard, not to mention enhanced security thanks to the DTEK security suite. The DTEK suit is designed to protect and monitor the operating system, and it lets you know when your privacy could be at risk, as well as options on what to do about it.
Price and Availability
The BlackBerry KEYone will be available for purchase globally starting in April. Now here’s where things get a little interesting, BlackBerry’s official press release stated that the device would be priced $549 USD. With that price the KEYone is going to be a tough sell for BlackBerry, especially since devices like the OnePlus 3T and the Huawei Mate 9 offer a bit more for a much lower price, but for that $550 price tag you’re getting the BlackBerry charm, a feature packed physical keyboard, and one of the best security suits on a smartphone. Remember that BlackBerry is no longer trying to cater to the average consumer, the KEYone is being positioned towards corporate businesses and even government officials. Do you plan on picking up the KEYone when it becomes available?