Saturday, June 10, 2017

My thoughts on the BlackBerry KEYone

Well it's been a few weeks since my new BlackBerry KEYone arrived from overseas.

Yes, as is the case for the last few, if you want to get your hands on the latest BlackBerry device, you have to source from an overseas market, or grow old waiting for it to be made available in the Land Down Under. But I get it, Australia is quite a small market population Wise, even if we seem to a country full of early adopters.

I transitioned from the BlackBerry PRIV, the first Android BlackBerry, and the transition was very simple (thank you NFC), and finished with the KEYone set up, the PRIV factory reset and wiped, and my Google account disassociated from the PRIV.

Couple of first impressions regarding the KEYone:

  • It feels good in one hand and feels much more solid, compared to the PRIV
  • I'm not a fan of the silver trimming, but the new skin/case that's on its way will hide most of this
  • It sits comfortably cradled within my hands and the physical keyboard easily became very comfortable and earily familiar (barking bark to the BBOS devises such as the 9700 range)... back to the future?
  • Battery life is awesome! Unlike the PRIV, which couldn't seem to venture too long away from power to recharge, I was quickly put to ease and don't have the same feeling of charge anxiety
  • Rebooting is very quick
  • Nougat is very similar to Marshmallow (Android operating systems)
  • The KEYone is way quicker than the PRIV, with the same apps loaded and the same settings. The speed difference is noticeably wide apart, and the KEYone doesn't seem to suffer the same lag and delays the PRIV does.
The downside to the KEYone is the simple lack of good protection availability. As mentioned before the case/skin I have ordered and awaiting delivery, was not available at the time of the launch, and so my KEYone has gone unprotected for the first part of its use. Luckily, I've been able to source a book type case from eBay, and it now offers short term protection. Australia is not well represented for accessories for the KEYone, and those which are around, have seem to have brought along a significant price margin increase.
I didn't partake in the DTEK50 and DTEk60, which were BlackBerrymobile's first hardware devices, as they are glass slabs and as everyone who knows me, understands my preference for the physical keyboard, and the Z10 and Z30 were the only BlackBerry glass slabs I've owned.

BlackBerrymobile is the new hardware provider of BlackBerry devices, and underpinned by TCL. So I can't speak about their first 2 attempts of a BlackBerry device, but for the KEYone I can give a resounding thumbs up to BlackBerrymobile, for their on point, on message interpretation of what a BlackBerry device should be like. TCL in most aspects, successfully channeled the key words pointers to the BlackBerry of old, and I for one, couldn't be happier.

The KEYone is a great interpretation of the BlackBerry legend, and it does for most parts, successfully merge BlackBerry traditional high points (physical keyboard, solid feel, ease of action cradled within my two hands, long battery life, interpretation of the hub) with the usability of Android's Nougat (lots of apps), and basically it all works well.

To sum up my initial experience, there is a physical keyboard legacy/reminders from the BBOS devices (BlackBerry Bold 9700 series), the togetherness from the BB10 BlackBerry Passport (including battery life), moulding these together using Android OS (Nougat), presenting a device which demonstrates clearly BlackBerrymobile's future pathway. And for me, this is exciting!

Thank you BlackBerry and thank you BlackBerrymobile (and thank you TCL) for keeping the brand alive and very well!

My thoughts for now,