1. Lincoln Allen's Avatar
    KEYone Review

    By Lincoln Allen

    I have been a BlackBerry user since I was 10 years old when I bought a BlackBerry Bold 9650 and Later had a BlackBerry Classic and a BlackBerry Priv. Now Since August I have had a BlackBerry KEYone and I'm not usually one who would write a phone review or is even qualified to do so but I thought I'd write about my opinion of this Phone.

    Well to Start off I might as Well say there have already been plenty of reviews of the phone out already so why write another now. Well my answer to that is BlackBerry has always been my go to brand for phones it's like I can't survive without that Keyboard and trust me I tried I had a PRIV last year and tried to train myself to use the Virtual Keyboard and I could not do it, It just never felt right to me. After seeing the KEYone come out and how much was riding on this phone I thought I'd write about what I think and post it on CrackBerry forums (please let me know what you think of this review)

    So to begin with I'm gonna start with the Good and the Bad.

    The Good

    The Keyboard is fantastic

    Camera is best yet for BlackBerry

    Glad to see the Convenience Key come back

    shortcuts are very useful

    When it comes to call quality BlackBerry still does not disappoint

    Finger Print reader is Welcome

    Battery Life is so good I still have a hard time believing it

    Privacy Shade is very useful

    TouchPad keyboard is still great

    USB-C welcomed

    Swipe left to delete word probably one of my favorite parts

    The Bad

    3GB of RAM Okay but 4GB or 6GB would really help the phone run better

    laggy with some apps (Mostly Snapchat)

    Battery Door has a tendency to pop out

    speakers could have been better

    TouchPad Toolbelt not great when typing

    The BlackBerry KEYone is a Fantastic phone that defiantly deserves a four or five star rating.


    for many users who have used BlackBerry since the Glory Days you will feel right at home with the KEYone in hardware anyways that is. When it comes to software though Android 7 is the big player here with Android 8 coming soon. The phone runs with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and that may not seems like much but it's enough for the KEYone. The Phone also has a Snapdragon 625 running the phone which if you ask many is great for the battery life but not great if you heavy with multitasking and want the fastest speed.

    The Hardware is pretty much BlackBerry DNA. You could put this phone next to the Classic and Bold and Priv and I will fit in pretty well. The phone though is not made by BlackBerry Limited but made by BlackBerry Mobile owned by TCL but if you did not know that you would not even think that is was made by them the KEYone hardware says BlackBerry when you hold it just as much as the Classic hardware said BlackBerry.

    The Phones build also has a silver frame surrounding the phone (This Frame is Black if you bought the black edition) similar to the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition. This helps the phone seem more solid in the hand than most other phones.

    When it comes to size the phone is not very big compared to other phones. It has about the same height as a closed BlackBerry Priv but is more narrow in width which it actually good for when you want to stretch your thumb across the phone and use it one handed.

    The Screen of the KEYone is not really big at about 4.5 inches tall it feels pretty small compared to phones like the IPhone 8 plus and Samsung Note 8 or Galaxy S8 or LG G6 or BlackBerry Motion but for most it's actually pretty fine as after enough use the phone screen seems just fine and you will probably not care anymore. However the screen is LCD so it won't be as nice of a screen to look at as the BlackBerry Priv or the IPhone X or Note 8.


    If you look at any other review of the BlackBerry KEYone, they will say the keyboard is why you are here and well it's true. The keyboard is what makes this phone stands out and gives it a place in the already large smartphone market. 10 years ago having a keyboard on your smartphone was standard until the iPhone came in and changed the game and now almost all smartphones use on screen.

    The KEYone does indeed have a four row 35 key keyboard like BlackBerrys of the past (except the Passport) and brings a familiar yet new experience to the BlackBerry Keyboard. In 2011 the BlackBerry Keyboard hit its peak with the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and it's design was implemented into BlackBerry 10 phones Q10 and Classic. When the BlackBerry Priv was released it brought with it a slide out PKB that many people loved but BlackBerry die-hards were disappointed in since it was flat and not as clicky as the Classic. Now the KEYone may not bring in the BlackBerry Keyboard of legend that the Bold and Classic models were known for but if you ask me it's pretty darn close that the keyboard is worthy of being a BlackBerry Keyboard.

    With the KEYone the keyboard is shorter than the Classic but retains the width. The shape of the keys are different now too so that it would be more comfortable to use the TouchPad in the keyboard. in order to make swiping on the Keyboard easier the keys are now glossy rather than matte plastic.

    Shortcuts are also a major part of the KEYones Keyboard and with Short Press and Long Press you can have up to 52 shortcuts in all.

    The touch sensors in the phone are very useful too and my personal favorite swipe left to delete word has come in handy more times than I thought it would. The trackpad in the keyboard is useful for scrolling through Web pages and adjusting the cursor on screen when editing documents.

    Trust me the Keyboard on the KEYone is more than just a keyboard. It's a tool that is more useful than people say.


    When BlackBerry announced the were going to start making Android phones they also said they were going to port over some of their best apps from BlackBerry 10 like the Hub and Notes and Calendar. when the Priv first came out those apps were still pretty early in their days and did not have much going for it at that moment now over two years later BlackBerry Hub has support for several major apps and is probably the big productivity tool in the BlackBerry Launcher.

    BlackBerry Hub let's your store all your notifications in one app and although that may seem overwhelming for some, many have found it to be very useful including myself to the point where I rely on it everyday. With support for most social media apps and Gmail and AOL and Yahoo Mail (if you still use it) and many other email accounts. For me is use two Gmail accounts and an AOL account and with BlackBerry Hub I can see emails from all three of those accounts in one list as well as my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter notifications as well as my BBM and Whatsapp and SMS texts all in one list which is just amazing.


    The KEYones Battery is fantastic with a massive 3505 MAH battery which can easily last you through the day. It definitely can outlast many smartphones which many can find useful. A couple months ago I was stuck in Hurricane Irma in Florida and my power had went out and my family was unable to charge their phone and by the time all my family members iphones had run out of battery I was still at 50% and was able to make a call if there was an emergency. That story may no be the most exciting story but it does show battery life matters in a phone.

    However though the battery door. That shield the battery is a clip and after a few drops it can and probably will pop out a little and if one of the buckles that hold the door on breaks you will have some frustration with that battery door, So be careful with handling your KEYone.


    the KEYone does have a 12mp rear camera that uses the same sensor as the first Google Pixel phone but it's not the same camera. With the right amount of practice you can take some stunning shots that can rival that of the Google Pixel it is not a superior camera. It does suffer shooting in low light and video recording can have trouble being stable but with the KEYone camera you can still be a great photographer.

    The KEYones Selfie Camera is 8mp and works pretty fair but stabilizing the photo can be trouble but it's still a far better Selfie Camera than the BlackBerry Priv.


    When it comes to media the KEYone may not be the best phone for ya if that is a priority but it is fully capable of playing media apps like Netflix and Spotify without issue and speaker Quality is good but not great and yes BlackBerry kept the headphone jack.


    When it comes to social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and Tumblr and Google+ they will all work just fine on KEYone however some apps like snapchat will be laggy at times and some days it can even be a headache to work with. If you are someone who uses snapchat 24/7 I would not recommend the KEYone to you


    Classic Phone apps like Angry Birds and Candy Crush and Temple Run And similar apps like will not be a problem for KEYone users unless you want screen space. However game apps like Call of Duty Hero's, Forge of Empires, and Grand Theft Auto games are not the best when played on the Keyone. the fact is screen real-estate is not great when it comes to gaming.


    What good is a smartphone if it can't make a good phone call. Well with the KEYone you don't have to worry like most previous BlackBerry phones the KEYone sound like a Landline when making a call and in some cases better. It can be very loud if you want it to be and very clear too. (But for the sake of your ears be careful)


    Okay a BlackBerry in 2017 is not the coolest thing and trust me I know. I'm a Teenager and all my friends laugh at me for my BlackBerry and say stuff like “Get an IPhone Loser” But I can say that the BlackBerry KEYone has its place. You go to a phone store and see a IPhone X or a Note 8 or Pixel 2 they are all great phones (and expensive $$$$$) but they are gadgets to entertain and connect people. The BlackBerry KEYone however is a tool that tells you, that you want to get stuff done and stay connected.

    For those Still holding on to BlackBerry 10 I feel ya and I love the OS too but sooner or later one has to look to the future. BlackBerry 10 was a great OS but the KEYone holds onto its legacy and keeps the BlackBerry name alive. It's okay to miss BlackBerry 10 missing it is part of what makes it a great memory. Now it's time to look to the future and see what BlackBerry has to offer today and make the best of it.

    In all I would definitely recommend the KEYone and I give a full five stars. It's a fantastic phone and one of the best BlackBerrys ever made.


    I am just a teenager but I do enjoy BlackBerry phones. I had been planning on writing this and I know it's not perfect but it's what I think of the BlackBerry KEYone. I Hope everyone who reads this enjoys the review. (As a side note I wrote the whole review on a KEYone). for those who already have a KEYone hope you are enjoying it
    12-11-17 04:17 PM
  2. Carjackd's Avatar
    Good review...probably a little better suited as a YouTube video...these people around here are not big readers (if you know what I mean ) Just a little long but great throw this into a video and you got something here. I think it would benefit blackberry that some younger people are diggin this device. Great to see some younger fans around the forums (like I’m so old).
    12-11-17 11:22 PM
  3. stlabrat's Avatar
    good review. you will please to know kids at university like K1 as well. Carry BB as "loser" is about to change. you post (regarding BB DNA) proven that design is most important thing, not the MFG (who make it... of course, have a nice design with no body CAN make it is really bad). BlackBerry did the design (the last design of true BB team - you can google it- they got the award... but the team is gone now... not even a photo like 9982 software team hidden behind clock).
    12-12-17 06:11 AM
  4. astropap's Avatar
    Thanks for this review. I'm new to BlackBerry (just got the KEYOne) and the learning curve coming from iOS is steep. My favorite feature so far (besides the cool appearance) is the actual telephone. My last 2 iPhones kept dropping calls and I had very poor reception in most people's homes. This phone is awesome! No dropped calls. Calls are super clear. No problems in the house. I've been blaming ATT all these years. Turns out it was the iPhone design that caused poor reception.
    12-15-17 08:58 AM
  5. Lincoln Allen's Avatar
    Yeah I know my mother has an IPhone 6 and the speakers are so bad you can hardly hear the calls. With the KEYone the calls are like a landline if not better
    12-15-17 09:01 AM
  6. phuoc's Avatar
    A very well thought out review OP! Thank you.
    12-15-17 10:25 AM
  7. GArcuri's Avatar
    I have been a mobile phone user since the days of the Motorola "bricks". I have been a dedicated Blackberry user since 2004. Prior to "upgrading" to the Keyone, ( so that I could use Verizon ), I owned a Classic, connected to AT&T. For 15 years, every Blackberry transition I made to a newer phone was an improvement. Then along came the Keyone and Android. DISASTER!

    I have owned the Keyone for five months, and have wasted innumerable hours with this piece of crap. I use a phone as a tool. The Keyone is a toy. As I have read various Crackberry forums, it's clear to me that the average mobile phone user now expects to waste their own time troubleshooting the abominable software and hardware problems of the manufacturers of these devices. Not me. I choose to use my time productively. Cell phone use should be 1. Reliable 2. Intuitive 3. Focused. The Blackberry keyone is none of these things.

    If I was the impulsive type, I'd toss my Keyone in the street, then run over it in my SUV, and post the video to YouTube. But I'm not. My revenge will be to simply switch to another brand of phone and never look back. I am not abandoning Blackberry; Blackberry has abandoned quality, utility, reliability, sanity, and me.
    03-09-19 12:44 PM
  8. 1claire's Avatar
    All the necessary information are included and is still relevant up to the present.
    03-27-19 01:18 AM
  9. Lincoln Allen's Avatar
    Thanks but I don't even use the phone as a daily driver anymore. Switch to the note 9 last Christmas, but I still keep the ketone around forever it's keyboard
    03-27-19 05:08 AM

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