REVIEWED: BlackBerry KEYOne offers convenience with buttons


Johannesburg – The BlackBerry KEYone is among one of the most unique smartphones available on the South African market. 

Its first and mostly striking feature is of course for its namesake – as the KEYOne features a full physical Qwerty keyboard. 

Despite featuring a full keyboard, the display size of the device does not suffer with its 4.5 inch screen. 

On the downside, however, the KEYOne makes it slightly awkward to watch videos on, and the screen size does not match up to flagship smartphones from rivals like the S9 and LG V30+ which now adopt borderless designs.

With just a hint of nostalgia the device’s design feels just like older, loved BlackBerry devices and increases productivity with the keyboard offering easy-to-use features, while being comfortable on the fingertips. 

BlackBerry, which is now produced by Chinese smartphone company TCL, opted to ditch its own BlackBerry operating system in favour of Android and the KEYOne features a very vanilla form of the operating system, not layered by any software which often tends to lag the device. 

The KEYOne comes with 64GB of internal storage which is upgradeable through microSD card slot.

The display features a 1 080 x 1 620 pixel resolution which complements the executive design aesthetic of the smartphone, while fitted with a 12 megapixel camera which can record video at 2 160p. 

The rear camera offers a crisp photo-experience to rival that of more popular smartphones, while the facing 8 megapixel offers great quality for selfies. 

The KEYOne features 4GB RAM, a Snapdragon 625 chipset and a decently-sized 3505mAh battery, offering just over a day of battery usage. 

BlackBerry took a bold step in developing a smartphone with a full physical Qwerty keyboard. However, the company previously said that its market research showed there was still a demand for such functionality in a smartphone. 

The feature does make the device one of the most distinguishable and coupled with the price tag, the KEYOne is good choice for those fans of the brand that once dominated the local smartphone market. 

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