BlackBerry KEYone review: Make or break

29 May 2017
The BlackBerry was an iconic name in the Smartphone world in the Americas during the late-2000s. In 2010, we recall our peers having colorful discussions on social media about whether they should go with a BlackBerry or iPhone. During this time, BlackBerry was still a huge contender in the United States; every carrier had at least two BlackBerry models and Android was more of an afterthought. Now tables have turned.

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  • lis

akostoth, 22 May 2018Love at first sight with BB back in 2008. I am using KEYone ... moreis the messenger active?

Why didn't this phone got any OS update?
Any specific reason?

Hassan, 16 Apr 2018I'm facing d problem in key1.....sometimes when i m dialling a c... moreGive it a try to migrate all contacts into the BBHub account.

Love at first sight with BB back in 2008.

I am using KEYone since May 2017 and so far satisfied, however (i) I am a normal office user with extensive mailing, communication and office productivity tools used where i had to learn Android to speed up work, (ii) no idea on gaming/multimedia experience and (iii) device was replaced about 7 month ago as LCD fall out accidentally. I bet due to bad adhesives.

So far no scratches on screen and keyboard is just perfect.

  • Hassan

I'm facing d problem in key1.....sometimes when i m dialling a call,it did't show the name,although d num saved in my contact list....any idea??

  • Anonymous

And I thought the Note8 was lacking and had issues with lacking and pricing!
Over $500 for this? With a mid range chip and 4.5 inch 1080p? Just because it's Blackberry?
And for 9.4mm thickness you only get 3,500mah worth of battery???
149.1 x 72.4 x 9.4 mm vs S7 Edge 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm that gets 3,600mah with a 5.5 inch display and gets a 92hr rating vs 81???? And this has a decently efficient mid range chip and 4.5inch display.... While 81 technically is not bad it's attrocious given all the included details.
With a 4.5 inch 1080p display and 3,500mah battery it is only matching video playback times of devices with 2900-3,500mah batteries and 5-5.5inch 1080p and 1440p devices.
Seriously??????
And you can get devices with similar camera, battery, and those larger and higher res displays with flagship chips for the same price.

And people commenting about connection issues? Come one Blackberry? That's your idea of quality, optimization, and value?

  • anonymous

Anonymous, 11 Jul 2017"Those using legacy BlackBerry 10 devices should consider making... moremate, that is bullcrap.
I just switched from Passport SE... and this is awesome

  • Anonymous

"Those using legacy BlackBerry 10 devices should consider making the switch to Android."

No thanks. Its a downgrade, coming from a Passport.

One problem with KEYone, cellular connection is not good and drops out unless in a full strength area, and trying to connect to Internet is hit and miss, probably the worst BlackBerry I have, will go back to my BB10 phones no problems with their cellular reception.

  • Anonymous

AnonD-656940, 30 May 2017And yet in spite of this, the KeyOne is the most pre-ordered pho... moreLOL. If you have a pre order period that lasts for months due to production problems of course preorders will be high when other preorder periods were shorter.

But aside from that, what is your source that has actual numbers?

  • Anonymous

AnonD-523334, 30 May 2017Love that BB still making phones for Qwerty lovers. but if they ... moreWell put. I think the CEO has a hard one for hard keys and his ego is in control so no Blackberry OS and no flagship with proper specs.

  • Anonymous

coolsauce, 30 May 2017Only relevant to spec warriors. Anyone else won't care at all.People do care. The price of the phone should in a large part be reflected by the components.

At this price it is not a good value proposition.

As someone who actually owns the phone, and is coming from a Galaxy S7: I am loving the K1.
- Physical Keyboard: For those of us who grew up with a PKB, this is the real deal. I'm back to my old dual thumb mad typing skills, and it's great. and it saves a LOT of screen real estate...for things I care about, like email and messaging, I actually have more screen real estate than the s7.
- Battery life: No knock on GSMArena...but real life battery life is stunning. I drove 3 hours yesterday with google navigation, no charging cord. I went from 100 to 75%. That's screen on time with GPS running full time, and LTE (no saved maps).
- Productivity: BB gets the little things right. The convenience key AND the headset button turn into a mute button while on a call. Finally! The BB Hub is the ONLY calendar program that gets conference call dialing right since my old Nokia Conference app on windows phone. the productivity tab makes it easy to do one handed work. the keyboard shortcuts save taps and clicks.
- Performance: smoother than my S7. no slowdowns, jank, frame drops. I don't play games, I just want the phone to work...and it does, flawlessly, without getting warm and without thermal throttling.

This is a communications tool, not a toy. My 13 year old has an OP3T, because he wants a big screen for youtube videos. I crushed him on a typing challenge.

  • AnonD-31288

Priv is still the only good phone i have seen so far with android by BB but this new thing is a big failure from top to bottom ...

Maybe I have lost it... but keyboard supports swipe too, huh? Haven't you specified it in the review?

  • Anonymous

smallwhite, 31 May 2017What do you mean by even iphone cant win?? Moto z play has the s... moreThey take stand by time to consideration. The screen test shows similar results but standby being less affects the score. TBH check score of Samsung c7 with same chipset

  • AnonD-152638

There are a few things to improve.
There should be symbol keys, that would also open up for custom keys for people in countries with additional letters to qwerty.

The android navigation keys, should either be of the same type as the keyboard, or rather soft-keys, with some of the keyboard keys able to perform the same task.

Using a snapdragon 6 series is fine, but there are higher end versions, that doesn't use more energy, but offer better performance.

And if the speaker for ringing really is that weak, they need to adress it. A businessphone should have a lound enough ringtone in any enviroment. There are lot of shirt and tie guys and girls that work part of the day on factory floors or at building sites. And there are lot of businesspeople that travel in loud traffic when they go across the town.
So there is no excuse for a weak ringtone.


And they need to find a solution for the apps that are not compatible with the screen.
The display should have been able to show a 1920x1080 screen within the screen, to run apps and show videos in full HD on just a part of the screen, and enable the use to set up the app so it would only use that part of the screen and thus work like it would on full HD screen.
Unless they can reduce the bezels, use soft navigation keys, perhaps move the camera and the sensors, and the notification led, and fit a 16:9 screen within the same meassurements, but then I would still rather see that they reduced the over all size of the device.

  • AnonD-673687

Need to pay apps for the free apps? facebook and messenger
Such a nice specs of a phone but doesn't give the user a right to choose.

  • purplepriv

Anonymous, 29 May 2017I was actually expecting a better battery endurance score. Most ... moreActually, as i read on crackberry forums, people say they get at least 2 day with moderate - heavy-ish use. 6.5 hours screen on time minimum, 8 hours on average. But i also expected a better endurance score.

  • Anonymous

Sold out already. BlackBerry delayed the launch three months to fix their supply chain issues and it turns out it wasnt even ready for the May 31st deadline. Amazon didnt even have the CDMA version in stock. So 31 May turns out to be the pre-sale date.

Something else was going on behind the scenes, and it was never related to stock. Looks more and more like those rumors of the software team not being able to actually write code were right. BlackBerry lied to us again.

Oh BlackBerry, another botched release. Never change.