Specs summary


The BlackBerry KEYone's screen is 4.5 inches with 1080 x 1620 pixels resolution.


There is a Qualcomm 8953 Snapdragon 625 Octa core 2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 7.1 Nougat operating system (OS).

12+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3505 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are 1241 minutes (3G), 659 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

It’s a business class phone, but with a premium economy pricetag.

- Matthew Hughes , The Next Web 

It won't be for everyone, granted, but for the ones the KeyOne is made for, it's quite simply masterful.

- Cam Bunton , Pocket-lint 

Reviews summary

Based on 43 reviews

What's good  

  • Excellent physical keyboard
  • Sharp display
  • All-day battery life
  • Plenty of storage
  • Decent camera
  • Attractive design

What's bad  

  • Weak low-light camera performance
  • Odd screen ratio for video watching
  • Poor gaming performance
  • Price

The BlackBerry KEYone is the company’s latest attempt to prove that physical keyboards (and their brand) aren’t dead. While their earlier efforts have impressed some, they have yet to release an option that made a mainstream splash.

Does their latest release keep enough BlackBerry around to satisfy long-time fans while providing modern touches that will lure in avid smartphone users?

The reviews are rolling in and we’ve scoured what the experts are saying to bring you this summary—Let’s get started!

Show more

The phone features a mostly metal design with a textured rear panel. Reviewers were all quick to point out that this phone looks like a BlackBerry. It’s thicker and heavier than most flagship competitors, but reviewers didn’t mind.

PC Magazine summed up opinions well, saying, “The KeyOne has a solid heft to it and a textured, grippy back. It'll stay in your hand, and it's well-balanced so when you shift your hand to focus on the keyboard, it doesn't feel like it's going to tip over.”

The only design complaints found were a few mentions of trouble with one-handed use.

Heading around front, you’ll see the obvious difference between this phone and most others. Beneath the 4.5-inch 1080-by-1620 IPS display you’ll find a 4-row physical keyboard.

Reviews of the display were mostly positive. Some found that the screen was dimmer than other phones. However, color and clarity received top marks. Pocket-Lint said, “While contrast isn't as impressive as it might be from an AMOLED panel, it's still decent. What's more, colours are natural and look good.”

But, if you’re looking to play games or watch videos, you might consider other options.

The first issue is the screen’s resolution. Due its 3:2 ratio, reviewers noted that most videos featured black bars at the top and bottom. So you won’t be able to enjoy the full-screen experience available on most phones.

For games meant to run in landscape orientation, the odd resolution can cause problems as well.

It’s clear that BlackBerry means the phone to be a productivity and communications tool—not a gaming and entertainment platform. This shows as well in their choice of processor. While the 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor and 3GB of RAM offered reviewers smooth use in everyday apps, emails or web browsing, performance in games was questionable.

PC Magazine said, “This is clearly not a gaming phone; it's a messaging phone.” However, if you don’t need high-end performance, Pocket-Lint noted, “For the most part, the KeyOne is a relatively lag- and stutter-free experience.”

The phone ships with Android 7.1 Nougat and 32GB of internal storage. If you need more space, support for microSD cards makes it easy and affordable to add up to 256GB of storage.

To keep things running long into the night, BlackBerry went with a 3,505mAh battery. Reviewers had zero complaints about battery endurance. Mashable said, “I easily made it through a day and half and sometimes almost two days while doing all the things I'd normally do on my iPhone.” Should you find yourself low on power, QuickCharge 3.0 support offers an 80% top-off in just over 30 minutes.

One of the weakest points of past BlackBerry models is the camera. Reviews show they’ve improved things with the KEYone. The phone includes a 12MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus and an 8MP front-facing shooter for selfies. Reviews for both are good in adequate lighting. But, as with many smartphones, as the light fades, so does quality.

9to5Google summed up camera opinions well, saying, “Shots in less-than-ideal lighting have lots of digital noise and the colors don’t pop as much. It’s certainly the best camera on a BlackBerry, but it’s not the best camera you can buy today.”

If you’re considering a BlackBerry, you’re probably looking for a physical keyboard. And reviews for this one are great. They’ve included gesture based controls that allow you to use the keyboard as a track pad. There's also per-key shortcuts to put virtually anything on your phone a button press away. There’s even a fingerprint scanner in the space bar that reviewers loved. The only reviews that didn’t like the keyboard didn’t like physical keyboards in general.

Overall, the biggest complaint about the phone is its price. While you get a premium look and feel with the KEYone, performance is closer to the mid-tier market. Despite this, you’re paying a flagship price.

PC Magazine summed up opinions well, saying, “What you think about the KeyOne rides entirely on something that can't be measured through tests or benchmarks: It's whether you've moved on from hardware keyboards.”

Reviews (7.5/10 Avg. rating)

The Wirecutter

Keyboard-packing workhorse

from The Wirecutter
The BlackBerry KEYone is the only modern Android phone with a physical keyboard. It offers excellent build quality, better battery life than the Pixel or the Galaxy S8, and a clean version of Android with added BlackBerry features. The KEYone isn’t as fast as the Pixel or the S8, and the price is a little high considering the midrange specs, but this is the keyboard-bearing phone some people have been waiting for. It’s the only real option if that’s what you want... Full review

A good, but expensive speciality for users who enjoy working with a physical keyboard

from Notebookcheck
It is good to finally have a new model with a physical keyboard on the market again. The extensive security features and decent battery runtime are the biggest advantages of the BlackBerry KEYone. Others are its bright screen and the many and well-functioning input options including a physical keyboard with additional functions... Full review

The best BlackBerry in years

from finder.com.au
The BlackBerry KEYone is a great option for diehard keyboard-using fans of the platform, but you're not exactly awash with keyboard-toting options. In the wider Android sphere at this price point you're entirely spoilt for better choices... Full review
Beta News

A trip down memory lane, but not a fantastic smartphone

from Beta News
There's no denying that the BlackBerry KEYone is the company's most advanced smartphone to date -- but it still feels like it's lacking something. In an age where smartphone manufacturers are constantly battling to shave off that extra millimeter to ensure a smooth and slimline build, the KEYone bulky design makes it stand out for all the wrong reasons. The device itself is enjoyable to use -- particularly if you're a fan of the physical keyboard -- but there are a few too many fiddly features and quirks that prevent us giving the KEYone a high score... Full review

Well-designed keyboard, great battery life

from Recombu
This handset boasts plenty of great features, all wrapped up in a smart business-like frame. However, many similarly-priced rivals boast better performance and more compact design, as well as smarter camera tech. Which means your choice to purchase a KEYOne will rest on two unique features. The main selling point is that physical keyboard, something no other phone manufacturer right now offers. We also love the BB tweaks to Android, including the excellent Hub app and nifty shortcuts... Full review

Once more unto the breach

from Softpedia
So here’s the BlackBerry status quo: if you want to buy one of their smartphones, you get to choose between bland Alcatel clones with full touch displays (DTEK50, DTEK60) or a cool-looking, fingerprint-reading, solid-built device incapacitated by a cut-off display (KEYone). It’s a real pity, because the world needs more Android devices with bloatware-free system software, timely security updates, design that stands out and excellent battery life. But not physical keyboards!.. Full review
IT Pro

Fails to switch on the charm

from IT Pro
The BlackBerry Keyone showed signs of promise, but ultimately its positive points just can't overcome the underpowered hardware and design compromise that plague it. Unless you're dead-set on having a physical keyboard, the Keyone isn;t really worth your time... Full review
Know Your Mobile

Excellent design, wonderful keyboard

from Know Your Mobile
A lot of people won't like this phone. Most will simply write it off as yet another failure from BlackBerry, a company still clinging to QWERTY keyboards and “weird” notions about “security”… But they’re wrong. This phone is unique, unusual, powerful and it has a brilliant camera and excellent user experience. I had an absolute blast testing this phone, way more than I did when using the LG G6, and when I’d finished testing it I wanted to to carry on using it... Full review
Canadian Reviewer

Outstanding build and industrial design

from Canadian Reviewer
TCL Communications has managed to resurrect many of the features and design touches that have BlackBerry devices legendary messaging smartphones. The ability to run millions of Android applications natively makes this one of the most versatile and productive devices in the market right now. While some may see the BlackBerry Mobile KEYone as a nostalgia play catering to BlackBerry loyalists, this is a smartphone that will impress even new users looking for a solid, serious, and no-nonsense device that’s designed for business. ­­­­.. Full review

Make or break

from GSMArena
If you are looking for a smartphone that will multitask like a beast and play high frame-rate games, then this is not the device for you. This phone is more for the person who barely has time to waste on a smartphone or carries a separate phone for work. It's for the person who needs to get stuff done and is always on the move, like event planners, real estate agents, or anyone else working out on the field... Full review

Darn, there are no reviews yet for this phone.

Prices (Where to Buy)

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Full Specs

Release date April 28, 2017
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom, India
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
SIM Card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 7.1 Nougat

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm 8953 Snapdragon 625 Octa core 2 GHz
Internal Flash Memory
32 GB
Digital compass Yes
FlightMode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.47 W/kg
Body: 1.31 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & Battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3505 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time 738 minutes
Wi-Fi Surfing Time 659 minutes
3G Surfing Time Unknown
4G Surfing Time Unknown
Talk Time Up to:
1241 minutes (3G)
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.7 x 7.1 x 0.9 cm
(5.8 x 2.8 x 0.4 in)
Weight 180 grams
(6.4 ounces)
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged Design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1620 pixels
Pixel Density 433 pixels
Size 4.5 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type QWERTY
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical Keyboard Yes
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad / Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browsing Type HTML, HTML 5
Browser Google Chrome
Javascript Yes
Flash No
Email Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging Services SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Expansion Slots Yes
Expansion Slots Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV-out No
DLNA Support No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Main Camera  
Aperture ƒ/2
Resolution 12+ megapixels
Dual Lens No
Zoom 4x digital
Flash Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR
Video Recording Formats MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera  
Resolution 8+ megapixels
Zoom Yes
Additional Front Camera Info Image stabilization, Wide Selfie
Video Recording Parameters Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, AMR-WB, WMA Pro, WAV, QCP, OGG, AMR-NB
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, ASF, DivX, XviD, AVI, MKV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stopwatch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
Notepad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps No
Additional Comments Other Names (AKA): BlackBerry DTEK70, Mercury

Related Links BlackBerry KEYone Manual (PDF)
BlackBerry KEYone Reviews
Where to buy BlackBerry KEYone
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