Blackberry Keyone Review: Retro is “in”

-The mobile market in all actuality is comprised of two giants, two companies that tower over all others. You know of who I am referring to. Samsung and Apple dominate the American market. Once giants in thier time, BlackBerry has become synonomys with “retro” due in part to the physical QWERTY keyboard adorning their well built hardware. Hardware that never seems to die. Luckily for them retro seems to be in, I came to win battle me that’s a sin. <—– music reference. 

-Moving right along, I would like to start by getting this out first… do not get this phone if you love watching YouTube or Netflix on your phone. This is not a media consumption device really. More on why you should get this phone a little later.

Disclaimer, this entire review was typed on the BlackBerry Keyone & no keyboards were hurt in the making of this blog. 

-I want to kick this thing off by saying I love this phone and it’s novel little keyboard. If you consider yourself a phone nerd or geek or even connoisseur, as the case may be, then I can honestly recommend you buy this phone. Even with its annoyances and compromises it is a PhabletGuru “two thumbs up”. 

Retail packaging shown above and all other pictures taken with the LG V20

-There is an ironic aspect of my like for this phone because it’s not a phablet. Quite the opposite in fact the screen is rather small by today’s standards. This is why I say the Keyone is not for YouTube or Netflix. This latest BlackBerry phone has a 4.5 inch full 1080p HD display. 2011 called and wants its screen size back. BlackBerry opted to cut cost by going HD instead of quad HD (2k). This however translates into higher battery efficiency and lifespan. 

-Speaking of battery life this thing is a straight up champ. In real life situations it lasted me a couple of days with moderate use. This phone is definitely for weekend warriors. It has a 3505 mAH battery. 

-The life of the battery is amazing. This is due, not only to the screen resolution, but to the midrange processor as well. It has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octacore processor clocked at 2 GHz within the Keyone which keeps going and going and going. The speaker is quite loud and sounds clear. 

-There are a few things you won’t be getting this phone for. You will not get this phone for the screen size or quality however it is sufficient. You won’t get this phone for the camera although it will get the job done, it’s an average camera. Nor will you buy this phone for multimedia consumption, including gaming. Because of this I will not go into details in these categories. 

-If you’re getting this phone more than likely it’s because of one of two things perhaps even both. You either like the asthetics of the BlackBerry or you really want that keyboard. Either way it will be satisfying. 

-What can I say other than “dat keyboard tho?” Not only is it beautifully crafted and designed but it has innovation oozing from its crevices. Yes you can mash away at the tactile clicky keys…. a bit archaic considering what it can do, you can actually swype text as well! Yes you read that right you can swype on the physical keyboard. If you aren’t familiar with what swype texting is, basically you can guide your finger over the keypad from one letter to the next spelling out words without lifting between letters. 

-In addition to being able to swype text, you can transition up or down, left or right, as the case may be. In essence the entirety of the keyboard is a trackpad. Scroll up and down websites or over to the next photo in your Google photos without having to swype on your screen and leave unsightly blemishes and smudges. Ladies and gentlemen I give you novelty. 

-Experiencing this first hand is amazing. The novelty wears off however and what you’re left with is a very useful function. Might I say this as well, the back feels utterly astounding. This phone feels simply amazing in the hand. It even has multi colored notification lights blinking away. Little things like that, little details add to the retro experience garnered from the Keyone. 

-Conveniently there is a programmable convenience button located on the right underneath the volume rocker. I decided that it should open Google Assistant. It is very easy to accidentally press the button unfortunately. I found myself pressing it several times a day. 

-No phone is perfect however, there’s no wireless charging, it isn’t waterproof, it has a midrange processor and average camera. It does have USB type C though so that’s a plus. It’s industrial design will either invite you in or appall you. I tend to lean towards the former. 

-There is an occasional glitch or hiccup if you will in the software processing the various swipes you perform on the keyboard. What can I say It’s just something about the way it looks and feels and it’s nostalgic aura that makes the experience enjoyable. 

-Here’s the context in which I am currently using it, I am using it as a work phone. I added a line to my account and bought the phone. This will be for groupme used for work, checking my schedule, checking my metrics and hopefully my work email as well as Customer communications and advertising. For this it seems to be the perfect phone.  

-I waive my BlackBerry flag high and proud. It’s holy banner draped along my halls. Joking aside I haven’t even mentioned security or the fact that it’s running Android. Yes Android has met BlackBerry and yes the creation is glorious. 

-In conclusion this phone, the phone I’m typing this on, makes a perfect work phone or busssiness phone.  I remember government officials carying Blackberry’s due to the advanced mobile security it offered. Anyways I digres  If you’re feeling nostalgic and want that retro look then this is the phone for you. If you want to try something other than iPhone or Galaxy, and aren’t around water or need to watch Netflix for extended periods of time, then I can recommend this. 

-If you want something with FaceTime or Bixby I recommend looking elsewhere. 

-Until next time this has been an official PhabletGuru Review all others are only imitations and will be prosecuted under the full tenants of the law.-


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