09-12-18 12:40 AM
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  1. bsommerhalder's Avatar
    Just over a year ago, my long-suffering iPhone 5S was at the end of its life and I was at the end of my patience with iPhones. When the KeyONE came out, I knew I was also at the end of my patience with glass slabs.

    I bought the KeyONE shortly after it launched, and the double-whammy of Android for the first time (for me) and its great implementation, plus the really fantastic and unique hardware of the K1, has had me loving my phone again.

    When the first details of the Key2 came out, I was decidedly “meh” and did not expect to be upgrading any time soon. I loved the K1's keyboard, look, battery life, storage capacity, software, and overall quality. I didn’t mind the power key on the left, the glossy keys, or the weight … but it was starting to feel a little sluggish.

    Based on the reviews and the specs, the performance boost tipped me over the edge and I’ve had the Key2 for a few days now as my regular driver.

    Insert the title of this post here to know what happens next. The improvements are noticeable all throughout.

    Now you know my history, this is my quick-fire review.

    KEYBOARD. Let's just get it out of the way. It’s better. The larger keys are easier to use and easier to train reliable muscle memory for. The typing feel, feedback, and sound are very pleasing. I think it will be hard to beat this keyboard, it is great and a joy to type on – and its integration with the software really makes navigating and using the phone a breeze.

    BUILD. I have the black version. It’s damn sleek. Build quality/feel are as good or better compared to the K1 (which was very good .. After the bugs from the early devices were worked out). The extra tiny bit of height is no problem, and its slightly lighter weight is actually noticeable and really nice. Makes it very comfortable to hold and type on.

    I honestly thought I’d hate having all of the buttons on the right side of the device, but it’s fine. I don’t confuse buttons for each other like I thought I would (the bezels on the lock/power button help with this, and are also really nice). And you can actually balance the device upright on its side now, which can be handy for video conferencing (or media watching).

    Okay. The K2 really is worth the upgrade. A(nother) firsthand review.-img_5598.jpg

    PERFORMANCE. I saw one user write that it’s “like night and day”, and it is. Everything about the K2 is snappier. I had to close all apps or restart certain apps all the time on the K1. So far not so, not even once, on the K2.

    I needed the K2 to be more powerful and it definitely is. This is worth the upgrade all by itself.

    SPACEBAR / FINGERPRINT READER. My space bar is completely fine (but I have seen a display model with a much looser space bar that would have bothered me - so this QA needs to be addressed … buyers should swap any unit with an ultra-sloppy spacebar). Fingerprint reader is very good. The K1's is extremely good .. The K2's is just very good.

    SPEED KEY. This is actually more useful than I expected it would be. I use it regularly. And I don’t mind that I had to bind the currency key as ctrl.

    CONNECTIVITY. I use LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth regularly, and all are at least as good as the K1.

    CAMERA. I dunno, seems fine to me. Here's a picture of my dog right now, you tell me.

    Okay. The K2 really is worth the upgrade. A(nother) firsthand review.-img_20180717_1126166_sm.jpg

    Camera is quick, easy to use, and takes fine enough photos for my purposes on my phone. If a really good camera on your phone is important to you maybe this isn’t your device. But if a decent camera that will take some nice snaps while you’re out in the world will do for you, I think this should be fine. Ditto for the video recording.

    Note that all of the other photos in this post (the photos of the K2) were taken with a DSLR. So yeah, you can tell the difference between the photos from the K2 (a mobile communications & productivity machine) and those from a ~ $1,000 DSLR kit.

    SOFTWARE. The BlackBerry launcher continues to be good by me. BlackBerry Hub does run smoother than on the K1 (by which I mean it is flawless on the K2). The various improvements in Oreo are nice (although at least some of those will also be coming to the K1, if the Oreo update ever sees the light of day). I like a lot of the other BlackBerry software add ons, most of which are on the K1 too. They are just smoother on the K2. Noticeably.

    BATTERY. Just as good as the K1. Both of which are incredible .. 20+ hours of solid use or 3 days of low use.

    SCREEN.
    Same as K1, or close enough.

    CONCLUSION. The K1 is a great device. The K2 is superior to it. If you upgrade from 1 to 2, you will be glad you did every day, multiple times per day.

    All typed, of course, on my K2.

    Some photos of the phone, plus a bonus shot of my "staging area" being photobombed by my canine model, Buster.

    Okay. The K2 really is worth the upgrade. A(nother) firsthand review.-img_5596.jpg

    Okay. The K2 really is worth the upgrade. A(nother) firsthand review.-img_5600.jpg

    Okay. The K2 really is worth the upgrade. A(nother) firsthand review.-img_5597.jpg

    Okay. The K2 really is worth the upgrade. A(nother) firsthand review.-img_5595.jpg
    Last edited by bsommerhalder; 07-17-18 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Mixed up Speed Key for Convenience Button!
    07-17-18 10:30 AM
  2. j21jam6's Avatar
    Great writeup and awesome pictures to boot.
    07-17-18 11:04 AM
  3. pastornordel's Avatar
    Nice to hear a positive experience from someone who had to learn a new OS and phone all at once. I'm loathing the day I have to do this. So comfortable on bb10.

    Posted via CB10
    07-17-18 12:12 PM
  4. Radmd74's Avatar
    Agree with how fast + agile the K2 is with apps + keyboard a significant upgrade over the K1.
    07-17-18 12:51 PM
  5. BeautyEh's Avatar
    Excellent write up OP. Liking the black? I was torn but I also went with it.

    Posted via CB10
    bsommerhalder likes this.
    07-17-18 01:04 PM
  6. KitJackson67's Avatar
    Nice to hear a positive experience from someone who had to learn a new OS and phone all at once. I'm loathing the day I have to do this. So comfortable on bb10.

    Posted via CB10
    I hear you. I love my Classic and have been BB10 for years. I'm a little scared about switching to a new operating system, but I've have been having trouble with my Classic and based on all the good things that people are saying about Key2, I'm seriously thinking about it. The idea of learning a brand new operating system is daunting.
    07-17-18 01:37 PM
  7. world traveler and former ceo's Avatar
    I hear you. I love my Classic and have been BB10 for years. I'm a little scared about switching to a new operating system, but I've have been having trouble with my Classic and based on all the good things that people are saying about Key2, I'm seriously thinking about it. The idea of learning a brand new operating system is daunting.
    Same here from Passport...but as we managed from bbos, and to bb10, so hopefully android not so bad

    Posted via CB10
    Jrox74 and bsommerhalder like this.
    07-17-18 01:42 PM
  8. bsommerhalder's Avatar
    Excellent write up OP. Liking the black? I was torn but I also went with it.

    Posted via CB10
    Thank you!

    I'm liking the black. I had limited choice in the matter as the Canadian carriers are only selling the black version and I wanted to pick it up via Rogers. If I had the choice I would have chosen the silver, but now that I have it and have been using it, the black is so nicely put together and sleek that I don't feel like I'm missing out.
    07-17-18 02:45 PM
  9. conite's Avatar
    Just over a year ago, my long-suffering iPhone 5S was at the end of its life and I was at the end of my patience with iPhones. When the KeyONE came out, I knew I was also at the end of my patience with glass slabs.

    I bought the KeyONE shortly after it launched, and the double-whammy of Android for the first time (for me) and its great implementation, plus the really fantastic and unique hardware of the K1, has had me loving my phone again.

    When the first details of the Key2 came out, I was decidedly “meh” and did not expect to be upgrading any time soon. I loved the K1's keyboard, look, battery life, storage capacity, software, and overall quality. I didn’t mind the power key on the left, the glossy keys, or the weight … but it was starting to feel a little sluggish.

    Based on the reviews and the specs, the performance boost tipped me over the edge and I’ve had the Key2 for a few days now as my regular driver.

    Insert the title of this post here to know what happens next. The improvements are noticeable all throughout.

    Now you know my history, this is my quick-fire review.

    KEYBOARD. Let's just get it out of the way. It’s better. The larger keys are easier to use and easier to train reliable muscle memory for. The typing feel, feedback, and sound are very pleasing. I think it will be hard to beat this keyboard, it is great and a joy to type on – and its integration with the software really makes navigating and using the phone a breeze.

    BUILD. I have the black version. It’s damn sleek. Build quality/feel are as good or better compared to the K1 (which was very good .. After the bugs from the early devices were worked out). The extra tiny bit of height is no problem, and its slightly lighter weight is actually noticeable and really nice. Makes it very comfortable to hold and type on.

    I honestly thought I’d hate having all of the buttons on the right side of the device, but it’s fine. I don’t confuse buttons for each other like I thought I would (the bezels on the lock/power button help with this, and are also really nice). And you can actually balance the device upright on its side now, which can be handy for video conferencing (or media watching).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    PERFORMANCE. I saw one user write that it’s “like night and day”, and it is. Everything about the K2 is snappier. I had to close all apps or restart certain apps all the time on the K1. So far not so, not even once, on the K2.

    I needed the K2 to be more powerful and it definitely is. This is worth the upgrade all by itself.

    SPACEBAR / FINGERPRINT READER. My space bar is completely fine (but I have seen a display model with a much looser space bar that would have bothered me - so this QA needs to be addressed … buyers should swap any unit with an ultra-sloppy spacebar). Fingerprint reader is very good. The K1's is extremely good .. The K2's is just very good.

    SPEED KEY. This is actually more useful than I expected it would be. I use it regularly. And I don’t mind that I had to bind the currency key as ctrl.

    CONNECTIVITY. I use LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth regularly, and all are at least as good as the K1.

    CAMERA. I dunno, seems fine to me. Here's a picture of my dog right now, you tell me.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Camera is quick, easy to use, and takes fine enough photos for my purposes on my phone. If a really good camera on your phone is important to you maybe this isn’t your device. But if a decent camera that will take some nice snaps while you’re out in the world will do for you, I think this should be fine. Ditto for the video recording.

    Note that all of the other photos in this post (the photos of the K2) were taken with a DSLR. So yeah, you can tell the difference between the photos from the K2 (a mobile communications & productivity machine) and those from a ~ $1,000 DSLR kit.

    SOFTWARE. The BlackBerry launcher continues to be good by me. BlackBerry Hub does run smoother than on the K1 (by which I mean it is flawless on the K2). The various improvements in Oreo are nice (although at least some of those will also be coming to the K1, if the Oreo update ever sees the light of day). I like a lot of the other BlackBerry software add ons, most of which are on the K1 too. They are just smoother on the K2. Noticeably.

    BATTERY. Just as good as the K1. Both of which are incredible .. 20+ hours of solid use or 3 days of low use.

    SCREEN.
    Same as K1, or close enough.

    CONCLUSION. The K1 is a great device. The K2 is superior to it. If you upgrade from 1 to 2, you will be glad you did every day, multiple times per day.

    All typed, of course, on my K2.

    Some photos of the phone, plus a bonus shot of my "staging area" being photobombed by my canine model, Buster.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Forget your phone, it's your dog I want!!!

    Adorable. Looks like a good helper too.
    07-17-18 02:59 PM
  10. avery1206's Avatar
    I got mine on Sunday. so we only a couple days of heavy use. so far, yes I enjoy and think the update from keyone was worth it. I simply wanted a quicker processor and a better keyboard. I'm happy. phone is a little light.
    bsommerhalder likes this.
    07-17-18 03:03 PM
  11. bsommerhalder's Avatar
    @conite you've got a good eye for dogs!! I'm afraid to say he's one of a kind
    MB64 likes this.
    07-17-18 04:01 PM
  12. gallopiton's Avatar
    great that you enjoy the phone, it looks nice and I think if I get it I would go for black as well instead of my original thought that I was going for silver (after using the passport se and using now a OG Keyone)...
    Jrox74 and bsommerhalder like this.
    07-17-18 04:41 PM
  13. fanisk's Avatar
    Thanks for the report , very useful.
    bsommerhalder likes this.
    07-17-18 06:39 PM
  14. JOHNGAETANO's Avatar
    Nice report!!!!
    bsommerhalder likes this.
    07-17-18 07:48 PM
  15. nycspaces.'s Avatar
    Thanks for a great write-up, where did you get your K2 from? I pre-ordered and it seems only silver models have hit the US at this point, OkBuy is saying the 19th for pick-up. I hope it's accurate, hoping to waste a Friday setting up a new toy.

    I appreciate your perspective - nice to see a balanced even-handed review.
    bsommerhalder likes this.
    07-17-18 08:06 PM
  16. bsommerhalder's Avatar
    Thanks for a great write-up, where did you get your K2 from? I pre-ordered and it seems only silver models have hit the US at this point, OkBuy is saying the 19th for pick-up. I hope it's accurate, hoping to waste a Friday setting up a new toy.

    I appreciate your perspective - nice to see a balanced even-handed review.
    Thank you!

    I got mine from Rogers here in Canada. Here's hoping you have your hands on yours by Friday!
    07-18-18 03:58 AM
  17. Smokeaire's Avatar
    Excellent review. I agree with almost everything you wrote. It's a small difference of opinion...I think the Silver is a sharp looking phone, my preference over the Black model.
    I even think the Key² is better at power usage than the KEYᵒⁿᵉ. It might very well be because of Oreo, but it seems phone calls don't make as big of a battery hit as it did on my KEYᵒⁿᵉ. My Key² is lasting longer during the work day, much longer.
    Again, thanks for the great review.
    07-18-18 04:24 AM
  18. yashin74's Avatar
    Nice review. I too have a keyone and similar story - love it but fallen out of love with certain things. Looking at the key2 with wide eyes - wondering if to pull the trigger and whether the black one or wait for the silver to become more available
    07-18-18 04:30 AM
  19. bsommerhalder's Avatar
    @Smokeaire I don't think we disagree on even that - my carrier only offers the black version. I would have gone for the silver given the choice. But ( @yashin74 ) I've fallen in love with my black and don't feel like I'm missing out without the silver. All to one's own taste!
    07-18-18 07:13 AM
  20. meattray's Avatar
    Great review. How have you found signal strength compared to the keyONE?
    07-18-18 07:22 AM
  21. bb10adopter111's Avatar
    I hear you. I love my Classic and have been BB10 for years. I'm a little scared about switching to a new operating system, but I've have been having trouble with my Classic and based on all the good things that people are saying about Key2, I'm seriously thinking about it. The idea of learning a brand new operating system is daunting.
    I wouldn't be terribly intimidated by having to learn Android. The OS is pretty straightforward.

    What's more frustrating, coming from BB10, is the fact that one has to select, install and configure a number of third party apps to get the same functionality as BB10 had out of the box. Basic functions like file management, text to voice, music players, voice memos, etc, all require you to choose between dozens of competing apps with no information other than anonymous ratings, and few contractual protections for availability, security, or technical support if something doesn't work.

    Many of the Android apps have features and capabilities that are significantly better than what was available on BB10, but the user has to take responsibility for selecting and configuring the apps. That's why Android feels more like a hobbyists device than a work phone to me.

    But, I wouldn't be intimidated. It's more annoying than difficult, in my experience.

    Posted with my trusty Z10
    Last edited by bb10adopter111; 07-18-18 at 08:39 AM.
    pizzawheel likes this.
    07-18-18 07:26 AM
  22. Legal Eagle's Avatar
    Not only the BB10 OS but I have come to rely on Blend very heavily and losing it will have a big impact when I am working from home with my Laptop by my side.
    07-18-18 08:32 AM
  23. bsommerhalder's Avatar
    Not only the BB10 OS but I have come to rely on Blend very heavily and losing it will have a big impact when I am working from home with my Laptop by my side.
    You can accomplish much of the same things using Android's "messages for web" (allows you to send SMS messages from your PC using the web interface and syncs with your phone), and Google calendar -- if you are inclined to trust these services. Not quite as tidy but it works.

    You can also directly access your PC's files from your device and vice versa through your network, with apps like "Solid Explorer" (this is another nice thing about Android, huge app library and community).
    Legal Eagle likes this.
    07-18-18 08:49 AM
  24. ShalokShalom's Avatar
    The screen is the very same on both devices, so your comparison "SCREEN. Same as K1, or close enough." might be worth to get edited.
    07-18-18 11:04 AM
  25. markus2107's Avatar
    As I was really negativ about the Key2 with all the back draws it has... I've just read an article on https://www.notebookcheck.com/Test-B....314030.0.html and it seems as the camera is quite good in daylight. Also if you compare the screen with other Android devices it seems to be quite decent. Still it's not what I'd call an ideal phone, BUT for and Android device it seems quite nice.

    So I'd really recommend to read the review on notebookcheck, as they are pretty unbiased.
    07-18-18 11:25 AM
35 12

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