So, for those unfamiliar, the BlackBerry KEY2 and BlackBerry KEYOneare devices that take what made BlackBerry so special in the first place onto a new platform.
Both devices have physical qwerty keypads, a touch screen, and they both run on Android.
BlackBerry was wise to choose Android over their own operating system - it’s too hard at this point to compete with the top operating systems in the world. Both BlackBerry and Microsoft have tried before with little success.
So, BlackBerry thought that if you can’t beat them, join them. But they still kept some things that were unique to BlackBerry.
First is the keypad - it looks and feels just like the original keypad seen on older BlackBerry devices. So, yes, you’re going to need small fingers or precision typing to feel comfortable typing on this beast.
The new BlackBerry KEY2 looks similar to the first one, although the design has slowly been updated with a sleeker look and USB C. You also still get a 3.5mm headphone jack on the BlackBerry KEY2 and there is no notch.
The display is the biggest downfall for the BlackBerry KEY2. Strangely, BlackBerry hasn’t upgraded the display at all from the original KEYOne. As a result, you’re not getting the best viewing experience.
The size is an issue, as well. Because the KEY2 has a physical keyboard, there’s less room for the display. The BlackBerry KEY2 has just 4.5 inches of screen real estate with an awkward 3:2 aspect ratio and 1,620 x 1,080 resolution.
It’s clear that the BlackBerry 2 isn’t a media viewing device. Other manufacturers have pushed for larger, more beautiful displays as social media and online content viewing has grown in popularity, whilst BlackBerry has stuck to their roots.
This means that whilst the BlackBerry KEY2 might not appeal to a wide audience, it may have carved itself it’s own niche for those that use their smartphone primarily as a messaging device.
If you’re a tweet-a-holic or are constantly sending IMs back and forth, you may appreciate what the KEY2 has to offer.
When it comes to specifications, you're getting a middle of the road experience.
The BlackBerry KEY2 is powered by a Snapdragon 660 and 6GB of RAM. Certainly not anything to complain about with this setup and it'll easily get the job done, but it may not feel quite as sleek as, say, a Google Pixel 2 or Samsung Galaxy S9.
The BlackBerry KEY2's biggest update from its predecessor is its camera. Te KEY2 has a dual camera setup. It has a dual 12MP lens that can shoot up to 4K in 30fps.
The camera also has electronic image stabilization, which will help to keep image still whilst recording, but won't do as good as a job as hardware-based stabilization.
The KEY2 also has an impressive 8MP front facing camera.
We don’t have any information on how the camera will perform yet, but we’re guessing it’ll feel like most mid range devices available these days. It won’t compete with the Google Pixel 2 or Huawei P20 Pro, but I’m still expecting reasonably good results from the camera.
Summary And Price
Te Blackberry KEY2 will cost £579. Not the cheapest device in the world, but still a step above the high end devices in terms of affordability.
What are your thoughts on the BlackBerry KEY2? Will you be picking up this device?
Ollie (zerodudex333) is a big mobile/tech fan. He posts blogs on Monday and Tuesday Mornings.