1. guizmox's Avatar
    Hello !
    First, I apologizes for my english mistakes (I'm a french guy)

    My background with BB : Bold 9700, 9900, Q10, Passport, Priv, KeyOne, and now, KeyTwo.

    Some weeks ago, I switched back to my Silver Passport because the KeyOne had too many flaws (according to my own usage of the phone) : Call quality was really bad, reception issues, a spacebar who wasn't working well anymore (I had to press the key a few times to register it), disappointing audio quality with high-quality earphones.
    I enjoyed that device anyway, the look & feel, the way BB integrated its experience in the Android ecosystem, the keyboard, the form-factor, the camera...
    But call quality was a critical issue, so I switched back to my Passport and it was... day and night ! (audio quality, call quality, reception)
    BUT.
    I bought the KeyTwo, and I can now tell you a few things about it.

    First, the keyboard (obviously) :

    I definitively like that keyboard, the bigger size (in comparison with the KeyOne) is definitively welcomed, the sound it produces is perfect (and I love the way the spacebar does not sounds the same - remains me old typing-machines, the sound of that key was different from the others -) and the backlighting is better than the KeyOne (Priv and Passport were perfect)
    It's definitively the Passport keyboard, I was not really convinced by the KeyOne glossy keys (but it's more a feeling than a design mistake).
    The one thing I miss from BB10 is the "autocorrect-vibration" function. When you write, if a word is automatically corrected, there is no way to know it if you don't check the screen. On BB10, you had a small vibration to tell you that a word was replaced. Useful.
    For now, I disabled the autocorrection feature.
    The swiping is better than the KeyOne (but it could be because of the different coating of the keyboard), but I miss the precise & fluid behavior of the Passport.

    Reception :
    Way better !! On some situations, better than any other BB device I owned. It depends of the situation I guess, but there is no comparison with the KeyOne, in my case, with my operator.

    Call Quality :
    Seems OK for now : better than KeyOne, not as good as the Passport.

    Audio :
    An improvement ! When I plug my earphones, there is no weird sound in the background, less noise, seems better but misses some power.

    Speaker :
    Better than KeyOne, not as good as (the amazing) Passport stereo speaker. I often used the Passport with the speakers when I was calling someone, I'm not sure I can do the same with the KeyTwo (Impossible with the KeyOne)

    Battery Life :
    3 days are not enough to say, but for now, it's pretty much the same as the KeyOne (which is a KILLER feature). Better than my Passport (with only 2 android apps - Facebook & Whatsapp)

    Look & Feel :
    Feels solid, beautiful device (I loved every BB device I owned. So different, so elegant).
    A detail - but I know a lot of people are concerned - : the blinking LED is so nice on that device : it has some fading-in/fading-out effect, and it's... beautiful !!
    I don't care about buttons placement and that kind of changes because I don't have any problem in adapting my habits (I have full confidence in hardware designers).

    Camera :
    For me, the best cameraphone BB produced was the Priv (SMCV, i miss you !!!)
    I'm using my DSLR when I need it, but I enjoy to capture some landscapes from time to time with my phones (when hiking for exemple, I don't want to carry a DSLR) and I'm only using manual mode.
    The KeyTwo camera is, for now, a bit disappointing. I may need to learn from it, but I'm annoyed by some things : I can't use the Telephoto Lens in manual Mode, I can't slow the shutter speed less than 1/3s (when I see other phones to be able to slow down to 15s I'm really jealous), and the pictures, on some situations (mostly in low-light) are not as sharp as the ones the Priv was producing. According to my experience, it's more like a lens quality issue than the sensor itself, and no software trick can improve it.
    The only improvement, for me, is the focus speed. Way faster than the Priv, the Passport (not hard to do a better job) and the KeyOne.
    I would love to use the front-facing camera to shot wider-angle landscapes but I'll forget about it : the camera is not intended for that usage (chromatic aberrations, weird post-processing, low-quality lens & sensor)
    I don't care about video & other "hype" features but I would love BBmobile to improve the manual mode (or, at least, activate API2 compatibility, although I don't know how much work it does requires to add that kind of feature)

    Longevity :
    I hope that it will last longer than my KeyOne. After a few months, the space-bar started to work one in two... and the lights inside it died.
    And sometimes the keyboard was crackling for no reason.

    I'm a loyal BB user, and I'll never buy a device without a physical keyboard (I tried, but I'm unable to type on a glass, despite all of my efforts), and the KeyTwo, for now, seems to be an improvement over the last few devices BB(mobile) produced.
    I'm very happy with it !

    PS : If you're interested, I uploaded some picture comparisons with other BB devices :
    https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjXwOsvc6am5nAt1DRLWdhihPsX6
    Last edited by guizmox; 07-16-18 at 05:53 AM.
    07-16-18 04:15 AM
  2. beckzyboi's Avatar
    bonjour. your background with BB is more or less the same as mine, although - I had a few curves as well as bolds and I also had the 9720; never had the passport. I also can't type on glass! I will never have a VKB based device.
    07-16-18 04:46 AM
  3. the_boon's Avatar
    Nice early impressions review.

    A bit off topic but, what build date and color is your KEYone with the failing spacebar?
    07-16-18 05:14 AM
  4. guizmox's Avatar
    Nice early impressions review.

    A bit off topic but, what build date and color is your KEYone with the failing spacebar?
    Thank you ! From my memory (I should power-on & check the K1), I own a "first batch" device (april 2017 - silver), but fortunately, the screen never went off.
    07-16-18 05:20 AM
  5. the_boon's Avatar
    Thank you ! From my memory (I should power-on & check the K1), I own a "first batch" device (april 2017 - silver), but fortunately, the screen never went off.
    That's what I thought. Even if it's not the screen issue, early K1 units had other hardware malfunctions as well. Not surprised yours is an early unit. Most likely if you had a July or later unit you would not have the spacebar issue
    07-16-18 05:49 AM
  6. guizmox's Avatar
    Probably ! That's what I read here but I was too lazy to call the support for a replacement (takes too much time, need to backup the device, transfer data on another one...)
    07-16-18 06:07 AM
  7. the_boon's Avatar
    Probably ! That's what I read here but I was too lazy to call the support for a replacement (takes too much time, need to backup the device, transfer data on another one...)
    Well, if anything, you could order a new keyboard assembly on ebay and either swap it yourself (not very easy with all the adhesive there apparently) or take it to a nearby shop
    07-16-18 06:15 AM
  8. guizmox's Avatar
    thanks for the tip ! i'll consider it if I need to use it again
    07-17-18 01:32 AM
  9. Livermore's Avatar
    Thanks for the review

    Posted via CB10
    07-17-18 04:24 AM
  10. hlg8888's Avatar
    Thank you so much, I am a diehard Q10 fan and owner but will need to switch to the Key2 later this year so your review is what I need.

    Posted via CB10
    07-17-18 07:59 AM
  11. world traveler and former ceo's Avatar
    Great review: consistent with many others who have the KeyTwo.... TLC are working on software patches to improve the camera and other known issues so I am confident the Camera will improve in no time....

    Posted via CB10
    07-17-18 08:32 AM
  12. paolo73's Avatar
    Interesting, thanks for the thoughts. I had the OG key one and then the black key one, and I loved both but the call quality and reception became so bad that I was forced to switch to a non-BB slab, plus I also needed a dual sim phone.
    I am really keen to move into the dual sim key two now but only if the signal issues are fixed.
    One other question though, right now I'm in a P20 Pro and the camera is amazing, which will be hard to give up. Is portrait mode on the key two as bad as people say it is?
    07-17-18 09:03 AM
  13. guizmox's Avatar
    Interesting, thanks for the thoughts. I had the OG key one and then the black key one, and I loved both but the call quality and reception became so bad that I was forced to switch to a non-BB slab, plus I also needed a dual sim phone.
    I am really keen to move into the dual sim key two now but only if the signal issues are fixed.
    One other question though, right now I'm in a P20 Pro and the camera is amazing, which will be hard to give up. Is portrait mode on the key two as bad as people say it is?
    Not so bad actually, with good lighting conditions, it perfectly detects the foreground, as you can see here :

    ...but I miss the ability to control the second camera to improve that kind of shots.
    It could be a much more powerful feature.
    Attached Thumbnails 3 Days with the KeyTwo-42150.jpg  
    Last edited by guizmox; 07-17-18 at 09:52 AM.
    07-17-18 09:40 AM
  14. guizmox's Avatar
    Another exemple.
    Attached Thumbnails 3 Days with the KeyTwo-42435.jpg  
    Zolti likes this.
    07-17-18 09:45 AM
  15. anon(10268214)'s Avatar
    In terms of the camera on the Key2, I found that putting it into manual mode can really help squeeze more quality out of the photos especially in low light situations, or improve the colour rendering and detail. I would much prefer a better optimized auto shooter but for now at least there is an option.

    Basically what most people are saying is correct - daylight photos are excellent on the rear facing camera in auto mode, low light settings need some work, and I will add one more thing - the front facing camera's white balance is way off and photos look washed out.

    Regarding the screen - night mode is a disaster...the screen defaults to 0 brightness whenever it activates and the colour rendering (supposed to be amber tint) is completely wrong. Also, even the colour options between natural / boosted / saturated seem to have almost no appreciable affect. I'm pretty sure it's a software issue and not a display issue because otherwise the display seems to be performing well.

    One last item - TCL please enable Aptx HD audio via Bluetooth. Audio quality is noticeably better via headphone jack...but for a phone that supports lossless audio, compressed lossy Bluetooth just doesn't cut it in 2018.

    Otherwise I'm loving everything else about this phone - keyboard is amazing, form factor comfortable, build quality excellent, call quality much better than the Key1. This silver K2 reminds me so much of my Passport SE. which was my favourite BlackBerry so far.
    07-17-18 10:42 AM
  16. guizmox's Avatar
    In terms of the camera on the Key2, I found that putting it into manual mode can really help squeeze more quality out of the photos especially in low light situations, or improve the colour rendering and detail. I would much prefer a better optimized auto shooter but for now at least there is an option.
    Right, because automode tends to prioritize ISO over shutter speed in low-light to avoid the motion-blur, and as a result, you have much more noise in the picture.
    -> Can be tweaked by software.

    the front facing camera's white balance is way off and photos look washed out.
    Right ! But despite software optimizations, the low-end sensor & lens will probably prevent it from huge improvements. They can at least de-saturate what comes from the sensor as it generates wrong colorimetry.

    Otherwise I'm loving everything else about this phone - keyboard is amazing, form factor comfortable, build quality excellent, call quality much better than the Key1. This silver K2 reminds me so much of my Passport SE. which was my favourite BlackBerry so far.
    This.
    07-17-18 10:59 AM
  17. fanisk's Avatar
    Thanks for the review, very helpful!
    guizmox likes this.
    07-17-18 07:59 PM
  18. Fred98TJ's Avatar
    No one should expect much out of any cell phone camera in less than ideal conditions.

    A tiny sensor and slow lens simply isn’t going to do it.

    Software can only do so much to try and counter the shortcomings, however physics is physics and there is no magic.

    Granted some phones are better than others but in the end you shouldn’t have high expectations. Most of the over expectations usually come from non “photographers” that don’t understand photography, however I’ve seen many proclaimed photographers (who even seem to own high end equipment) that just don’t seem to have a grasp on it all also.
    07-17-18 10:26 PM
  19. guizmox's Avatar
    No one should expect much out of any cell phone camera in less than ideal conditions.

    A tiny sensor and slow lens simply isn’t going to do it.

    Software can only do so much to try and counter the shortcomings, however physics is physics and there is no magic.

    Granted some phones are better than others but in the end you shouldn’t have high expectations. Most of the over expectations usually come from non “photographers” that don’t understand photography, however I’ve seen many proclaimed photographers (who even seem to own high end equipment) that just don’t seem to have a grasp on it all also.
    I'm an amateur photographer, and aware about sensor size (pixel size, density, depth of field, noise...), lenses, aperture, shutter, ISO and everything related to that technology.
    Debating about photophones is not useless if they are compared between them. Same scale.
    We don't compare CD's vs LP's, we are comparing CD's vs CD's. The fact than no phone can produce a "good" photo (I mean, from a technical point of view) is not the point. The point is : In regards to the cameraphones scale, does they perform equally ?
    The answer is : NO.

    On a side note, I'm personaly very interested in discovering how developers are able to tweak the *crappy* pictures coming from tiny sensors (low-light color reproduction, de-noising by stacking, de-bluring...) because some good ideas comes from cameraphone's world (BSI in DSLR cameras for exemple), so it's interesting to follow how things will evolve and how both worlds are influencing themselves.

    A really interesting article here, interview from a Google Pixel camera developer :

    https://www.theverge.com/2016/10/18/...are-marc-levoy

    Or here (IMX378 - Google Pixel sensor) breakdown :
    https://www.xda-developers.com/sony-...-its-features/

    ...and also (aperture) :
    https://www.androidauthority.com/wha...erture-789927/
    Last edited by guizmox; 07-18-18 at 05:31 PM.
    07-18-18 09:17 AM

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-25-18, 10:18 AM
  2. Where is the currency key?
    By Snappy Phoenix in forum BlackBerry KEY2
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-16-18, 11:31 AM
  3. Best online retailer with warranty worldwide shipping?
    By Thalakar in forum BlackBerry KEY2
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-16-18, 03:52 AM
  4. How to Encrypt the SD Card on the BB K2
    By lordadvocate in forum Ask Bla1ze
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-15-18, 10:42 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD