The Canadian company, Blackberry is trying to make a comeback in the smartphone market in India. After Nokia, Blackberry has come out with a new android smartphone in a partnership with Optiemus Infracom. The smartphone is named as Blackberry KEYone. While other brands have moved on to the on-screen keyboard, KEYone offers a 4.5 inch touch screen and brings back the physical QWERTY keypad below that. The device launched in India on 1st of August, 2017. It is available exclusively on Amazon at the price tag of Rs. 39,990.
The KEYone seems to be the design scheme built by combining the elements of the Priv and the newer device DTEK60. The Priv has a slide-out “Smart” keypad and the DTEK60 was a pure touch screen device. Also, we can say that the KEYone looks more like a stretched-out Blackberry Passport. The aluminium chassis and the black textured back cover makes more of a retro feel to it. The keypad situated below the screen works smoothly. Overall, KEYone is a decent looking smartphone.
It sports a 4.5 inch display with a resolution of 1080 x 1620 pixels and 433 PPI. The icons and the color in this display turn out to be crisp and sharp. The IPS panel offers clean whites and deep blacks, being not as inky as the AMOLED screens. The only tiff that I feel this device is that the viewing angles aren’t as wide as the KEYone’s price bracket. Though, all of might have different opinions on that matter.
The KEYone is clocked at 2.0 GHz Octa-Core processor with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 and Adreno 506. The only problem I feel is that in such price tag Blackberry should have offered an 8-series CPU. Otherwise, performance-wise Snapdragon 625 is well balanced in power efficiency and overall performance. The KEYone scored 841 in the gaming performance during the 3D Mark’s Slingshot benchmark test. The score is considerably low as compared to that of the OnePlus 3T which has a score of 2646 and the P10 of 2604. Moreover, the device is equipped with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card. It runs on the latest Android 7.1 Nougat and also packs various custom features by Blackberry. One of the custom features includes the Blackberry Hub which replaces the main SMS app and provides a single-pane of glass for users to view and manage incoming messages and notifications. This feature definitely saves time as it makes the easy and quick to stay on top of your messages without having multiples apps opened already.
Also, the improved security features will pull the interest of the businessmen. The KEYone should get protected against the newly discovered malware faster than any other device as Blackberry has a more aggressive patching system then Android. The DTEK feature is one of the best. It rates as to how secure your device is via a sliding arrow icon. This icon offers you a breakdown of possible security vulnerabilities.
The camera of the KEYone features a 12 MP camera at the rear with dual LED flash and an 8MP shooter in the front. The rear camera turns out to be great than expected. The Sony IMX378 sensor is used here but is not implemented so well as that on the Pixel, the best camera smartphone around. The picture quality matches with that of the OnePlus 3T but isn’t equal to the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 7. The images turn out to be sharp and realistic in regular lighting conditions. The autofocus is good and fast. You can also change the image’s aspect ratio which is by default 3:2 and the white balance as well. Low-light snaps also look pretty good and far from terrible. Also, 4K recording at 30 fps is supported, though 32 GB of storage isn’t sufficient for that. Similarly, the front camera is good enough for clicking edible selfies, video calls, etc.
The KEYone powers a 3505 mAH Li-Po non-removable battery. It has the long-lasting batteries which give good battery backup. The battery life last for about 2 days from a single charge at a regular use. At 70% brightness, watching video made the phone loose 7-9% of battery per hour, which is great. Most of the devices out there loose 10-15% of their juice in the same test. Whereas, the KEYone lost 10-18% of battery while gaming for one hour.
With the KEYone, Blackberry is all set to make a comeback in the smartphone market. Also, the combination of touch screen and a physical keypad makes it a solid choice. The price tag seems to be a major issue with this one. Otherwise, it’s a great device to look forward to.