Should you care about the BlackBerry Key2?

BlackBerry might not be making its own handsets anymore, but its parent TCL has released yet another BlackBerry – Android crossover, called the BlackBerry Key2. Or, as New Atlas calls it, an “otherwise unremarkable handset running Android 8.1”  Key2’s only claim to fame is that it has the classic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard. If you’re interested in a physical keyboard on your smartphone, here is what New Atlas thought about the device.

New Atlas states “Any appraisal of the Key2 really has to focus on that physical keyboard down at the bottom.”

If the device’s best feature is the keyboard, is that really enough? Physical keyboards have long since become antiquated – replaced by touchscreen options that allow bigger phone screens and thinner devices. Many smartphone users have not used a physical keyboard on their smartphone in nearly a decade.

New Atlas claimed that using a physical keyboard in 2018 was “rather awkward” and that “Pecking away at individual letters is smooth enough, but as soon as we needed a number, or a special character, there was a good five seconds of trying to find it and then working out the key combination to bring it up on screen.”

The publication also points out that while it only used the phone for a week before writing its review, users with more time might find the keyboard experience to become “much more intuitive.” However, it admits that “it seems unlikely that iPhone and Android users would want to take the time to adapt. It’s perhaps only the most hardcore BlackBerry loyalists who are going to want to put the Key2 on their shopping lists.”

BlackBerry isn’t just  targeting this phone at hardcore loyalists though. It is also marketing the phone for “those who need to get through a lot of texting rather than a lot of media watching.” Like the BlackBerry days of old, this is intended to be a business savvy phone, rather than a personal, multi-purpose phone. On a screen that is only 4.5 inches, you might not be interested in downloading Netflix.

The phone has other features too, of course, to fit into the smartphone category. Of the Key2’s dual lens 12 MP + 12 MP camera, New Atlas says that “it’s capable of getting some fine shots in good lighting, and even coped well with all but the lowest-lit scenes, most of the time. It’s not going to match an iPhone or Pixel in terms of results, but it won’t let you down.”

It also totes business security features, such as BlackBerry’s DTEK software and a locker – a password-protected vault for stuffing away extra-sensitive files and web bookmarks.

New Atlas says that “battery life impresses too, perhaps due to those mid-range components and smaller screen. We regularly had over 50 percent left at the end of the day.”

The BlackBerry Key2 will be available to pre-order on June 29th in the United States for $649 unlocked.

Source: – BlackBerry Key2 review: If you want a phone with a keyboard, get this one
Published: June 27, 2018