Canadian smartphone manufacturer is all to make a comeback in the market. Recently it launched the KEYone. It is full-fledged Android smartphone with near stock UI and some improvements by BlackBerry such a BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Security Software, etc.
The phone has a strong aluminium frame with impact resistant display as quoted by the company. As the dimensions go, it is 149.3mm thick, 72.5mm wide and 9.4mm thick. The KEYone weighs 180gm/6.34oz. It sports a 4.5″ scratch-resistant screen and also a touch sensitive keyboard which can be used to navigate through the device, we will get to the keyboard later. The phone has volume rockers and power button on right side of the device and a customizable key on the left side which can be programmed as per users requirements.
Now coming to the display the KEYone has a 4.5″ IPS LCD panel having a resolution of 1620*1080 pixels. It has a unique aspect ratio of 3:2 because of the keyboard below the screen. The display also has a colour depth of 24-bit.
The KEYone sports Qualcomm SnapDragon 625 64 bit octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz which is a bit disappointing at this price point. The SD625 is still a mid-ranger class chip which does deliver and is an excellent chip but BlackBerry should have gone for powerful SD650’s. Note that SD625 chip is manufactured on 14nm fabrication process which means the phone should have a decent battery life and cooler performance. The Adreno 506 manages the GPU duties which is clocked at 650MHz. The phone has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage and also comes with an option to expand the storage upto 2TB via micro sd card which is a good thing. The phone also has a USB type-C port for charging and data transfer.
The rear camera of the phone is a 12MP auto-focus large pixel camera which has Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF), Fast focus lock and HDR 6-element f2.0 lens. It supports 4K video recording at 30 fps. The camera also has Dual Tone LED Flash, Enhanced photo colour balance, 4x digital zoom,
Continuous & touch to focus, face detection, electric image stabilisation, Panorama, Burst, Live Filters and Multi-Frame Low Light Enhancement.
The front shooter is an 8MP Fixed-Focus, f2.2, 1.125um pixel size, 84˚ wide angle/field of view lens
supporting Image & video stabilisation, 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps, Light-up LCD Flash
Wide Selfie Mode (also known as Selfie Panorama) and same Multi-Frame Low Light Enhancement.
It has a typical 3505 mAh 4.4V non-removable Lithium-Ion battery supporting QuickCharge3.0
enabled 50% charge in 36 minutes.
BlackBerry has done a decent job here and providing all necessary sensors like Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient light, Hall Effect, unlike some other brands which disable haptic feedback even on their mid-rangers at same price point.
BlackBerry was known for its excellent keyboard integration and its usability and this time also BlackBerry has done a great job in providing a full QWERTY keyboard in such a small form factor.
The fingerprint scanner is embedded in spacebar key. Each and every key is programmable to instantly bring up contacts and apps you use most often, such as pressing “B” to open the browser.
It also supports Flick Typing in which the text can be flicked onto your screen as you type. Since the keyboard is touch sensitive it responds to touch gestures like a trackpad, to quickly scroll through webpages or emails which make navigation through the device a treat!
The BlackBerry KEYnote seems to be a decent package with some unique features but it’s not for everyone. A common person won’t find its keyboard useful but at the same time, it can be a treat for a person who types a lot on his smartphone.
Does this phone make sense for you? Let me know in the comment section below.