If you forgot that Blackberry actually produced phones, you’d be forgiven. In the last few years, the tech company has been primarily invested in software solutions. However, it now looks like Blackberry might be slipping back into its old ways. Joining the likes of the new(?) Nokia 3310, the new Blackbery KeyOne is taking a swing at nostalgia, offering a smartphone that resurrects a greatly cherished and sorely missed feature; the push-button QWERTY keyboard.
In an age where the touch-screen allows us to send off rapid fire snapchats and emojis, the new Blackberry KeyOne takes a decidedly spartan approach. This no frills smartphone is being seen as ‘strictly business’. While it does offer everything you’d expect from your standard Android phone, the KeyOne is better suited for firing off emails than for Instagramming.
TCL, the Chinese electronics manufacturer that currently owns Blackberry’s branding rights in a majority of the world, has openly acknowledged the product’s niche position. That being said, this doesn’t necessarily mean this is a cheap novelty throwback. The KeyOne combines Blackberry’s security know-how and impressive utility app portfolio. While this may not be the most sexy gadget on the market, it definitely has the potential to turn some IT heads.
The KeyOne features a 4.5 inch display in addition to the aforementioned keyboard at the bottom of the screen. The keyboard itself, might take some getting used to, considering it’s been some 7 odd years since most of us last used one. On the software side, Blackberry has refined its mobile operating system, bringing the new DTEK feature onboard that allows users to check in on their security status. Hub is a feature that should be no stranger to Blackberry users, but for those out of the ‘know’, all messaging applications can be compiled into a single stream.
For those in the market for a new smartphone and are looking for the trendy gadget for snapchatting and instagramming, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. However, if you’re looking for the sturdy and reliable business phone that just “gets the job done”, the KeyOne should be considered.