Specs summary

Screen
4.5"

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

Processor
2 GHz

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

OS

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

Camera
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.

Storage
32 GB

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

Battery
3505mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3505 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are minutes (2G), 1241 minutes (3G).



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

7.5/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 47 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)


Digit

Looking to attract the audience it once had

from Digit

As a standalone device, the BlackBerry KeyOne is a good phone. However, throw competing smartphones into the mix at the same price point and it’s difficult to recommend the KeyOne.

Read full review

As a standalone device, the BlackBerry KeyOne is a good phone. However, throw competing smartphones into the mix at the same price point and it’s difficult to recommend the KeyOne.

Read full review

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Fone Arena

Targeted at the business users or those who loved physical keyboard

from Fone Arena

Overall, the KEYone offers good performance, has a really good camera, comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard and the battery life is good as well. If you can manage the small display, hybrid SIM and can spend the amount, go for it.

Read full review

Overall, the KEYone offers good performance, has a really good camera, comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard and the battery life is good as well. If you can manage the small display, hybrid SIM and can spend the amount, go for it.

Read full review

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The Indian Express

A good one and maybe the best to ever carry a BlackBerry logo on it

from The Indian Express

For those who loved a BlackBerry once and would love to go back to one, the KEYone offers a great option. It is a phone that works and is really up to the task for 2017. However, for me the biggest USP of the BlackBerry is a skill I have forgotten. Yes, I have realised that I really struggle now with a physical QWERTY keyboard and long to touch the touchscreen to get the words out. I just hope, BlackBerry’s core audience also does not suffer from this issue. Then BlackBerry might have a bit problem.

Read full review

For those who loved a BlackBerry once and would love to go back to one, the KEYone offers a great option. It is a phone that works and is really up to the task for 2017. However, for me the biggest USP of the BlackBerry is a skill I have forgotten. Yes, I have realised that I really struggle now with a physical QWERTY keyboard and long to touch the touchscreen to get the words out. I just hope, BlackBerry’s core audience also does not suffer from this issue. Then BlackBerry might have a bit problem.

Read full review

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NDTV

Awkward marriage of hardware and software

from NDTV

This is a unique smartphone and can't really be judged as an equal with others in its price class. It clearly targets a niche, but what's unknown at this point is whether the target audience is big enough. Even if there are people who like the idea or the memory of a physical keyboard, will they be willing to accept the tradeoffs that this phone demands? In a universe of sleek metal phones with borderless screens and curved glass everywhere, the KEYone is a bit of a brute and we're not sure we would like this as our primary phones, even though we can really make use of its productivity features.

Read full review

This is a unique smartphone and can't really be judged as an equal with others in its price class. It clearly targets a niche, but what's unknown at this point is whether the target audience is big enough. Even if there are people who like the idea or the memory of a physical keyboard, will they be willing to accept the tradeoffs that this phone demands? In a universe of sleek metal phones with borderless screens and curved glass everywhere, the KEYone is a bit of a brute and we're not sure we would like this as our primary phones, even though we can really make use of its productivity features.

Read full review

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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.

Read full review

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.

Read full review

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Notebookcheck

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.

Read full review

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.

Read full review

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finder.com.au

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.

Read full review

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.

Read full review

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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.

Read full review

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.

Read full review

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Recombu

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.

Read full review

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.

Read full review

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Softpedia

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!

Read full review

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!

Read full review

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Prices (Where to Buy)


Offered in Canada By:

Online Buying Options


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Resources


Manuals / User Guides Helpful Links Carriers Who Offer This Phone

Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel, Telus

Review Sources Have a question?

Visit the BlackBerry KEYone Q&A Forum to ask the community a question or help others.

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Full Specs

Overview
Release date April 28, 2017
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom, India
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
variations
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
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD 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)
Battery Capacity 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 Unknown
3G 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
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 Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
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
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallett No
PictBridge No
Camera
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
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, ASF, DivX, XviD, AVI, MKV
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
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
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): BlackBerry DTEK70, Mercury

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