Review: BlackBerry KeyOne makes no apologies for itself, and doesn’t need to


A new BlackBerry in 2017 is an celebration that defies all popular sense. Once the darling of expenditure bankers, Beyoncé, Barack Obama and BBM-nuts young people, most of the earth has effectively and genuinely moved on.

That the new BlackBerry KeyOne’s major offering level is a physical keyboard is even far more baffling owning to tap out a concept with two thumbs is akin to likely to a store to acquire a CD even though most of us have moved on to streaming or digital downloads.

It is not just the keyboard as smartphones get smoother and more substantial, the KeyOne’s contrary spirit is pretty a thing. Relatively than the large jaw-dropping display screen of the Samsung Galaxy S8, the KeyOne’s 4.five-inch Full Hd screen is small by comparison, with strong if unexceptional visuals.

And alternatively than the polished strains of the Apple iphone seven this is an unapologetically bulky smartphone with a strong, qualified sense that isn’t anxious with the preening pretensions of this year’s super products.

But I have to acknowledge: awkwardly tapping out an e mail on the KeyOne impressed a response from a smartphone I hadn’t had in decades: joy. It reminded me of that momentous day ten decades ago when my extended-suffering supervisor last but not least caved, and gave me my BlackBerry Curve, the 1st smartphone that I and quite a few many others identified as our individual, and of the awesome earth it unlocked for me and millions of many others.

BlackBerry’s glory times are now extended long gone. My Curve was before long changed by my 1st Apple iphone, and like quite substantially everyone else, I by no means looked again. But stroll close to any community room in the UAE and you will see that BlackBerry lives on, and is beloved by a modest but dedicated band of followers.

The KeyOne is a cell phone for those who, compared with me, unashamedly enjoy their aged BlackBerrys. Its unapologetically retro keyboard is not likely to acquire again the the vast majority of consumers that have grown applied to a touchscreen. But for those that still enjoy physically typing out that e mail of WhatsApp concept, and are hooked on those aged familiar BlackBerry tones, it’s an aged-fashioned delight.

Q&A: John Everington reveals far more about the BlackBerry KeyOne

Wait around a minute. I imagined that BlackBerry had stopped producing smartphones?

It has the BlackBerry KeyOne isn’t a BlackBerry cell phone, it’s a TCL cell phone.

Please reveal.

BlackBerry stopped producing telephones in September. In December, nevertheless, the corporation signed an arrangement with TCL of China for use of the BlackBerry model. So the BlackBerry KeyOne is basically a TCL cell phone, alternatively than a BlackBerry.

I’m bewildered. It appears to be like like a BlackBerry, appears like a BlackBerry, and it has that attractive physical keyboard that reminds me of my aged BlackBerry Curve

And that, at the stop of the day, is what is important. It does not actually issue if TCL produced it it still presents you that BlackBerry expertise.

Is it the very same keyboard as my BlackBerry Curve?

No. There are some significant enhancements, like the potential to use the keyboard as trackpad, like on the BlackBerry Priv. Most spectacular, nevertheless, is the potential to assign shortcuts to practically all of the keys, obtainable by using a extended press. F will bring up Fb, I will bring up Instagram, H will bring up the aid function and so on. Quite easy, but really valuable.

Is all other BlackBerry functionality there as effectively?

Positive is. BBM is current and correct, as is BlackBerry Hub, the BlackBerry clever keyboard, as effectively as the Dtek security suite that ensures you get timely Android security patches.

And how about the colors? Does it occur in …

It comes in black. Just black. If you want rose gold, acquire an Apple iphone.

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