Now that I’ve owned the BlackBerry KEYone for two months, I thought it was time to write a complete review of it. I think the fact that I haven’t switched to a new phone yet is a very good sign!
If you haven’t noticed, this phone has an actual, real, physical keyboard. Yeah, with keys. There’s just something about a physical keyboard that I can’t help but love, and this keyboard is so new and fresh that it almost deserves its own blog post! Not only is it a great BlackBerry keyboard, but it’s also touch sensitive. This means you can use it to scroll on apps or websites, or swipe backwards to delete words as you’re typing. The space bar even has a fingerprint sensor built in that can unlock your phone, or give you access to password protected apps! There’s not a whole lot that this keyboard can’t do.
While I’ve owned quite a few BlackBerrys with the classic keyboard, and this one doesn’t feel too far off. The keys feel sturdy without making too much noise when typing in a quiet place (like meetings). I’ve heard complaints about missing the classic trackpad/back/home buttons, but the Android buttons combined with the touch sensitive keyboard have done a great job replacing them. It certainly does a better job and feels more natural than the Q10 (as much as I loved that device). When the cursor is in a text box, you can double tap the keyboard to turn the cursor into an arrow, so you can easily swipe to the exact part of the word you want to edit. The permanent Android buttons on the bottom of the screen do exactly what they need to to let you easily go back, switch apps, and get to your home screen.
Next comes the battery life, which is as you would expect from a BlackBerry…amazing. In two months, I’ve yet to completely drain it, or even had the need to recharge during the day. Normally by the time I go to bed, I still have around 40% left. The few times I’ve forgotten to charge it at night, I’ve made it through the entire next day as well. This seems like it doesn’t say much about my usage, but if you follow me on any social media, you’ll know I’m online a lot.
Now, I couldn’t do a proper KEYone review without mentioning Android. I’ve used Android in the past, but only for short bursts of time. Having this BlackBerry run Android gave me a chance to get a deeper dive into it, and I’m honestly surprised by how much I like it! I really enjoy having the ability to change almost everything, from adding custom ringtones, to switching the default SMS app, to adding widgets and other useful features to my homescreen(s). Plus, I’ve come to realize that there are so many Android features that compliment the BlackBerry very well. One of my favorites that I actually just learned about, is split screen. If you press the square button, press and hold an app and drag it to the very top, your screen divides in two. This has an almost unlimited number of uses, but personally, I use it most to copy information from one document to another. You can also double tap the square button to switch between apps quickly, without needing to go through the tiles. If you want even more awesome tricks, CrackBerry has an entire article about it.
This might be really shocking news, but I switch phones a lot, so it was fair for some of you to ask what I would be replacing the KEYone with. Right now, I’m totally happy with this phone! I’m definitely excited to see what BlackBerry releases in the future, and in the meantime I only wish my KEYone was…rose gold!
If you’ve tried the new DroidBerrys, what are your thoughts? If you haven’t tried them yet, what’s holding you back?