BlackBerry is not dead and the KeyOne is the proof. The BlackBerry KeyOne has been unveiled at MWC 2017. This phone remained unnamed – dubbed only by the web as the ‘BlackBerry Mercury’. It’s an awkward name but that doesn’t matter. Clearly, the smartphone is promising, with the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner and Android Nougat on board, and will surely wow the crowds. Let’s get into the details.
KeyOne release date and price
The new BlackBerry KEYone was finally made official at MWC 2017.
The BlackBerry KeyOne price has been confirmed as £499 (around $620, AU$810), putting it up against the flagship Android handset from 2016.
Blackberry KeyOne Features And Specifications
Design and build quality
In terms of design, the Priv-style slide-up format has been kicked to the curb, adopting instead a one-piece structure made up of a display and a QWERTY keyboard. Despite the body being made out of aluminium and BlackBerry promises good stability, the keyboard is constructed out of plastic and the back of the smartphone has received a soft-touch textured back. BlackBerry also included a fingerprint scanner that has been integrated into the space bar of the keyboard.
KeyOne mission is to please those who still like a physical keyboard. The haptic feedback that a physical keyboard produces is impossible to achieve with a virtual one.
BlackBerry KeyOne keyboard
The familiar QWERTY keys are here with the quality feedback that you just can’t get with a touchscreen. You can also use it to scroll through pages by lightly gliding your fingers over the keys. This means that it does not only serve the purpose of typing, it can also be used as a trackpad. Other functions include copy and paste, keyboard shortcuts using short or long press for each letter of the every letter on the keyboard, U for Uber and F for Facebook, for example, and double-tap to bring up the cursor.
The volume buttons are located on the right side with the Nano SIM card found above, while on the left you will find the power button. The USB Type-C and speakers are located on the bottom, with the headphone jack on the top. The back coating is a bit of a surprise and gives a lower range feel than some competing flagships.
Display of KeyOne
The KEYone measures 149.1 x 72.4 x 9.4 mm, an odd shape at first at 3:2, but the 4.5in screen is actually perfect for a device of this size. The BlackBerry KEYone has a 4.5-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1,620 x 1,080.
Hardware And Software
It is running Android 7.1 Nougat, BlackBerry has confirmed that security updates will be released continuously throughout the life of the device. The interface is very similar to that of stock Android. Brand apps such as BBM, BlackBerry Hub and DTEK are therefore housed on the device.
On the Hardware side the KEYone is powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor by Qualcomm with an Adreno 506 GPU. The CPU will also have an X5 LTE radio which will allow for two times faster download speeds compared to previous models. Paired with 4 GB of RAM, the BlackBerry offers fluid performance. There’s 32GB of storage housed inside the KeyOne, and that can be expanded by up to another 256GB via the microSD card.
The battery has a capacity of 3,505 mAh, it is likely to not disappoint. It should be able to reach 50 percent in 36 minutes with Quick Charge 3.0.
The KeyOne isn’t perfect, and it may well struggle to sell. What do you think about Blackberry KeyOne?