BlackBerryKEY2 Review


BlackBerry is well into its 2nd comeback year as well as it has been getting a lot of focus. The Canadian company’s KEY2 is a well-refined successor to the KEYOne. It brings a new dual-camera system, which is an initial for any kind of BlackBerry. Along with this, an upgraded CPU, increased RAM, and a brand-new keyboard with enhanced responsive motion as well as responses.

The KEYOne was criticized for being too slow-moving running the Snapdragon 625. The KEY2 does not obtain a higher-end CPU, but it does have a higher-end mid-range CPU from Qualcomm – the Snapdragon 660. 6GB of RAM keeps the UI running efficiently while base inner storage space has increased to 64GB.

The general look of the phone is less curvy, so try to find even more straight lines as well as bold corners. Gone are the chrome accents in favor of matte coatings on both the metal accents as well as the key-board’s tricks are no more glossy. The hold pattern has actually been changed with a good ruby one for optimum holding comfort.

BlackBerry KEY2 specs

Presently, BlackBerry is competing in unoccupied waters. There is no other mainstream mobile phone that uses an engaging physical typing experience. For this reason, the BlackBerry kind aspect is appealing to past (as well as also present) proprietors of legacy BlackBerry gadgets. The KEY2’s keyboard is an attractive feature of the phone, and also one that BlackBerry has actually constructed to the similarity of the BlackBerry Bold 9000’s keyboard.

The BlackBerry KEY2 might not be the one to put the BlackBerry back under the traditional customer’s radar, yet it certain is something that can interest numerous customers on business venture degree.

We really did not anticipate the KEYOne’s cam to execute the means it did in our testimonial. For this reason, we have high hopes that the KEY2’s brand-new dual-camera will certainly deliver also better looking photos as well as enhanced low-light efficiency – more on that particular in the video camera area.


The KEY2 is mosting likely to be available in numerous regions and also product packaging might differ from market to market. Our North American version consisted of a SIM device, Quick Cost adapter, a USB-C cable television, and also some nice-looking earbuds with substitute ideas.

Next up, we’ll take a more detailed check out the design as well as equipment feeling of the KEY2.

Alternate gadgets

The KEY2 is up versus some truly engaging devices – specifically because it has actually been valued at $650. This coincides price as an entry level Pixel 2. Not only this, however there are likewise some value-driven gadgets that are listed below $600.

At $650, the KEY2 does one thing right: the keyboard. There is currently is no modern-day choice for a smart device with a physical key-board like the KEY2’s, include the capability to put 52 programmable shortcuts and you have yourself an engaging gadget for a multitasker.

Unfortunately (for BlackBerry), there are various other phones that are extra competitively valued which offer a superior experience in other facets of the BlackBerry, most especially the camera.

The initial mobile phone that entered your mind is the OnePlus 6. It has a lower beginning point of $530 as well as offers Oxygen OS, a minimally skinned version of Android that supplies a lot of minimally noticeable software functions and also alternatives. Furthermore, you’ll obtain the highest-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and also a snappy software experience.

More than that is the video camera, which is rather excellent. This is a cam that can conveniently be found on a $700 smartphone for much less than $550, this is not as long as we can state about KEY2’s video camera, which we assume belongs on a sub-$300 mobile phone. As far as battery life, the KEY2 will most definitely outlast the OnePlus 6.

Like the OnePlus 6, the Honor View 10 is likewise a high-value gadget that’s priced competitively. To place it just, this gadget is the Honor version of the Huawei Friend 10 Pro. It has the exact same EMUI software collection, Huawei’s high-grade Kirin 970 CPU, and also a more-than-decent electronic camera experience. EMUI is loaded with features and also modifications, however some might not like it over the KEY2 as well as OnePlus 6’s supply android appearance. The Sight 10 likewise has a kindly sized battery to match the KEY2’s endurance.

When we consider efficiency, the Galaxy Note8 enters your mind. It has the S-Pen, which is unparalleled by any type of other smart device manufacturer to now. We understand that the S-Pen isn’t a substitute for a keyboard, in fact – those who use the S-Pen most likely don’t care for the BlackBerry’s keyboard, and the other way around. The Note8 has a huge screen, optimal for taking hand-written notes, arranging as well as managing files and documents, as well as multi-window functions.

The Note8 certainly is more expensive, yet we have actually seen them take place sale commonly, particularly this far into its life process. Or else, you’ll be obtaining an exceptional video camera as well as a software application experience that’s both feature-rich and snappy.

The decision

BlackBerry was once on top of the mobile phone video game as well as it is really difficult for a brand name to revive itself as BlackBerry has actually done. The KEY2 is a compelling revival of BlackBerry’s legacy gadgets. Or else, the hardware build is excellent and the KEY2 is a wonderful successor to the KEYOne: it improved 2 significant aspects of the smartphone experience: software program efficiency (CPU), and the refinement of the key-board was both unanticipated as well as welcome.

That claimed, the KEY2 missed out on one substantial mark: the camera. We expected the camera to be the exact same or much better than the KEYOne’s, yet regardless of being a dual-camera, it in some way was inferior to the KEYOne’s. To add insult to injury, BlackBerry went on as well as increased the starting cost by $100.

We recognize that the manufacturing process of this tool is likely extra costly than a standard 2018 mobile phone: there’s a whole mechanical keyboard whose layout and manufacturing R&D most likely soaked up funds. Therefore, the greater price factor.



The KEY2 is an action in the appropriate direction for the TRICK line’s equipment and also form variable, however there is still lots of area for enhancement. Or else, we would certainly enjoy to see an additional BlackBerry with a physical key-board using a much more standard 16:9 screen as well as on-screen navigating tricks. Or probably a real follower to the BlackBerry Priv: one with a slide-up display.

As for the market of who would buy this tool, it is still quite a specific niche mobile phone. We can not think of that an apple iphone 8 or Galaxy S9 owner would certainly be rushing to go obtain a BlackBerry. The KEY2 is for whoever really misses out on the physical feeling of a key-board or for those who are still holding onto a legacy BlackBerry for the same reason simply stated.

BlackBerry’s reception has been normally great considering that it exposed the KEYOne. This is a brand name that is absolutely on the ideal course to an effective revival, though, it will be a long roadway in advance. BlackBerry needs to find out how to satisfy its heritage individuals while likewise attracting the more youthful, digital generation of smart device users. If it doesn’t, it will likely stay what it is today in 2018: a particular niche brand.

  • Technology: GSM / HSPA / LTE
  • 2G bands: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 (BBF100-6 model only)
  • 3G bands: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
  • 4G bands: LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 19(800), 20(800), 26(850), 28(700), 32(1500), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) – EU, Africa, AU (BBF100-1)
  • LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 14(700), 17(700), 20(800), 28(700), 29(700), 30(2300), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500), 66(1700/2100) – Canada, US, LATAM (BBF100-2)
  • LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 19(800), 20(800), 26(850), 28(700), 32(1500), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) – ME, APAC, India (BBF100-6)
  • LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 20(800), 26(850), 28(700), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) – China (BBF100-4)
  • Speed: HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (3CA) Cat11 600/75 Mbps
  • GPRS: Yes
  • EDGE: Yes
  • Launch
  • Announced: 2018, June
  • Status: Available. Released 2018, June
  • Body
  • Dimensions: 151.4 x 71.8 x 8.5 mm (5.96 x 2.83 x 0.33 in)
  • Weight: 168 g (5.93 oz)
  • Keyboard: QWERTY
  • Build: Aluminum frame (7000 series), plastic back
  • Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) – BBF100-6 only
  • – Capacitive touch 4-row BlackBerry keyboard
  • Display
  • Type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Size: 4.5 inches, 60.0 cm2 (~55.2% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1620 pixels, 3:2 ratio (~434 ppi density)
  • Multitouch: Yes
  • Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Platform
  • Android 8.1 (Oreo)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660 (14 nm)
  • Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260)
  • Adreno 512
  • Memory
  • Card slot: microSD, up to 256 GB
  • Internal: 64/128 GB, 6 GB RAM
  • Main Camera
  • Dual: 12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.3″, 1.28m, dual pixel PDAF
    12 MP, f/2.6, 1/3.4″, 1.0m, PDAF
  • Features: Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR, panorama
  • Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps
  • Selfie camera
  • Single: 8 MP, f/2.0, 1/4″, 1.12m
  • Video: 1080p@30fps
  • Sound
  • Alert types: Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
  • Loudspeaker: Yes
  • 3.5mm jack: Yes
  • – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Comms
  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, LE, EDR
  • Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS2
  • Yes
  • Radio: FM radio
  • 3.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
  • Features
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Messaging: SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM, BBM
  • Browser: HTML5
  • – Fast battery charging: 50% in 36 min (Quick Charge 3.0)
    – MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FlAC player
    – DivX/Xvid/MP4/H.265 player
    – Photo/video editor
    – Document viewer
  • Battery
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery
  • Misc
  • Colors: Black, Silver
  • SAR EU: 0.72 W/kg (head)     1.68 W/kg (body)    
  • Price: About 500 EUR
  • Tests
  • Performance: Basemark OS II: 2850 / Basemark OS II 2.0: 2391Basemark X: 20665
  • Display: Contrast ratio: 1572 (nominal), 3.212 (sunlight)
  • Camera: Photo / Video
  • Loudspeaker: Voice 66dB / Noise 72dB / Ring 79dB
  • Audio quality: Noise -90.7dB / Crosstalk -94.2dB
  • Battery life: Endurance rating 86h
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