MWC 2017: BlackBerry KEYone hands-on

25 February 2017
TCL is finally done with its first true BlackBerry handset and we have to say, it looks even better than when we first saw it as the Mercury. Petnamed DTEK70 and Mercury in the past, the device is now called KEYone and we finally have the full specs sheet to go with that face.

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  • AnonD-140268

I dont feel this device as premium as BB makes its devices, the BB Passport was way better than this in terms of fine finishing, the keyboard and ear piece holes makes this fone cheap, this device could had been much more better, not sure how it has improved typing, but surely BB had produced awesome keyboards in the past with fairly better esthetics

  • AnonD-152638

I don't feel like it's expensive, simply because there is no competition.
I don't think the chipset in a device with the screen aspect ratio of this will feel underpowered, as it will probably not be used for heavy processing tasks.

Having hardware buttons beneath the screen feels a bit wrong. Optional on screen ones, and clearly marked dual function keys or even dedicated buttons on the keyboard would make a lot more sense.

But since I live in a country with additional letters, it won't be the perfect for me. Some older blackberrys did have those letters.

It would also be nice with a more compact, more classic blackberry, that fits easily in the hand.
A new slider wouldn't hurt either, for those that need a bigger 16:9 (or similar aspect ratio) display.

ithehappy, 25 Feb 2017This phone's success will completely depend on how BB decides to... moreKeyboard alone is justified as long as you can setup one button shortcuts on it like calling certain contacts, creating new messages, opening apps, flashlight, etc. I'm sure this device won't have keyboard support from app developers outside of BlackBerry but at least it's something.

AnonD-255623, 26 Feb 2017The only thing ridiculous about this phone is it's price. This s... moreWhy stop there? Why not make it $299? Price is fine, once you have it in your hand you will see not many phones have that good fit and finish and choice of materials for the price.

  • FunkyD

Can't wait to see the full review !

  • Sunny

Good phone but price is quiet high if its price around 400 euro than it good phone

  • Anonymous

Ghostwolf, 26 Feb 2017Lol, why do so many people think every phone has to be able to g... moreMan. You just mentioned 2 of my main reasons for why I have always been a hardware keyboard fan and always hated every single full touchscreen phones on the market. I was a big time Nokia fan, but after they stopped production of smartphones with hardware keyboard, my interest to Nokia phones came to an end. Hardware keyboard and one hand operation capabilites are exactly what attracts me to BB phones these days. No, im not a business user. But im not interested in toy phones. If I wanna play games, I have my performance gaming PC with 6ch hometheater for that purpose. I dont need games or lots of apps for my phones.

Im very interested in this new BB KEYone/Mercury. Unfortunately theres no mention about its water resistance abilities. I wonder I could keep using it for messages and calls even during a rainstorm or would it just die because of rain water damage? In my country/city full weeks at outside without any water or snow raining days are quite rare.

  • Anonymous

I surely would go back to a Blackberry if the camera is 8 pixels and then with the SD card it was thinking hold up to 32 or 64 megabytes I love the Blackberry I mean I said you know Android is better I don't have several problems with an Android I would love to go back to a BlackBerry phone

  • Royan

Need to admit that this phone is eye catching more than S7, S8, even my iPhone 7+.
It mean premium and it premium!

SD625, its enough since this phone not for heavy crazy hardcore gamer. This phone is for status and fashion. So high price for SD625? FASHION is expensive guys. Go to Paris, NY, Milan, Beijing, Zenit, Seol, Dubai, and Munich. It will sell like popcorn!

  • AnonD-632062

I am impressed, can't wait for the full review! If they price this lower with wider availability & go on a publicity drive, it could be superb seller. After all, just like Nokia, there are a lot of hardcore BB fans out there.

AnonD-614933, 26 Feb 2017600 euro for SD 625? Really Blackberry (TCL).. You should put SD... moreJust so they can charge a premium price like a Samsung S8 ($750) or Iphone 8 (which is probably going to be close to $1000)? If $550 is the MSRP, you will be able to finder it cheaper pretty quickly.

AnonD-523334, 26 Feb 2017That's exactly what I m saying. If they'll only target to busine... moreYou just don't get it. This phone was designed from the outside in.

BB Mobile/TCL decided on the physical size they wanted, probably partly on the fact a lot of people thought the Priv was too tall for it's width. They added the physical keyboard, again probably because of the poor reception of the Priv with the slider keyboard, which wasn't workable one-handed.

They chose the screen size once the keyboard was added, then set the chipset spec based on what they needed to drive the display, and provide the most efficient battery profile.

If you have never had a phone with a physical keyboard, then you just don't get what that user demographic wants in a phone. If you have, then I just don't get this hostility just because they didn't load it with the latest chipset, which would require an even higher price.

That is if they could even get them given it seems that Samsung has cornered the market for the next several months for the S8 line. Why gamble on a unproven chipset when you can get one that is rock solid?

blue.sun, 26 Feb 2017You are still a child, right? You have never really worked on a ... moreAbsolutely right. Try being on a remote job site for 8-10 hours, needing to be available all the time, and having to keep checking your phone, hoping the battery will hold up because of some power draining chipset design (I.e: Company issued Samsung S6 due to being unable to get Black Berry phone from VZW any longer). Not fun to deal with every day for 2 months.

  • AnonD-584214

Nice phone, but it would be complete for me, if that's waterproof smartphone.
Why? well, simply more secure.

  • Techie

AnonD-523334, 26 Feb 2017That's exactly what I m saying. If they'll only target to busine... moreI seatched the difference between 625 and 821 and saw 625 is more battery efficiency and performs very well for multitasking than 821. .

  • AnonD-569198

If BB included a stylus would they have called it the KEYNote? :)

  • AnonD-614933

600 euro for SD 625? Really Blackberry (TCL).. You should put SD 835 or at least SD 821 in that phone

  • blue.sun

AnonD-392500, 26 Feb 2017There is no such a thing as over-power processor. Time is money,... moreYou are still a child, right? You have never really worked on a phone, just played. That's why You can't understand the need for more efficient, not more powerful CPU.

  • Sam-gh

Me and the wife are using note5 and note 4 and this phone has Great design,good hardware,premium build,and most importantly different looks.these days every phone from every company looks and feels the same and this one is a fresh breath of design.looking forward to buy one or two for me and the wife.

  • AnonD-523334

Ghostwolf, 26 Feb 2017Why put a SD835 in it? Just to burn through the battery that mu... moreThat's exactly what I m saying. If they'll only target to business, they'll never sell it in big no. They should make a phone which will satisfy both. And I can bet SD835 will not be less efficient than SD625 if not more. And once again, I'm not talking about how they work, I'm saying how they should work. So get your sh*t together before replying nonsense again.