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BlackBerry KEY2 Review: It Means Business

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DESIGN

The BlackBerry KEY2 is one of the unique designed smartphones; it’s a classic candy bar style with a 4.5-inch IPS touchscreen display at the top and a physical smart intelligent QWERTY keyboard at the bottom. The physical keyboard offers swipe gestures along with fingerprint sensor over the top of spacebar key. On the back, the device features a rubberized texture for a grip. Talking about the keyboard, there are total 35 keys including a new shortcut key. It is by far the most intelligent way to access your favourite app. The back, home and the menu buttons are situated above the keyboard, which means you have to move your thumb above the keyboard to navigate. Underneath the volume rocker on the right-hand side is a button that does nothing out of the box. BlackBerry calls this the “convenience key” and the idea is that you can bind it to any app according to your needs.

PERFORMANCE

Inside the BlackBerry KEY2 is a Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 660 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The internal storage can be further expanded by up to 256GB via a microSD card. The new chip has an octa-core processor along with Adreno 512 GPU, both of them offer blazing fast performance and smooth multitasking. Gaming on the KEY2 is not enjoyable due to the smaller screen and a physical keyboard. The BlackBerry KEY2 comes with 3500mAh battery which is similar to the previous gen BlackBerry KEYone, but with low-power Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, it does work throughout the busy day without any trouble. There is Quick Charge 3.0 support, allowing you to recharge the battery from empty to full in an hour.

The software in the BlackBerry KEY2 is based on the latest Android 8.1 Oreo without any heavy customization. BlackBerry has pre-installed their own apps including BlackBerry Hub, an app that consists of all your communications platform including email, BBM messages, SMS text messages, phone calls, social media accounts and calendar events. There is an app named Privacy shade that creates a peephole, so you can read sensitive documents in public without your neighbours peeking. BlackBerry is known for its security and KEY2 does offer an extra layer of security on the top of Android security.

CAMERA

For the first time, BlackBerry has equipped the KEY2 with dual 12MP rear cameras where camera quality is not a major concern for most business customers. Capturing from rear camera offer sharp, clear pictures including bokeh effect. The other camera is a telephoto lens that enables 2X optical zoom. On the front, the 8MP camera does struggle to capture clear pictures, but it often ends up in a blurry photo.

VERDICT

With the upgraded processor paired with 6GB RAM, the device does stands tall against the other flagship devices. However, the main USP of the device is the physical intelligent keyboard and the state of the BlackBerry security.

SPECS:

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
  • Display: 5.5-inches QHD display (1440×2560 pixels)
  • Storage: 64GB ROM/6GB RAM
  • Rear Camera: 12MP + 12MP
  • Front Camera:  8MP
  • OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Battery: 3500mAh with Quick charge 3.0 support

PRICE: Rs. 42,990/-

RATING: 85/100

 

The above review is based on one week of testing, but the smartphones eventually get a software update that improves device overall performance and also with data and usage actual performance is known. The BlackBerry KEY2 will be going through our long-term testing and we will update you with the performance of the device next month. Stay tuned to thetechy.com or updated monthly review update

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