blackberry is back with their 2017 entry that doesn’t shy away from its roots and thus does not shy away from its true identity the result is a phone that simply just gets dot it’s Joshua Vergara what’s going on everybody and this is the productivity focused keyboard toting blackberry key you want like where he returns to his roots with the design that doesn’t shy away from the signature keyboard compared to the more recent fully touchscreen detect devices and the BlackBerry Prive which literally slid over the keyboard to hide it the keyboard is the key feature of the key one many of the features of this new BlackBerry four go subtlety instead proudly showing its capabilities the camera packages on the front and back are quite large and this aluminum frame proudly shows all of the different buttons including the new convenience key that accompanies the power button and the volume rocker the backing is of a rubberized plastic material already putting this phone in a different playing field than the glass toting slippery phones that we have in the flagship space and the result is a phone that can fit under a couple of particular descriptors industrial or business oriented and when compared to its totally touchscreen competitors we found ourselves pretty enamored with the look and feel of this brick like key one now the rear material and the thicker body actually make the handling pretty easy it sits comfortably in the hand and it’s easy to grip with the only main gripe we have with it being the notification drop-down it’s just kind of hard to really reach it at the top a few keyboard gestures allow for easier one-handed usage for example swiping up and down in order to look at pretty much any application it’s nice to have one’s finger out of the way so that I’m able to really look at Instagram very easily however a one-handed usage is not really the focus of this phone as it has a physical keyboard that pretty much encourages the pinky balancing act now I had a little bit of trouble figuring out what my convenience key would be by Jimmy westenberg who helps write the full review at andrew authority comm did the brilliant move of putting the Google Voice Search as his convenience Keith and since then I have done the same and finally the fingerprint reader is embedded in a place that makes an incredible amount of sense for blackberry the spacebar a couple of LEDs even pulse to show when it can be used and unlocking the devices as easy as just resting on there because pressing the spacebar actually doesn’t do anything when the phone is in standby the key one is the only device that looks and feels like it does in the flagship space managing to find the best middle ground for every feature that is splayed across its body we applaud blackberry for putting some real thought into the key one without going too far in certain aspects one of those aspects is the display in order to accommodate the keyboard and to take up all of that space on the body the screen has to become a 3 by 2 ratio at 1080p resolution it’s going to look very different from the 18 by 9 like aspect ratio screens of 2017 that said however it’s still a very functional screen and it doesn’t do any worse than any other flagship device despite it not being quad HD resolution the IPS display still does a good job of showing off youtube video sling TV in my case and even works well when it comes to gaming however one thing we notice about this display is even at its lowest level the screen is still a little bit too bright in dark conditions and in broad daylight even the highest setting kind of keeps it from being fully visible you might end up noticing in this review that there’s a bit of a trend with the key 1 while the display and some other aspects of the phone are not going to be really above average or even on par with some of the flagships that you’re seeing in 2017 it still does just enough so that you’ll be able to enjoy the device and get your stuff done and that trend will continue in performance the spec sheet makes this phone seem far from the flagships that you might be comparing it to the Snapdragon 625 the adrenal 506 and 3 gigabytes of RAM are all at least one step back from basically any other high profile phone it should come as no surprise then that this phone is not meant to be a end-all be-all powerhouse and this is probably mostly due to the three gigabytes of RAM it gets filled up pretty easily and I found myself having to do clear-all maintenance as I call it basically going into the recent apps screen and remembering to clear all of the applications before I opened up let’s say a game or even use the phone with Android auto which did hang a little bit when the RAM was filled up so hardcore gamers and avid media consumers probably won’t have the best time with the BlackBerry key one however if you’re looking for productivity and for businesslike tasks to be the main part of the key one then the phone actually moves swimmingly going into the hub and looking at emails or just sponding to messages and even swiping over the productivity tab all provide an experience that is seamless and incredibly smooth and really just gets the job done we had no issues with call quality on the t-mobile network even having a really good audio experience because there’s a noise cancelling microphone on here and anybody that I called said that I sounded clear and very crisp four-and-a-half hours of screen on time was pretty common when it came to our usage with the q1 however on some occasions I actually found myself getting six hours of SOT now of course there is a 1080p display on here and it’s a smaller screen compared to many of its competitors however it’s still one of the better parts of this phone and it’s easy to top off the battery because qc3 is available in the USB type-c port down here even better blackberry added in a boost mode plug in the phone and some of the functions and also processing power will be dialed down allowing for the phone to find the fastest possible charging time blackberry Veterans of the bold or even the classic will feel right at home here but other users might need a little bit of time to get past the learning curve pressing down with force on tactile keys takes a little bit of getting used to especially for those that are used to swiping on touchscreens or even touch typing with keyboards like flexi if you want a swipeable keyboard then you can always put one on the screen but then you’re going to lose precious screen real estate indeed the workflow that Blackberry is kind of touting here is typing on the physical keyboard and then resorting to voice if you need it even the currency key that has a speaker icon on it has basically just one function turning on the loudspeaker during calls you can imagine that if you’re on a call and you need to look something up you press that button and then you’re already on the keyboard so you continue typing and searching and finding the thing that you need now a lot of BlackBerry users were probably trying to figure out what shortcuts they’re going to put on their keyboard 52 shortcuts – for every letter on the QWERTY keyboard are available for long presses or short presses there is one caveat however you have to use the BlackBerry launcher in order to take advantage of this functionality the reason is because the BlackBerry launcher ways for the input and then opens the corresponding app or shortcut using a third-party launcher will open up the device search which is an extra step to the shortcut but as we’ll explain later the BlackBerry software is actually really nice to use so it may not be that much of an issue if you feel the same way with a little bit of imagination there are many possibilities to the key one keyboard me in particular I ended up using the keyboard for mapping controls for my favorite games in my favorite emulators I was able to play the PSP without a lot of the face buttons being on the screen and they’re now mapped to the keyboard and out of the way go deep into the keyboard settings and you’ll find the ability to change the right shift key to a control key of sorts allowing you to do control a control C control V for copying and pasting all over the place and you can even use the physical keyboard swiping along it in order to bring up and down the exposure compensation in the camera while using the spacebar as a shutter button as I said there’s a little bit of a learning curve with this keyboard and if you are one of those people that really wants to type super fast on your phone then it might take a little bit of time to get used to however once you get past that learning curve there’s so much fun to be had on this phone and you’ll be able to discover new things that you can do with the phone in an easier way because you have all of these inputs here on the bottom of the phone blackberry take steps from some reputable smartphone cameras to make one that is on par with typical needs while it’s not an amazing shooter it keeps from being below average 12 megapixels at 1.5 5 micron sizes and f/2 Plano aperture the main issue that we have with this camera is how it deals with sharpness and detail everything seems a little bit soft once you zoom into the photo even if at first glance it’s still pretty good to use on social media where we do enjoy the camera experiences and self-portraits the front-facing camera gets a nice bump up to 8 megapixels which is actually more than many other cameras out there that support 5 megapixels the results are slightly sharper selfie photos which can be used in pretty much any situation but blackberry makes to the point that this could be a great video conferencing camera another main gripe that we have is the lack of optical image stabilization so in low-light even if it is able to expose the photo properly it might end up being a bit blurry because without stabilization that slower shutter speed could lead to more motion blur we don’t think that the camera is terrible in any particular regard but like the display and like performance it just doesn’t offer as much as pretty much any other high-end device we’ve seen in 2017 don’t expect it to be above and beyond but you can still expect it to get the job done and finally the experience that ties all of this together the software BlackBerry has done a lot to add its own identity to Android over the last couple of years and it all begins with the launcher the only place that it really clutters things is in the app drawer where even the shortcuts tab or the widget tab just seems a big antiquated compared to current nougat additions but one thing we really do like about it is the ability to have quick pop-up widgets by swiping up on any of the different applications that have widgets installed you’ll be able to have a small pop-up version of it rather than needing to put it on your home screen but really it’s just a gateway to all of the productivity apps the BlackBerry hub being the place where it all comes together it’s a catch-all for emails and messages and it pulls from different messaging apps even WeChat however when it comes to these messaging apps for the most part you’re just looking at the notifications selecting any of them will just open the original app emails are a better time on the hub where you get a number of tools to be able to richly format your responses or flag them for later usage and of course if you swipe down you’ll be able to take a look at your next upcoming calendar entries this same functionality has been brought to a Productivity tab which is a little bit like the edge view X in the Samsung Galaxy devices where you swipe from the side and you’ll get a quick glance at your emails your context if you need to call anybody upcoming calendar entries and also an apparatus for the task manager and in order to keep all this secure blackberry have included DTEC essentially a checklist showing you if all of the different security options have been turned on however there’s also a app and permissions area that will allow you to see what permissions and what things each application is actually accessing and though there might be some stumbling blocks and the overall experience of the BlackBerry key one what is great about this phone is that it knows exactly what it sets out to do and it actually does it very well while it might not be the best phone for literally everybody for those of you that actually want to get your stuff done well for $549 this might be the phone that you’ve been waiting for and if you’ve been looking for something different well this is definitely a phone you should be checking out there are a lot of users out there that might scoff at the BlackBerry key one or have blackberry in general but those might be the same users that ended up saying recently that smartphones are starting to get boring we have nothing but touch screens now and everything is a black slab and while those are very valid arguments you should also remember that BlackBerry has decided to buck that trend this is a phone that dares to be different and even if it’s not perfect it is still an enjoyable device we don’t recommend it for literally everybody but if you’ve been waiting for something different and something that just simply gets done well the blackberry q10 that you’ve been waiting for and here we are in 2017 and we can’t wait to see what they bring next as always thank you guys very much for watching and I hope you enjoyed this review of the BlackBerry key one if you’re a blackberry fan then this might be the fun that you’ve been waiting for but if you’ve also thought that touchscreen phones have started to become a little bit cookie cutter or maybe morning then you’ve also been waiting for a phone like this keep it tuned to Android authority for even more about this phone and even more across the flagships that we have this year in 2017 we’re only halfway through the year so there’s a lot to look forward to keep it tuned to Android thority for that and even more head on over to Android or decom for all of the best written content and then subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already because we are your source for all things Android
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