BlackBerry KEYone :: It just works

by Volker Weber

IMG 9841

Let's cut right to the chase: there is no phone that can replace my iPhone. I am too entangled in the Apple net with the Watch, my #dontbreakthechain program, the AirPods and what not. If all of that wasn't the case, this KEYone is the phone I wanted. I have been using it as my #1 phone for a couple of days and I am oh so pleased. Yes, you read that right. I put my main SIM into the KEYone and left the iPhone at home to sync my activity data from the Watch. The Watch did not have notification but it still tracked my activity level and served as a ... watch.

You will find a ton of reviews with the same tone. The worst one was from Wired, the best one from MKBHD. Go watch it and come back. Great phone, but not really for the reviewer, because he feels it is from the past. And in a way, only from the good past.

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First of all, I like the design. It has elements of BlackBerry, Porsche Design, and a bit of Apple at the bottom. Remember the Passport Silver Edition that was supposed to be the next Porsche Design before they pulled the plug and went with Huawei? This would have been a $1500 device. To me the KEYone also feels like a ridiculously overpriced VIP phone, only that it's more affordable. It's built like a tank and I don't even cosider putting it in a case.

The Android experience is almost pure Google with the addition of the BlackBerry Hub+ Suite on top of the hardened platform. What impresses me most is the power management. I am unable to run it down in a 24h day of heavy use -- which does not include games or watching Netflix -- and then it recharges in an hour. That's good. I also love the camera with its manual controls. Sée at the top AF 9cm, 1/33s, ISO 640, WB 4660 K.

The KEYone rewards you for your tinkering. You can set a multi-language keyboard which automatically suggests words in your current language without having to switch languages around. You can assign shotcuts to the keys, which will launch programs, dial phone numbers or message people. The more time you invest, the more productive you get.

This is an exeptional device. It defies fashion, it's solid and dependable. And it's not yet another all-glass slate.

Addendum: I have two issues to resolve:

  1. One of the mcrophones appear to be broken. When I record video, I can only hear the right channel. When I attempt video calls, I am not sending audio.
  2. There is a considerable lag between pressing the shutter button and the frame being recorded. I will play with the focus settings.


It's that I don't really like android, but this would be a device for me. Functional keyboard and battery life sounds good too!

Sticking to the i* stuff for now, but this actually might be an option for the future.

Dennis van Remortel, 2017-05-19

Yep. Blackberry is the only reason I'm using an Android device.
Most of the above holds for the PRIV I own, though it is of course by far not as robust as the KeyONE. I really love the hardware keyboard's multilinguality, in particular the translit cyrillic input engine.

Martin Dietze, 2017-05-19

My wife and i are using the KEYone since tuesday and we both love it! My wife comes from the Blackberry Classic and the change from OS10 to Android was no problem for her - WAF test passed... ;-)

Ralph Hammann, 2017-05-19

We were all Blackberry devices, my small company, my family, my close group of friends. Different iterations...7, 10, Android. Hated everything else with passion.

Now we are all iPhones. We are all amazed how the iPhone simply just works. Without the need of o physical keyboard.

I am still visiting Crackberry forums once a week, but hey, BlackBerry is just a nice memory. So long!

Horia Stanescu, 2017-05-19

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