Blackberry still evokes a lot of fond memories for Indian smartphone users. And Blackberry is back again; this time with a 4.5-inch Android phone with, yes, a physical keyboard.
Bare specifications and features
In terms of mere specifications, the phone measures 149.1 x 72.4 x 9.4 mm and weighs a good 180 grams. The display screen is a capacitive IPS LCD one offering a resolution of 1080x1620pixels and a pixel density of 433 and it is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 4; these must be considered decent by any standard.
A Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 octa-core chipset clocking 2.0GHz speed and a GPU Adreno 506 also beefs up the performance of the BlackBerry KEYone. The phone comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB memory and a microSD card can take the storage up to 256GB.
The OS is the latest Android Nougat Version 7.1.1 with a seamless integration with the Hub that BlackBerry devices are already popular for.
The camera setup has a 12MP main camera and the front selfie camera is an 8MP one. The overall imaging department has been strengthened with many features and facilities, including video recording, to make the experience worthwhile for the users.
A non-removable 3505mAh battery with fast charging almost rounds up the specifications of BlackBerry KEYone. There is the fingerprint sensor in the front as well. The phone is being released only in one colour, Black.
Highlights of performance review
Most analysts who got to test the new BlackBerry KEYone seem to like it for its performance. The phone has the muscle, the speed and more than anything else the battery life seems to impress everyone. The processing power and the battery size appear to give the phone a lot of support while performing. The placement of the fingerprint sensor in the front also has appealed to many people who detest this at the back which most phones have been released with. The very speed with which the phone can be unlocked is a huge plus for this latest Android offering from BlackBerry.
With the battery said to be lasting even up to two days for some people and the fact that the phone works very well while handling apps even several at a time, some analysts are ready to call the phone a workhorse.
But a large part of the review and discussions on the phone has to do with the 4-row, backlit physical keyboard that the KEYone sports. The only argument here is whether BlackBerry should have surrendered display space for accommodating the keyboard. The real toss-up will be between those who prefer larger real estate on their smartphones for watching videos or paying games and those who feel comfortable using the physical keyboard to type out messages and so on. The jury may still be out on that and only the coming few weeks will tell what kind of actual ground level reception the BlackBerry KEYone gets, with the buyers and users.
With regard to the release dates, the phone will start shipping to the US and Canada markets first by around the 31st May. The price indicated is $549 (unbundled). Indian customers may have to wait a little longer.