While most smartphones have gone all-in on full-screen displays, BlackBerry continues to make phones with physical keyboards. The BlackBerry KEY2 runs Android and caters to people who work in business- just like many of the BlackBerry phones that came before it. The phone has a dual-lens camera and several features to enhance security and privacy. Following is a transcript of the video.
Avery Hartmans: Today I’m reviewing the BlackBerry KEY2. This phone is unique, and it’s not quite like any other smartphones that are currently on the market, and here’s why: The first thing that you need to know about this phone is that it has a physical keyboard. The physical keyboard kind of becomes redundant. There’s a digital keyboard that pops up on the screen while you’re typing, and it can get distracting, and also unnecessary.
To unlock the phone, you use the fingerprint scanner that’s built right into the keyboard. It lives in the space bar, which at first, seems like a really cool feature. The problem is it doesn’t work that well, and it takes me several tries to unlock my phone almost every time I attempt it.
The BlackBerry KEY2 does have a home button, but it’s digital which is a little bit confusing because it does have a physical keyboard. It also lives above the keyboard, and it was kind of a confusing placement for me.
It does have a headphone jack which in my opinion is a good thing. The strange thing about it is that the headphone jack lives on the top of the device, and most people are probably used to it being at the bottom at this point.
I was really impressed overall by the general look and feel of it. One thing that I really liked about it is that it has this grippy texture on the back. So even though I didn’t have a case on it, I was never really worried about dropping it.
The BlackBerry KEY2 has a 4.5-inch display, and it’s a slightly bigger screen than the BlackBerry KEY1. For me, it was smaller than the screen on my iPhone 6s. I will say that it’s a pretty nice screen. It is nice and sharp. The problem is that it’s not very bright, and that got frustrating to me.
BlackBerry built in a couple different ways to make it more efficient to use, and one of them is built-in shortcut keys. So the BlackBerry KEY2 has two different shortcut keys which I found myself using all the time. There’s one key that lives on the side of the phone. There’s also a shortcut key that’s new this year and it lives directly in the keyboard. This key lets you automatically open any app that you choose just by pressing that and a corresponding letter on the keypad. I programmed it so that when I press the shortcut key and the letter “I,” it brings up the Instagram app. This feature made the phone a lot easier to use and a lot quicker to use than a lot of other phones that I’ve tried.
One thing that I really liked about the phone, and this is something that BlackBerry is known for, is the security. There’s a couple different features built in which make it feel a lot more secure than other Android phones I’ve used. One feature is called DTEK which lets you check the security status of your phone whenever you want.
The BlackBerry KEY2 has a 12-megapixel rear camera, and it has dual lenses which is new this year. I was actually really impressed by the rear camera. I thought that it was really sharp and really bright, and the colours came out really crisp and clear. The selfie camera, on the other hand, is not great. It’s an eight-megapixel lens, and I thought that the photos would look pretty good, but they don’t. Every selfie that I took was blurry. It just didn’t come out sharp. It wasn’t clear, and the colours looked really odd.
While most other smartphones, these days are getting more and more advanced and having more bells and whistles and bigger screens, the BlackBerry Key2 went in another direction, and to me, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. This phone starts at $US650. I would say the best customer for this phone is someone who works in business. It’s someone who’s looking for efficiency, productivity and security in their device, and someone who just wants a practical, good-looking phone.
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