Blackberry launches BB KeyOne

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The Blackberry Mercury is now officially called the Blackberry KEYone. So how does it fare?Will it help them become the once King of all smartphones?

Overview

The KEYone features a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display and has a screen resolution of 1620 x 1080. It runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core 2.0 GHz processor and comes with an internal storage of 32GB, which is expandable with a microSD card of up to 2TB. The downside to this phone, for now, is that it only has 3GB of RAM. I have no doubt that it will run well now. But one year down the road, I believe it will suffer performance issues. Then again, if you are a normal user who does not play a lot of games or download tonnes to applications that you do not use 3/4 of them, then it should not be a problem.

The KEYone also has NFC function and Bluetooth 4.2.

 

blackberry-keyone
Image: Crackberry

 

Battery

The battery capacity is surprisingly huge. It is better than the average smartphones out there at 3,505 mAh. With the Snapdragon 625 processor, I’m pretty sure it will have no problem lasting a day or maybe a little longer. By the way, it is non-removable. I guess all of us have gone passed the phase of hating non-removable battery.

Camera

The KEYone has a 12 MP rear camera with a f/2.0 aperture. It has the same image sensor as the Google Pixel – Sony IMX378, 1.55-micron pixel. If you don’t know, the image quality of the Google Pixel is very good, one of the best in the market. This should give you a good idea how the images will turn out on the KeyOne.

At the front, the KEYone has a 8 MP front-facing fixed focus camera. That is all that we know now for this part of the hardware.

Key Feature

Physical Qwerty Keyboard

The key feature for Blackberry has always been its keyboard. This time, it is still the main selling point. You can perform touch gestures like a Blackberry Trackpad. You can swipe left or right to scroll through your contents and navigate your web pages. It’s like swiping it on a screen but on a physical keyboard instead.

Users can also programme up to 52 customisable shortcuts. This means that you can set I to launch Instagram, F for Facebook and G for Google Assistant.

Fingerprint Sensor

The Blackberry KEYone has a fingerprint sensor embedded in the spacebar of its keyboard. It responds fast and its placement is logical. It’s kind of cool to me and perhaps this will show us the future of keyboards on laptops.

Verdict

It is still premature to conclude if this is a good phone or not. Based on the specifications and intel gathered, the Blackberry KEYone is an above average smartphone. The specifications are average but key features balanced everything out. We will need more time to look at it once it hits the market in April.

If you are interested in getting one, you can pre-order here. The Blackberry KEYone will be selling at a retail price of SGD770. In my opinion, the price tag is reasonable.

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