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BlackBerry KEYOne: A Keypad Phone from the Past: Features, Specs, Price and Review

BB KeyOne
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Blackberry first showcased the KEYone at MWC 2017 that was held in Barcelona this year. After almost five months the company has got the KEYone to India and that too at a price tag of Rs 39,990. The KeyOne price is near to One Plus 5. So let’s see the features and Specs of KeyOne.

BB KeyOne

What is BlackBerry keyOne?

The KeyOne is the latest handset from former smartphone heavyweight BlackBerry. It aims to offer the classic BlackBerry keyboard experience to old-school folks who remember the original Bold. Paired with the cutting-edge Android Nougat OS and the best battery on a handset this year, the KeyOne essentially achieves this goal and is a solid choice for hardcore BlackBerry fans hankering for a decent work handset.

BlackBerry KeyOne Design and Display:

BlackBerry keyOne is the Best-Designed phone from the Canadian company. The front of the phone is about 56 percent screen, with a significant chunk going to the physical keyboard below the screen. You also get capacitive Android keys for back, home and recent, right above the keyboard. The phone has a 4.5-inch 1620×1080-pixel screen, which comes with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Most phones today feature 16:9 aspect ratios. While the software is optimized for the ratio, you will see a lot of black bars for apps, games, and videos that need to adjust to fit on the screen. It is sharp enough and doesn’t feel like too much of a compromise when you consider the fact that you are getting a full-fledged physical keyboard on the device as well.

BlackBerry has integrated a fingerprint sensor into the spacebar. It’s the natural position for a Home button, and we found ourselves pressing it by accident all the time. The Android navigation buttons are all capacitive and are placed between the screen and keyboard. It’s rounded on the bottom and flat on top. The glass in front is subtly beveled on the sides, but not curved like most phones today. The entire rear is made of a rubberized plastic which offers excellent grip. The main camera and its flash are designed prominently into the upper left corner of the rear. On the top of the phone, you’ll find only a 3.5mm audio socket. The power button is on the left. BlackBerry Standard Convenience key is on the right side below to volume buttons. There’s a USB Type-C port on the bottom flanked by two speaker grilles.

BlackBerry KeyOne Performance and Cameras:

While multitasking is not a big problem with the KEYone, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor might feel a bit underwhelming for some customers. the screen itself is sharp and crisp though not the most vibrant. Viewing angles are fine and brightness is good enough for outdoor usage. Apps are running smoothly and about multitasking, you won’t be able to face any problems.

Now about Camera, the 12-megapixel rear camera takes generally decent photos in the daytime. Autofocus locks quickly and details are generally quite good. Photos taken at night tended to be blurry thanks to much longer shutter times. 8MP front-facing camera is good but suffers greatly in low light conditions.

BlackBerry Specifications and Software:

The processor is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. It comes with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. You can expand storage using a micro SD card of up to 2TB, that comes at the cost of the second SIM slot. 4G and VoLTE are supported. There’s a 3505mAh battery, and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 feature is supported. The rear camera has a 12-megapixel sensor while the one in front comes in at 8 megapixels.

On the software side, we have BlackBerry’s heavily customized Android skin, now on top of Android 7.1. It’s much the same as what we saw on the Priv and DTEK50, except for the absence of the swipe gesture to launch the BlackBerry Hub.

The BlackBerry Hub replaces a simple SMS app and shows all your messages and emails across accounts and services. You can see only communications from people here, not app alerts. It works with messengers and social media apps as well – some apps such as Facebook let you message contacts and even update your status from within the Hub. The one really useful feature is that DTEK can track whether apps are trying to modify the OS, and will alert you to any such attempts.

BlackBerry KeyOne Battery Life:

KeyOne comes with 3505 mAh battery. In fact, this is where the smaller screen size might become an advantage for this phone as it will use lesser power than most of its competitors. BlackBerry KeyOne doesn’t have an always-on screen for anything else, it always lets you know the charging percentage and slowly growing a red and then green bar along the side of the screen whenever it’s plugged in.

Pros and Cons of KeyOne:


1) Physical keyboard with shortcuts

2) Useful BlackBerry apps

3) Good battery life


1) Expensive

2) Small screen

3) Average performance

4) Landscape usage is awkward

BlackBerry KeyOne Verdict:

This Is a unique smartphone and can’t be judged. Currently, the technology is of curved metallic design and borderless screens, KeyOne is a bit of a brute. So we have to think to use this phone as our primary phones.

The keyboard layout, button placement, and sometimes awkward marriage of hardware and software all show where the KEYone found its balance, but there are still some seams between the Android and BlackBerry worlds.

The phone is a good one and maybe the best to ever carry a BlackBerry logo on it, but it’s going to be a hard sell convincing users that they need a keyboard or an added layer of security.

At this price, you could get the LG G6 or Samsung Galaxy S7, and of course, there are plenty of well-regarded phones such as the OnePlus 5 and Honor 8 Pro that are priced quite a bit lower.

  • 7/10
    Design - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Display - 6/10
  • 9/10
    Software - 9/10
  • 6/10
    Performance - 6/10
  • 8/10
    Battery - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Camera - 7/10


The phone is a good one and maybe the best to ever carry a BlackBerry logo on it, but it’s going to be a hard sell convincing users that they need a keyboard or an added layer of security.

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