BlackBerry KEYone :: Coming up

by Volker Weber

Merc custom angle

Last week I wrote about BlackBerry Godot, since the KEYone seemed to be stuck somewhere. Well, this seems to have irritated a few people, and after some emails they are now shipping a device to my door. It is taking a little bit longer than normal, because they're shipping from France, through the French Post, which has been sitting on the package since Friday, but eventually it is going to show up here. Hint: FedEx and UPS can get this done overnight.

This does not really matter though, because a lot of time has passed since I first laid my hands on an early production model as early as last year. And I'm not really sure, if this is an end or a new beginning. This particular smartphone is the first device handled by a new entity that I call BlackBerry Mobile. If you go to the BlackBerry store, you will find that everything but DTEK50 and DTEK60 is gone, and both of those are on sale. BlackBerry is now a software company and they do not want to talk about handsets. BlackBerry Mobile only wants to talk about the new device. I have been trying to get to the bottom of the Nougat situation for the old phones, and I'm not going to give up.

This handover of responsibility is not being executed well. The new company has a new agency, and that is why I fell through the cracks. But I'm not going to hold this against them. And there is a reason: the KEYone is the first real BlackBerry that I have seen in a long time. The last one was the Classic, and the one before that was the Passport. All the other smartphones felt alien to me. A BlackBerry needs a keyboard with those metal frets. BlackBerry has not had much luck with with sliders or touchscreen phones. There are two exceptions: both the DTEK50 and the older LEAP were selling well, simply because they were cheap for enterprise use.

KEYone is different. It wants to please people who get shit done. It's not a toy, it's a tool. You can customize the hell out of it, until everything you do is just a keystroke away. It is poised to run all day with the screen on, and you can handle it while walking with a briefcase in your other hand. I'm going to give it a serious workout.


Maybe this might be the next phone for me, but I am happy with the Passport for now, but the capabilities of this phone is attractive.

Richard Moy, 2017-05-15

Please don't be mad at me, Volker. But this is what came to mind when reading your post: "Amateur hour is over". There you have it, I had to say it :-)

Markus Dierker, 2017-05-15

Are you refering to the Playbook slogan?

Volker Weber, 2017-05-16

Regarding Nougat and In Market Android Devices: Last week I had a talk with a German Blackberry Manager. He told me that TCL Management will decide until end of may which devices will get an upgrade and at which timeframe.
For me these are just stalling tactics and they are simply avoiding to tell customers the truth.
Right now I would agree, that at least the Priv will fall through the cracks, since this device is old Blackberry and not TCL design.

Christoph Spitz, 2017-05-16

Here is where I am: As much as I like(d) BlackBerry I will say goodbye to BB 10 and my Z30 later this year. The biggest challenge for me right now is that I neither like the Android software, particularly not on Samsung (my wife has Marshmallow on a Galaxy) nor the Apple hardware. I never liked the huge bezels on the iPhone but now the 7+ (not to mention the KeyOne …) looks almost comical next to a Galaxy S8. With the latter in your hand it feels like you are holding the future and I would immediately buy it if it weren’t for the software. So all my hope lies in a new bezel-less design by the new iPhone in fall. Fingers crossed.

Jochen Kattoll, 2017-05-16

ich weiß, du hast das mehrfach behandelt, aber mich interessiert tatsächlich die Frage, wie sicher das Telefon im vergleich zu anderen Androiden ist. Von Microsoft kommt im Moment nix und vermutlich auch nie wieder mit ausreichend Supprt und Apps und ich will kein iPhone. Die Blackberrys sind dabei schon eine Weile die Geräte, die ich im Auge habe, weil sie eben keine Spielzeuge sind und den Haken am Android, die extreme Offenheit, augenscheinlich im Blick haben.

Kai Schmalenbach, 2017-05-16

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