Blackberry KEYone Black Edition 64GB Evaluation - Final Thoughts

Article Index
Blackberry KEYone Black Edition 64GB Evaluation
Features and Specifications
General Usage
Camera and Video Thoughts
Battery Life, Calling and More
Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts:

It's been a good long time since I've used a Blackberry device and for the most part, I was quite impressed - despite what I say in the video on the previous page. The fact is that there are a lot of good things about the KEYone, but a couple irk me to the point where I just don't want to own one - today. The biggest beef for me; and one that plagued me daily - was the "convenience" key. I couldn't find where to shut this off entirely. If you disable the camera function and touch the key, it launches the "convenience key" settings. Also during phone calls, pressing this key is almost automatic and it will mute your microphone. It will let you know that it is muted with a tone, but you'll be pressing it more often that you want - if you have medium-large hands such as myself. Being able to completely disable this through software would make me much happier. I would prefer it placed higher up on the phone and leave the same functionality - but not where it gets pressed all the time.

The screen brightness is a bit weak as well. It's not a dim phone, but even at max brightness it feels dim when viewed alongside AMOLED devices. It really isn't full daylight usable and it will have you ducking for shadows in order to read email, messages and more. It's not a deal breaker, but the screen falls short of what I expect in a device of this price.

KEYone

 

On the positive side, once you configure the keyboard to have the functionality that Blackberry brags about, you're golden. It's the nicest experience and fastest keyboard I've ever used. The "flick" feature is great, and it learns pretty quickly your speech mannerisms, phrases and responses. It can be contextually aware - and if you check the box, you'll be impressed at how wonderful it is.

The battery life is stellar. For a large phone that I do a lot of typing on, I didn't expect it to get me through much more than a day, but it gets an extra day if I don't play games on it and an extra half a day if I do. The Snapdragon 625 is a power sipping beast that still performs very well. 

The Black Edition that we tested has 4GB of memory, 64GB of internal storage and the ability to add up to another 256GB of storage to your device. As this is aimed primarily at the business sector, that much storage offline - on your device is fantastic. You can use this as a removable storage device and it won't limit what you can do on your device. 

The inclusion of a headphone jack is fantastic and shows that not everyone is all about wireless earbuds and charging multiple devices daily. 


KEYone

KEYone

 

Other little things that Blackberry does with software are fantastic, and the soft back on the device makes it easy to hold without dropping. There really is so much to like about the KEYone, but for me, the "convenience" key is the deal-breaker at the moment. If they find a way to disable it through an update - or make it work via a double-press, I'd be happy to use one of these as my main device. Right now however, I feel that it would drive me insane. Since I've gone back to my main phone and don't constantly launch applications or mute myself during calls, I'm a happier man.

Blackberry, please add a double-press option to the Convenience key so I (and others) don't lose our minds. Thanks.

 

Pros:

  • Physical Keyboard
  • Fast LTE Performance
  • 802.11ac 
  • FM Radio
  • Great Battery Life
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB Storage
  • Bare OS is Easy to Navigate and is Snappy
  • 8-Core Snapdragon 625
  • Fingerprint Reader in Spacebar is perfect
  • MicroSD Slot
  • Keyboard Shortcuts are Pretty Slick

 

Cons:

  • "Convenience" key Isn't
  • Display is a bit Dim
  • Graphic Intensive Applications Suffer
  • Power Button is Occasionally Sticky
  • Privacy Shade is a Good Idea, but Feels a bit like a Gimmick

 


I'd like to thank Blackberry for sending over the KEYone for us to review. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the forum here.