I know what you’re thinking, BlackBerries are great on the bushes, but should they really take a central spot in the palm of your hand?
That answer could soon be a categorical yes!!
Even I have to admit that BlackBerry has undergone some pretty major transformations these past few years.
One moment they were disbanding their smartphone brand, next 2 new smartphone handsets end up on the market, then Blackberry is disbanding again.
Followed promptly by the global rights to design and manufacture BlackBerry handsets, say hi to TCT Communications Technology (TCT).
Today, 25th of February TCT announced the launch of the BlackBerry KEYone Smartphone, formerly given the codename of Mercury. Mercury is probably one of the best examples that I have seen of BlackBerry and Android on one device.
That Physical Keyboard
Now I’m not going to lie, I’m young enough to remember the Nokia 3410 and pressing the 5 button to find the right letter.
For me I have always been a major fan of the physical keyboard.
There is something quite refreshing about being presented with a full QWERTY keyboard, complimented by a premium product.
TCT has added some pretty nice features to the new BlackBerry KEYone including a customisable convenience key that can cater to any major functions including flashlight, messages and even launching apps.
Being a once proud owner of the BlackBerry 8890, I would find it difficult for BlackBerry to beat the keyboard.
However with the KEYone the flat glossy keys are just like the ones you would expect to find on the Priv.
Not only that but you will find that the keyboard will act as a touchpad.
Giving you the ability to swipe in all four directions.
Finally, the customisable key doesn’t stop at just the one, now all 52 keys can be customised to launch an app.
Let’s take the letter ‘f’ for example, you could use this to launch Facebook and so on.
Front doesn’t disappoint
The premium feel of the TCT BlackBerry KEYone is continued onto the front of the smartphone where owners will find a glorious 4.5 inch (3:2 aspect ratio) display with 1620 x 1080 resolution and 434ppi.
Whilst we’re sure you might find better displays on some of the more mainstream smartphones it’s also not the worst that is available on the market.
Security features include a finger print scanner, cleverly disguised in the space bar, allowing the owner to gently rest their finger on the space bar.
Lift the trunk
On the inside of the TCT BlackBerry KEYone you won’t be disappointed.
A powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM and a rather generous 32GB of storage, expandable further via a MicroSD to 2TB.
Ok so the processor isn’t the best that’s out there, but who cares the rather attractive Android 7.1 Nougat flies like a dream.
What’s more one element I cam to love about BlackBerry devices was their impressive battery life and quick charge times.
Guess what the TCT BlackBerry KEYone doesn’t disappoint with a battery lasting near on the whole day if not longer. Powered by an impressive 3,505 mAh battery.
You will also find, and this is essential on all portable devices, a headphone jack.
Photos are almost better with BlackBerry
BlackBerry is definitely hitting the targets where they need to.
Their cameras on the KEYone are coming in at 12 megapixels at the rear with dual-LED flash and an 8 megapixel front facing camera for selfies, say cheese.
TCT has gone one step further and has made it’s camera highly comparable to that of the Google Pixel smartphone, a bold move by a smartphone manufacturer coming back into the market place.
However with all of this said, photos on the KEYone could be a lot better. Today it’s not so much about the hardware of the camera but more the advanced camera software features.
One of the major features of the BlackBerry KEYone is its ability to autofocus rapidly, giving you the ability to snap off shots as and when.
It’s a start
Whilst it’s going to take a lot more than just one handset to make BlackBerry the leader it once was it certainly is a start.
I look forward to hearing and seeing more from BlackBerry in the coming years, and I have to say as a die hard BlackBerry fan look forward to seeing them return to the centre stage.