Articles by Crackberry Kevin

Ironically, it took not BlackBerry to make a BlackBerry Smartphone that pushes all the right buttons. The KEYone by BlackBerry Mobile (TCL) merges the best of the classic BlackBerry experience with Android Nougat in a package that is undeniably and distinctly BlackBerry.

The quick take

The KEYone got me out of CrackBerry retirement and using a BlackBerry Smartphone again (and loving it!). I have no shortage of phones at my disposal and can reach for an iPhone or Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy whenever I want. Since picking up the KEYone, I've never felt that urge. What more can be said than that? With battery life that will last you all day and night (and well into the next day) and a smart physical keyboard that makes typing on buttons feel new school again, it's a communication-centric phone that power users will love.

The Amazing

  • Insanely Good Battery Life
  • Distinct BlackBerry Styling
  • Looks Premium, Feels Premium
  • Comfortable, Accurate keyboard
  • Fingerprint Sensor in Spacebar is Magic
  • Swiping on Keyboard is Magic
  • Android brings with it all the apps
  • Great camera... on a BlackBerry?!! :)
  • 3.5mm headset jack (thank you!)
  • Battery life so good, mention it twice! In the photo above that 24% at 4:07pm is on Day 2!

The Could Be Better

  • 32GB of memory OK; would gladly pay for 64GB or 128GB
  • 3GB of RAM OK; a 4th GB may improve zippiness under heavy load
  • LCD display is really good; OLED could be epic
  • Make it waterproof somehow?
  • Integrate BlackBerry Launcher settings like keyboard shortcuts into System settings
  • Add wireless charging (even though you don't need it)
  • Love to see it in more colors down the road

A New Era of BlackBerry Smartphones

BlackBerry KEYone Full Review

Yes, BlackBerry still exists. No, they don't make smartphones anymore. Yes, there are still BlackBerry Smartphones being made and will be for a long time to come. Spread the word!

Confused? That's ok. You can read this article to clear up the confusion and listen to this podcast if you really want the full explanation. The long story short is that the company known as BlackBerry, who patented push email and helped pioneer the smartphone industry over 15 years ago is now a software company.

The BlackBerry brand to most of us on planet earth, more than software is better known for hardware, specifically BlackBerry Smartphones. So to ensure BlackBerry Smartphones continue for the long haul, BlackBerry has entered into licensing agreements with select manufacturing partners to design, build, market and support BlackBerry Smartphones. The biggest licensee is TCL Communication, and under the brand BlackBerry Mobile the KEYone is the first BlackBerry Smartphone they are bringing to market.

While BlackBerry supports BlackBerry Mobile in the software and security hardening of the KEYone, it's important to know that this really is a BlackBerry Smartphone being brought to market by another company altogether. Their website is www.blackberrymobile.com (not blackberry.com), you can find them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube under the handles @blackberrymobile or @bbmobile.

BlackBerry Mobile is really being built up as a new team and organization and beyond the KEYone they are committed to bringing more Android-powered BlackBerry Smartphones to market (sorry BlackBerry 10 fans, but that ship has sailed). The KEYone is exciting first phone, and it'll be exciting to see what they offer next.

About This Review

I (CrackBerry Kevin) have been super lucky to have been using the KEYone for over two months now, since it was first announced at Mobile World Congress. I first went hands-on with the KEYone in January in Las Vegas at CES, and liked the pre-production unit so much that I came out of BlackBerry retirement in February to celebrate CrackBerry's 10th Anniversary.

As part of the celebrations, I even had the honor to get up on stage and help officially unveil the BlackBerry KEYone to the world as MC for the launch event. The KEYone units I've had in my possession to date, including my official review unit, are considered pre-production and have still been receiving software updates - that said, my experiences with the KEYone have been super solid throughout - the one you buy should be even better.

Disclosure: In case you didn't figure it out from the BlackBerry KEYone ads on the CrackBerry, BlackBerry Mobile is an advertising partner with CrackBerry (we often see manufacturers buy advertising for their phones across Mobile Nations sites). You can read here for more info on that if you like.

BlackBerry KEYone Video Review

Why read when you can watch a video? In 13 Minutes I highlight what I love and what can be improved on the KEYone. I think the video does a good job of laying out the real value proposition for the KEYone - this is a phone for power communicators who like a physical keyboard (and those people are going to LOVE it).

BlackBerry KEYone Features & Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.87 in
149.1 mm
2.85 in
72.4 mm
0.37 in
9.4 mm
6.35 oz
180 grams
  • Display:
    • 4.5-inch IPS LCD display
    • 1620x1080 resolution
    • 434ppi
  • Chips:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
    • 8x 2.0Ghz Cortex A53 cores
    • 3GB RAM
    • 32GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/20 PDAF rear camera
    • Dual-tone LED flash
    • 8MP ƒ/2.2 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3505 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C, Quick Charge 3.0 + boost charging
  • Software:
    • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
    • DTEK security suite
    • FIPS 140-2 full disk encryption

BlackBerry KEYone Hardware Impressions

With a name like KEYone, the physical keyboard is clearly the primary story of this phone. When as a phone manufacturer, or as customer, you choose to sacrifice the amount of real estate dedicated to the display to instead have a keyboard there that's always present, you're making a distinct choice to build a phone that's more communication-centric vs. media-centric.

The design of the KEYone is such that you don't feel like you're making a compromise at all. Compared to older QWERTY BlackBerry designs of the past, like the BlackBerry Bold 9900 or even the newer BlackBerry Classic, the KEYone's 4.5" display with 3:2 aspect ratio in portrait orientation feels positively huge. Compared to other popular devices like the standard-sized iPhone 7, Galaxy S7/S8 or Google Pixel, they KEYone's display feels relatively on par. And even compared to large screen devices like the iPhone 7 Plus or Google Pixel XL, which were the two phones I was actively using before upgrading to the KEYone, moving over to the KEYone was easy - I've never yet felt in all my time with the KEYone that the display feels small.

It's a surprising form factor to look at when you first see it -- and photos don't do it justice -- you really need to see the KEYone in person and hold it in your hand to truly appreciate it, but the "form factor" truly works. That the KEYone looks and feels so incredibly premium makes the overall design work that much more. I could see this general device ID working for years to come - I wouldn't be surprised if the KEYtwo (if and when released) would feature a similar hardware design. When you get it right, you get it right.

If you were concerned that not BlackBerry making a BlackBerry Smartphone could result in a phone that feels unBlackBerry-like, those fears are eliminated the moment you pick up the KEYone.

If you were concerned that not BlackBerry making a BlackBerry Smartphone could result in a phone that feels unBlackBerry-like, those fears are eliminated the moment you pick up the KEYone. Clearly, the KEYone looks like a BlackBerry. From the front, the back, the sides, the device is unmistakably a BlackBerry. More importantly though, is the feel of the phone. At 180 grams, the KEYone is a dense phone, in a good way. Picking it up, it has that heft you'd associate with something like an expensive mechanical watch strapped on your wrist. The sizeable battery and BlackBerry's choice of metal frame contribute to the weight and the soft touch rubber backside make it a phone that's comfortable to hold and is easy to grip. The KEYone belongs in your hand.

A Smart Physical KEYboard

I find it magical how BlackBerry continues to pack more and more technology into the physical keyboard. It used to be that programmable shortcuts were the one smart feature of a QWERTY phone like the KEYone. Being able to map dialing contacts or opening apps to the push of a button was the additional benefit beyond the accuracy provided by pressing buttons vs. tapping on glass. And the KEYone does offer plenty of shortcuts - up to 52 to thanks to the ability to distinguish between short press and long press actions, where one button can now serve as two shortcuts. The shortcuts are getting smarter too. For example, pressing H (for home) can open up the maps app with your home location already programmed in. How cool is that?!

The KEYone's keyboard is touch capacitive. Beyond pressing buttons you can actually flick auto-suggested words up onto the display while typing. You can also use the keyboard as trackpad, thumb scrolling your way through your inbox, feeds or webpages. This is an innovation that was first introduced on the BlackBerry Passport and also featured on the BlackBerry Priv and I'm happy to see it on the KEYone. We now live in a smartphone world where far more people have experienced a touchscreen smartphone than a phone with physical buttons and most people don't know a keyboard can work this way - whenever I give a demo of the KEYone to someone who is unfamiliar, swiping on the keyboard blows them away. If typing on buttons could be considered old school in 2017, the ability to swipe on the keyboard makes it it feel new school again.

The newest innovation to the keyboard which is unique to the KEYone, is the implementation of a fingerprint sensor in the space bar of the keyboard. This feature allows you to unlock your phone with your fingerprint. It works incredibly well. There's even the surprise flourish of a tiny LED light on either side of the spacebar that will light up to prompt you to use your fingerprint. It's magical.

I've been really happy overall with the typing experience on the KEYone. I've mainly been on touchscreen smartphones the past few years, so it took me a couple days to get used to typing with buttons again and a couple more days to fall in love with it, but I've been rocking the buttons hard ever since and loving it. There are many areas where typing with buttons trumps typing on glass - be sure to check out this video where I dive into the details.

As for the typing experience itself, I'd rank the KEYone's keyboard right up there among my BlackBerry keyboard favorites. The Bold 9900 still ranks supreme as the best physical keyboard ever built for typing experience, but the KEYone isn't too far behind. The buttons have a good feel and bounce rate when pressed, and there's a nice roll to the buttons as you move your thumbs left and right over them which helps your thumbs dance with rhythm as you type . The keyboard is compact without being too tight, which makes the keyboard efficient to use. I know many BlackBerry Passport users love that device's ultra-wide three row keyboard setup. Personally, while comfortable thanks to the wide grip I always found it a bit inefficient to use because you have to move your thumbs so far for every key press. To me, the ultimate compromise is a keyboard that is small but big enough that you can find and press the buttons accurately. And the KEYone delivers on this well. Based on photos I was initially concerned that the KEYone may feel top heavy while typing, since the display is so tall and the keyboard is mounted quite low on the phone. In use, I've never felt an issue here - it's easy to grip and type on the phone.

Bottom line, if you like a physical keyboard on your smartphone phone, you're going to quickly grow to love the KEYone's keyboard.

All Day, All Night (and then some) Battery Life

This is the killer feature of the BlackBerry KEYone. If you haven't yet, be sure to watch my BlackBerry KEYone review video which is effectively a gush fest for the KEYone's battery life.

BlackBerry packed a LARGE 3505mAh battery into the KEYone, which is the biggest battery ever put into a BlackBerry and is large by any standard. Combined with BlackBerry's choice of energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset and you have battery life that's tough to kill before you go to bed. It really is an all day, all night and good chunk of the next day battery, even under HEAVY use.

With the KEYone, you're never going to get stranded with a dead battery.

It doesn't matter what features or specs a phone has, if the battery is dead it's a paperweight. With the KEYone, you're never going to get stranded with a dead battery. There's no need to subconsciously throttle back your device usage to get you through the day either. You can do whatever you want on the KEYone all day long and it's going to take it and you'll still have juice in the tank when you go to bed.

I love it. I've been traveling a lot in 2017 and I've always found roaming to be typically hard on batteries (coupled with the fact you end up using your phone more for things like Google Maps, don't have WiFi locations saved, etc.). Even in these demanding situations the KEYone battery lives up. I guarantee every review you read about the KEYone is going to highlight the battery life of the phone. It's that good.

If you ever do need to recharge during the day, the KEYone features Quick Charge 3.0 technology and prompts you to select Boost Mode when you plug it in which enables charging up to 50% in 36 minutes. In over two months, I've never needed to use - the battery outlasts me and I plug it into charge at night.

A Very Good Camera

Over my years of reviewing BlackBerry Smartphones, I've always glossed over the camera section of the review. BlackBerry has never had a great reputation for taking amazing photos.

The KEYone changes that with a camera capable of snapping glorious photos. If you check out @crackberrykevin, or better yet, @blackberrymobile on Instagram, you'll find plenty of examples of #ShotOnKEYone photos that will turn your head.

Saw a poll on @mobilesyrup asking Canadians what smartphone they're buying next - @blackberrymobile #KEYone won by a landslide and received more votes than #GalaxyS8 and #iPhone combined! 🇨🇦 . . . #blackberry #android #ShotOnKEYone

A post shared by CrackBerry Kevin (@crackberrykevin) on May 2, 2017 at 11:57am PDT

The KEYone shares the same 12 megapixel Sony IMX378 sensor that is used in the Google Pixel which receives a lot of rave reviews for its camera. It lacks the electronic optical stabilization goodness of the Pixel while recording video (it's really amazingly smooth on the Pixel), but overall takes really nice photos. In outdoor or optimal lighting situations it's fantastic. In low light it's pretty good - there's some room for improvement here compared to the best low light smartphone cameras out there, but again, for a communication-centric device BlackBerry Mobile did damn good on the KEYone's camera, and I can see it improving overtime with continued software rollouts.

Macro foliage #ShotOnKEYone . . . #BlackBerry #Android #BlackBerryMobile #Smartphone #Camera #KEYone

A post shared by BlackBerry Mobile (@blackberrymobile) on Apr 19, 2017 at 12:52pm PDT

The camera app itself is very powerful and easy to use. There is a Pro mode available, so if you know how to take photos you can squeeze every micron of goodness out of the sensor. I'm not that guy though, so I mainly leave the KEYone in auto mode. There are filters you can apply to the camera before you take the photo. With no filter enabled, the colors are quite accurate, if not a little more natural/cooler than compared to the default camera settings on phones like the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel. If you enable the Vivid filter, the colors will get a little more punched up to be more like these three phones. I usually just leave the camera with no filter, but if I'm looking for that better than real life shot, then I enable the Vivid filter.

As for front facing camera, the 8 megapixel sensor does a good job with selfies - that you can tap the spacebar to snap the photo is a nice touch that helps improve your selfie game when your arm is stretched to the max.

Completing the Hardware Story

For many years, the smartphone race was just that… a race to see who would build the best smartphone, cramming in the latest specs and claiming the title for a few weeks or months until the next competitor crammed even more cutting edge specs in. The smartphone industry is now much more like the automotive industry. It's about choice. It's not about who can build the best vehicle at any expense, but what's the best vehicle for your needs - do you want a $100,000 sports car to rip around in and rack up speeding tickets that runs out of gas in a hurry, or do you need a $35,000 mini-van that can haul the family around to soccer practice back and forth with as minimal trips to the gas station as possible?

With the KEYone, BlackBerry very intentionally picked the specs and hardware components they wanted in this phone based on the target user fitting this power communicator persona. When it comes to chipset, battery size, screen size, and camera, they made all the right choices to deliver a compelling experience for this type of user. This means the KEYone won't be dated in three months - this is a phone that's going to have a long shelf life to it.

Outside of the key hardware specs already highlighted, everything in the KEYone has met or exceeded my expectations through normal use.

The 4.5" LCD display is bright and vibrant, with a pixel density of 443 pixels per inch. The 3:2 aspect ratio means you'll lose a little bit of screen real estate while watching videos in landscape, but it's minimal. Again, if you want a media-centric phone the KEYone may not be for you, but as a phone that puts the priority on communications first this is a tiny compromise compared to the benefits of the design. With their deep blacks and vibrant colors, I do personally love OLED displays - I would put this on my wishlist for the KEYtwo, but overall I have zero complaints about the display.

Many of the BlackBerry faithful were hoping for "stereo speakers" to be present on the KEYone. It doesn't have that, but rather a single downward facing mono speaker. I don't listen to music much on my KEYone, or any smartphone for that matter (tiny smartphone speakers are never going to cut the mustard for my ears). When I do listen to music from my phone it's typically connected to a bluetooth speaker like a UE Boom, my Bose Earbuds or powering my home's Sonos setup, or better yet when I'm putting my audiophile game on I'm plugged into my wired headphones from B&O or Master & Dynamic (yes, the KEYone does have a 3.5 headset jack!). That said, the speaker performance has been pretty solid for when I do watch the odd YouTube video or take calls on speakerphone. It's loud and clear.

Overall telephony and communications with the KEYone have been solid with my time thus far on the KEYone. Calls are crisp whether on the handset or through bluetooth connected in my car (Tesla Model S) and I've had solid bluetooth performance with the variety of bluetooth devices I've used the KEYone with.

I know I'm hardcore teasing with this photo, but the KEYone looks so good mounted in the Tesla I just had to post! :) #blackberry #blackberrymobile #blackberryKEYone #tesla

A post shared by CrackBerry Kevin (@crackberrykevin) on Mar 10, 2017 at 2:25pm PST

The KEYone comes with a 32GB of storage memory and an expandable microSD slot -- in the same tray as the SIM card -- that can handle up to an insanely large 2 terrabyte microSD card. You can't easily find microSD cards that big of course (and I'm assuming they'd probably cost more than the KEYone's $549 price tag itself), but you can pick up a 200GB SanDisk microSD card for about $75. Pretty reasonable, and it's nice to know you can pack a lot of additional storage onto the KEYone. And you'll probably want to. That the Android OS system storage itself consumes nearly 10GB or the 32GB doesn't give you a ton of space if you're the type of person who has a lot of photos and videos on their phone. 32GB is by no means a deal breaker and was a smart call to help keep the KEYone's price tag down -- especially as this will be a phone that makes a lot of inroads into business and enterprises where that extra storage isn't that critical and not something businesses want to pay for if not necessary. That said, I'm the type of person who will always opt for more memory, so I'd happily pay more for the KEYone to ship with 64GB or 128GB of internal memory by default.

The final hardware features I'll mention in this review are much-loved BlackBerry specific features.

The KEYone features the programmable BlackBerry Convenience Key, which used to be ubiquitous on BlackBerry Smartphones but in more recent years disappeared from hardware. Located on the lower right side of the phone, you can customize the Convenience Key like you do a keyboard shortcut, to either open an app or complete an action like speed dialing a contact or viewing today's agenda. Given that the Hub swipe gesture is not present on the KEYone, I think a lot of BlackBerry Hub fans will find themselves setting the Convenience Key to launch the Hub, making it easily accessible regardless of what you're doing on the phone. Other favorites of mine include using it to launch Google Assistant, or to toggle and on off the KEYone's flashlight/torch functionality, for those times when you know you're heading into dark places for the and will be needing a guiding light (which apparently for me happens on a more regular basis than you may think!). When on calls, the Convenience Key also serves as a mute key (note - gone is the play/pause/mute button typically found between the volume up/down keys). It's nice to see the Convenience Key on the KEYone - it further builds into that KEYone name and it's little utility-first features like this that made me a fan of BlackBerry to begin with.

The KEYone also features the infamous LED light, which flashes when you receive notifications. The light is RGB, which in certain apps allows for the color of the light to be customized. To be honest, this feature was one of my favorite features in my early days of BlackBerry, because back then I only received emails or text messages (and the occasional BBM). In 2017, we're so connected and message so much that I have to disable the LED or it would just be constantly. That said, I still love that it's there. Without it, it wouldn't be a BlackBerry!

All the Apps!

BlackBerry Android Software Experience

The BlackBerry KEYone runs Android Nougat, the latest available version of the Android operating system. While many long-term remaining BlackBerry fans would prefer the KEYone run BlackBerry 10, going Android makes the KEYone a far more appealing device to me and many other former and never owned a BlackBerry users. Most former BlackBerry users, myself included, left BlackBerry due to a lack of apps, or at the least were forced to carry a second iOS or Android phone with them in order to have all the apps they needed or wanted.

The adoption of Android by BlackBerry immediately solved this decade-long app problem that plagued BlackBerry. With the KEYone, I'm back to being a BlackBerry user and not needing to lug around a second device.

I refer to my colleagues at Android Central for their expertise on Android, and they agree BlackBerry has a done a good job of leaving the Android Operating system fairly stock while through the BlackBerry launcher adding in features that truly add value while making the experience more BlackBerry-like. From an Android user perspective, one of my favorite features of the BlackBerry Launcher is that they put the the notification badge (aka the BlackBerry "Spark" or "Splat" on) onto the application icon. Stock Android doesn't do this and it drives me nuts. The BlackBerry Launcher also allows for icon packs to be swapped in and out, so if you want a different look you can modify that without losing functionality. Keyboard shortcuts on the KEYone are tied to the BlackBerry Launcher app though, so if you are an Android tweaker and want to use a different Android launcher altogether on the KEYone you are going to lose some of that functionality.

The KEYone comes pre-loaded with many of BlackBerry's apps, including the BlackBerry Hub and DTEK. The Hub is BlackBerry's unified inbox on steroids, which allows you to pretty much connect all of your email, messaging and social accounts to it so all your communications are in one stream. DTEK is BlackBerry's security app, which gives you insight into how locked down (or not) your KEYone is. Now that BlackBerry BlackBerry (not BlackBerry Mobile) is a software company, you're starting to see them ramp up their efforts in app development. BlackBerry Notable is a new app that allows you to mark up screen captures with ease, and Privacy Shade allows you to get your James Bond, blacking on your screen and only revealing content where you drag your finger.

The nice thing about Android compared to other operating systems like BlackBerry 10 or iOS is its flexibility. If you want to change something, you likely can. For example, as much as so many people love the BlackBerry Hub, I personally am not a fan of it. Between all of my communication and social accounts, I simply receive too many messages a day to want to have everything coming into one location. I use my phone in a much more compartmentalized fashion - I check email when I want to do work. I open Instagram or Twitter when I have a few minutes to kill. When it comes to text messages, I want to be notified immediately. On the KEYone, thanks to Android, I simply chose to remove the Hub altogether - something I could never do on BlackBerry 10. I like having the power to choose.

I've watched Android evolve over the years, having even reviewed here on CrackBerry the original Android-powered T-Mobile G1, which ironically in true BlackBerry fashion had a physical keyboard and even a trackball!

Android has come a long way since those early days and with Nougat I feel like it's finally there - it's smooth, it's easy enough to figure out even if you've never used Android before and the availability of all the apps in the Google Play store make it worth any nitpicks you may come across (and again, the general flexibility of Android means you can probably fix anything that bugs you if you want to). We're also crushing here on CrackBerry with BlackBerry KEYone User Guides, so if you're moving over to the KEYone from BlackBerry 10 and have questions, we've got you covered.

BlackBerry is of course known for their industry leading security, and on the security front BlackBerry has Android locked down and has kept their word on staying committed to rolling out Android Security updates in a timely fashion.

Having had the KEYone since February on a pre-release model that still featured a software build from early January, I've watched the software experience improve steadily these past couple of months with every update pushed out. Even during the review period with my official KEYone review unit this past week, on the eve of this review going live a software update became available that seems to have further improved the overall speed and smoothness of the device. I expect we'll see software updates continue to rollout for the KEYone relatively often - there's a lot of new tech and functionality packed into the KEYone and I'm sure as more people log time with the KEYone they'll find more ways to optimize the experience. That said, even on my earliest pre-release build of the KEYone there were no showstoppers in the experience - I've been pretty much addicted to the experience since week 1.

Final Thoughts - Pushing All The Right Buttons

My wife is the best observer as to whether or not I like a tech product and if you ask her she'll tell you how much I love the KEYone, not based on what I say or have written here, but based on the fact that since getting one that it's rarely not in my hand. To quote her, "oh, that CrackBerry guy is really back".

The BlackBerry KEYone has brought back the BlackBerry Addict in me, but it's much better than the "good 'ole days of BlackBerry" because the KEYone is such a better phone than what we used a decade ago. There's something about the KEYone experience, between the look and feel of the hardware, the physical keyboard and that insanely good battery life that just make it a phone you want to hold and use, and even when not in use I catch myself staring at it (it's so much more demanding of my eyeball's attention than a boring slab device).

As I said at the start of this review, the story of the KEYone is the physical keyboard. By default that means it's not a device for everybody, but if you're a former or current BlackBerry user and you like the benefits that a physical keyboard provides, this is the phone for you. Buy it as soon as you can. At $549 outright, it's reasonably priced for a premium feeling phone. Even for those who have never used a physical keyboard on a smartphone before, as long as they're willing to commit a week to it to learn it and get comfortable on it, I could see first timers really falling for the KEYone. I wouldn't call the KEYone a nostalgia device - it's much more than that, but there is a nostalgia factor that does feel compelling and very in right now so I wouldn't be surprised to see first time BlackBerry users on the KEYone simply because it's so distinctly different in an era where smartphones have mainly been about sameness.

Coming into 2017 I wasn't expecting to see a new BlackBerry hit the market, never mind a new BlackBerry that kicks ass and I find myself really loving, so for that I'm thankful and excited to see BlackBerry Mobile picking up on what BlackBerry no longer wanted to be in the business of doing. After a lot of years of BlackBerry heartbreak, the KEYone feels like a fresh start for a new, modern era of BlackBerry Smartphones.

Two CrackBerry Thumbs Up!

BlackBerry KEYone

Learn more at BlackBerry Mobile

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Unlock your productivity with the Android-powered BlackBerry KEYone!

Visit BlackBerryMobile.com for purchase information and to register for updates.

Guides

About

DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT, DISTINCTLY BLACKBERRY

BlackBerry KEYone pairs the best of BlackBerry’s software and security with TCL Communication’s commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable smartphones to customers around the world.

Beyond the iconic BlackBerry design that’s been curated for the modern user, the BlackBerry KEYone comes with a number of additional features that truly reinvents communications for the professional consumer.

  • Built to last – An iconic BlackBerry smartphone made reliable for the demanding user, the BlackBerry KEYone combines a sleek aluminum frame and soft grip textured back built to offer the best in durability.
  • Runs Android™ 7.1 Nougat – Giving users access to the entire Google Play store and apps - and will receive Google™ security patch updates.
  • The keyboard reimagined – Forget what you knew about keyboards, the BlackBerry Smart Keyboard goes beyond typing. It can be easily programmed to launch up to 52 customizable shortcuts, providing even greater ease of use. And use it to scroll through web pages, the picture gallery or to take a picture.
  • Loaded with BlackBerry® Hub® – Bringing all your messages into one consolidated place; including emails, texts and messages from any social media account.
  • Unrivaled security features – The BlackBerry KEYone is designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible.
  • Long battery life – Featuring the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone offers roughly 26 hours of mixed use, thanks to its 3505mAh battery.
  • Impressive photo quality – The BlackBerry KEYone includes a 12MP rear camera with an industry leading camera sensor that captures sharp, crisp photos in any light. And for when you have to take a video conference on the go, it includes an 8MP front camera with fixed focus and 84-degree wide angle lens.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.87 in
149.1 mm
2.85 in
72.4 mm
0.37 in
9.4 mm
6.35 oz
180 grams
  • Display:
    • 4.5-inch IPS LCD display
    • 1620x1080 resolution
    • 434ppi
  • Chips:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
    • 8x 2.0Ghz Cortex A53 cores
    • 3GB RAM
    • 32GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/20 PDAF rear camera
    • Dual-tone LED flash
    • 8MP ƒ/2.2 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3505 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C, Quick Charge 3.0 + boost charging
  • Software:
    • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
    • DTEK security suite
    • FIPS 140-2 full disk encryption
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BlackBerry KEYone Coming Soon Pages Come to Canada's Bell, Bell MTS and SaskTel

May 31st is right around the corner, and some carriers are getting a head start on the BlackBerry KEYone

Less than a week ago, Rogers made the BlackBerry KEYone available for pre-order to business users and now some other Canadian carriers are ramping up for the launch as well. Bell, Bell MTS and SaskTel have all put up "coming soon" pages a few days head of the KEYone's official May 31st on sale date.

Both Bell and Bell MTS have put up pages for consumer and business customers, listing the KEYone at $199 on a two-year term or $699 outright. SaskTel looks like they will offer even more options for the KEYone with 1-year or 2-year term, monthly, prepaid or outright. No pricing is listed for any option just yet though, but we can assume they will fall in line with the $199/$699 options.

Things are certainly starting to move along as the KEYone makes its way to the US and Canada next week. We have plenty more to come and we'll continue to keep an eye on carriers across the globe as launch day approaches.

See More on the BlackBerry KEYone

Bell Consumer (English)

Bell Consumer (French)

Bell Business (English)

Bell Business (French)

Bell MTS Residential

Bell MTS Business

Bell MTS Enterprise

SaskTel

BlackBerry KEYone now available for pre-order from Rogers in Canada!

May 18th is here and Rogers is first in line, allowing Canadians to pre-order the BlackBerry KEYone with an availability date of May 31st

Today, Canadian carrier Rogers has officially rolled out pre-orders for the Android-powered BlackBerry KEYone for Consumers, Small Business and Enterprise Customers with an availability date of May 31st.

If you're a Rogers customer and have been waiting for the KEYone this is your opportunity to get it first. We're still a few weeks off from worldwide availability, so I'd highly suggest pre-ordering ASAP so you get to the front of the line. This is the first of many rollouts we'll see in the coming weeks from carriers across the globe. The KEYone is $199 on a standard 2-year contract, and you can buy it outright for $679. As a Rogers customer, I just pre-ordered mine as I wrote this article! :)

Hit the links below for more info and to pre-order. If you pre-order today, be sure to drop a comment.

Pre-Order the BlackBerry KEYone from Rogers:

Consumer KEYone Customers

Small Business KEYone Customers

Enterprise KEYone Customers

Visit BlackBerryMobile.com for more pre-order information

RSVP now for our Ottawa, Montreal & Waterloo/Kitchener BlackBerry KEYone Meetups!

The CrackBerry Meetup Canada tour continues. Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal were a great success. Next up is Waterloo/Kitchener. RSVP Now!

The CrackBerry Meetup Canada tour continues. Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal were a great success and the grand finale of the Canada tour takes place in BlackBerry's hometown of Kitchener/Waterloo on Thursday, May 18th!

Be sure to hit the links below for more details and to RSVP. Once the Canada tour is over we'll be announcing dates USA CrackBerry Meetups in June. We look forward to seeing you there!

Hosted by Android Central, this is a must-listen round table discussion on the new BlackBerry KEYone!

With embargoes lifting on BlackBerry KEYone reviews, the Android Central podcast duo of Daniel Bader and Jerry Hildenbrand needed some reinforcements to dive into the new BlackBerry KEYone, so they called CrackBerry Kevin and Bla1ze of the CrackBerry team and MrMobile himself, Michael Fisher, to help talk it through.

If you're jonesing to get your hands on the new KEYone or are just generally interested in it, this is a must-listen to episode. It's hosted by the very-professional Daniel Bader, so it's a little less chaotic and more on point than our typical CrackBerry podcasts. And between the Android Central crew, CrackBerry crew and MrMobile you get a lot of smart and balanced opinions in the mix. Along with some pretty fun stories.

NOTE - This is an audio only podcast (no video to watch). I hope you enjoy the show!

Listen to the Podcast

Hosts

Show notes

If you're not yet subscribed to MrMobile on YouTube, you're missing out. Since launching his channel a couple months shy of a year ago, Michael Fisher has emerged as one of the top tech reviewers on YouTube, with videos that are as much works of art as they are informative.

With the BlackBerry KEYone review embargoes lifting this morning, the internet is starting to fill up with reviews of the KEYone. We'll do a roundup of them soon, but in the meantime I wanted to highlight MrMobile's KEYone review video. It's definitely worth watching. Similar to some of the points I highlighted in CrackBerry's KEYone Review, he loves the general form factor, build quality and insanely good battery life that the KEYone offers.

MrMobile is also running a fantastic giveaway right now in celebration of his 100th video. If you want to get onboard for your share of tech loot, watch this video when you're done for all the details.

Follow MrMobile Everywhere

It's time to continue the CrackBerry Meetup Tour! The Canadian cities of Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal are next on the list before we turn south and visit the USA!

Update: Reminder that the Calgary Meetup is this Friday and Vancouver is this Saturday. And we've added a Kitchener/Waterloo Meetup for Thursday, May 18th!

As promised, it's time to bring the CrackBerry Meetup fun to more cities! After a hiatus in April, we're going to pick it up again in May visiting a handful of Canadian cities first before we take the tour south and visit some US destinations. The next cities we'll be hitting up are Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal!

DATES & RSVP NOW:

Hit the links below to jump over to official Meetup Page for full details and to RSVP. Once you're RSVP'd, you'll receive email updates as we get closer to dates, locking in the location and providing additional info.

Calgary - Friday, May 5th

Vancouver - Saturday, May 6th

Ottawa - Saturday, May 13th

Montreal - Monday, May 15th

Waterloo - Thursday, May 18th

Just as there is competition between Canadian hockey and football teams between cities, I'm thinking there's a bit of city pride on the line here with these meetups being back to back to back to back. Which city can bring you the biggest crew of BlackBerry fans?! That's the one that will win epic CrackBerry bragging rights! So be sure to spread the word, and RSVP!

Remember, all attendees will have a chance to go hands on with the BlackBerry KEYone and enter a draw where they could win a free BlackBerry KEYone!

SIGN UP TO CRACKBERRY MEETUP GROUP NEAR YOU

If you haven't yet, be sure to visit our global CrackBerry Meetup Groups page, where you can sign up for your city. If an official CrackBerry Meetup is coming your way, we'll be sure to let you know.

Register for a CrackBerry Meetup Group In Your City

Visit the CrackBerry Meetup Groups Forum

What to Expect at a CrackBerry Meetup

Watch the videos for highlights from our NYC and Miami meetups!

I know, I know... waiting is HARD and so many of you want your new BlackBerry KEYone NOOOOOW! To pass the time in true CrackBerry fashion, we're giving away chance to win not one, but THREE IOU's for a KEYone courtesy of CrackBerry Kevin!

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Eduard P. (@epertinez), Jean H. (Sigewif), Chris R. (Gelatinous). Congrats!!

Update: May 1st, 2017 - Thanks for participating in our BlackBerry KEYone #WORTHTHEWAIT Giveaway! The winners are Eduard P. (@epertinez), Jean H. (Sigewif), Chris R. (Gelatinous). Congrats to them all. We're already cooking up our next giveaway, so keep it locked to CrackBerry for your next chance to win!

Original Post: You know that saying time is relative? I think the wait for the BlackBerry KEYone is a good illustration of that. For hardcore BlackBerry fans that have been following the journey all the way back to 2015 when leaks of the then-codenamed "BlackBerry Vienna" surfaced, it has been a lonnng time yearning for this new phone. For others, the waiting began in January when it was teased as the BlackBerry Mercury, not by BlackBerry but by BlackBerry Mobile. For some the wait began at the end of February when the phone was officially unveiled as the BlackBerry KEYone at Mobile World Congress. And for many more people, the waiting has yet to begin - it won't be until the KEYone hits store shelves and official marketing ramps up that they'll realize BlackBerry is back with a kick ass Android-powered smartphone. What wait?! :)

Since the waiting is hardest for those wanting the KEYone the most, it's time to celebrate the wait with another chance to win an IOU for a BlackBerry KEYone courtesy of CBK. This time around I'm going to give you lots of options to enter.

Eight Ways To Enter the BlackBerry KEYone #WorthTheWait Giveaway

KEYone WORTH THE WAIT giveaway!

For this giveaway, we'll be using the fancy giveaway widget above. There are EIGHT ways to enter and gain entries for your chance to win. We're running this giveaway until the end of April and will announce three winners on May 1st, who will each receive an IOU for the BlackBerry KEYone.

Each method of entry will earn you a specific number of entries. If you're socially minded, you can earn over 30 entries by following BlackBerry Mobile, CrackBerry and CrackBerry Kevin in our various locations on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

If you're more of a CrackBerry Forums type of user, you can earn 2 entries per day by participating on our Happy Thoughts CrackBerry KEYone Waiting Room Thread! This needs to be verified via the widget above as well to count.

To get started with your entries, just hit the links on the widget and follow the instructions. Good luck!!

CrackBerry Podcast - Regroup

CrackBerry Podcast - Regroup

Bla1ze is back from vacation, CBK is (mainly) back to health, and Adam Zeis is out of CrackBerry retirement! The trio regroups on this episode to talk BlackBerry UK Launch, North American availability and more!

We fired up the CrackBerry Podcast machine Sunday evening to catch up on the BlackBerry news of the week, which was dominated by the BlackBerry KEYone which began it's global rollout, becoming available for purchase in the UK.

Continuing the 10 Years of CrackBerry fun, finally joining Bla1ze and CrackBerry Kevin on this episode was Adam Zeis, long-time CrackBerry Editor. With Bla1ze just back from vacation, Kevin still recovering from a cold and Adam a little bit out of the BlackBerry loop still, it was a bit of a messy show but fun all the same. We hope you enjoy it!

BlackBerry KEYone Unboxing Video Roundup

The BlackBerry KEYone was officially launched in the UK yesterday at Selfridges. The cozy rooftop venue was the perfect place to celebrate bringing the KEYone to the region. I wanted to be there in person and was booked to do so, but had to cancel my flight last minute (getting sick is the worst!).

That said, I still managed to get a CBK-certified KEYone unboxing up for your viewing pleasure. And I wasn't alone hitting the YouTube with KEYone unboxing goodness, check out these other unboxings to calm your KEYone nerve while you hold over for the device to go on sale in North America starting May 31st.

CrackBerry's BlackBerry KEYone Unboxing

CrackBerry's BlackBerry KEYone Unboxing

It's time... to unbox... the BlackBerry KEYone!

April 27th marks a big day in BlackBerry KEYone history with the device officially going on sale in the UK. It also marks a day when you'll start to see more BlackBerry KEYone content popping up online and on social channels as UK customers buy the device and the tech review process begins.

Yes, the KEYone has now made its way into the hands of many tech reviewers around the globe and while the reviews will be coming soon, today I can share with you my unboxing. Hit play on the video above to watch! Keep in mind, this was a review unit and not a retail store unit, so I'd expect to see some differences in packaging when you're able to pick up a KEYone for yourself. Our friends at AndroidCentral made it to the Selfridges event in London, so they should be following up soon with a proper look at retail packaging.

As for my full KEYone review thoughts, you'll have to wait on those, but I think the photo below sums it up nicely :)

BlackBerry KEYone will go on-sale in the U.S. starting on May 31

BlackBerry Mobile's press announcements today centered around UK and Canada launches of the BlackBerry KEYone but BlackBerry Mobile has also clarified on-sale availability for BlackBerry KEYone in the United States. The added information explains that additional carriers will be on board to support the BlackBerry KEYone including Sprint in the U.S. later this summer. Some key details include that there will be both GSM and CDMA unlocked variants available for purchase starting on May 31st for around $549.

In addition to the news related to our BlackBerry KEYone launch in Canada, we can confirm that the BlackBerry KEYone will go on-sale in the U.S. starting on May 31. This will include both GSM and CDMA unlocked variants, with the BlackBerry KEYone also coming to additional carriers – including Sprint – later this summer. We'll have further details to share as we get closer to the end of May.

While we don't have official details as to the exact pricing or where users can buy unlocked we expect as the date approaches those final details will be ironed out so users know exactly where to go once the KEYone hits open market availability.

In the past, Sprint was notably absent from support of BlackBerry devices. The last BlackBerry device Sprint carried was the BlackBerry Q10 back in 2013. Hopefully we'll see more US carriers announce their support soon.

Be sure you're registered for updates on BlackBerryMobile.com so you'll be the first to know when more details become publicly available closer to the end of May.

BlackBerry KEYone Canadian carrier partners and availability announced

Pre-Orders begin May 18; on-sale availability begins May 31st; and you'll be able to buy the KEYone for $199 on a 2-year term from Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel and Telus

Less than six months after TCL Communications signed a global smartphone licensing partnership with BlackBerry Limited we now have availability details announced for North America. By the end of May users in the region will finally be able to purchase their very own BlackBerry KEYone smartphone running Android Nougat 7.1.1.

TCL Communications has announced that the BlackBerry KEYone will be available for pre-order on May 18th, 2017 through select partners in Canada. On-sale availability for the U.S and Canada will begin on May 31st, 2017. The device will go on sale next month at Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel and TELUS Business starting at $199 CAD on a two-year term. With BlackBerry's Canadian heritage in mind, it's great to see all the support for this new era of BlackBerry smartphones on the homefront.

AWARD-WINNING BLACKBERRY® KEYONE OFFICIAL ON-SALE DETAILS ANNOUNCED FOR CANADA

IRVINE, Calif. and TORONTO – April 27, 2017 – As one of the highlights of this year's Mobile World Congress, the BlackBerry KEYone captured global attention and acclaim, ushering in a new era of BlackBerry smartphones. Today, TCL Communication, a leading global smartphone manufacturer and global smartphone licensing partner of BlackBerry Limited, is announcing that the BlackBerry KEYone will officially be on-sale in Canada next month at Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel and TELUS Business starting at $199 CAD on a two year term.

Ahead of next month's official on-sale date, the BlackBerry KEYone will be available for pre-order starting May 18 from select partners.

"After all the anticipation and positive response received from the BlackBerry community on the BlackBerry KEYone, it's an honor to offer this all-new Android-powered BlackBerry smartphone to customers across Canada," said Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for TCL Communication (TCT), North America. "The BlackBerry story has such a rich history here in Canada, and we're proud to be part of the new evolution of BlackBerry smartphones that reimagine how we communicate and stay connected with a device that is so distinctly different."

"BlackBerry fans in Canada will be extremely excited to have the BlackBerry KEYone available in their market," said Alex Thurber, Sr. Vice President and General Manager of the Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. "Anyone who is an Android loyalist and values the mobile security and productivity that BlackBerry software brings will love this smartphone."

BUILT TO LAST

An iconic BlackBerry smartphone made for the modern user, the BlackBerry KEYone combines a sleek aluminum frame and soft grip textured back built to offer the best in durability. It also has a 4.5-inch touch display that features Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4, offering greater impact and scratch resistance.

KEYBOARD REIMAGINED

The BlackBerry® KEYone reimagines how we communicate with a Smart Keyboard that goes beyond typing. Up to 52 customizable shortcuts transform each letter key for quick access to your favorite apps and most important contacts. Touch navigation responds to touch gestures like a trackpad, to quickly scroll through webpages or emails. Flick typing offers predictive text, made even faster with the ability to flick words onto your screen as you type. The device includes the world's first keyboard-embedded fingerprint sensor conveniently located in the spacebar and provides added device security.

POWERED BY ANDROID

Enjoy the familiarity and functionality of Android™ 7.1 Nougat giving users access to the entire Google Play™ store and over one million apps. This includes BlackBerry® Hub which brings all your messages into one consolidated place. This includes emails, texts and messages from any social media account.

OUTSTANDING BATTERY LIFE

Featuring the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone offers all-day use and then some, with up to 26+ hours of mixed use, thanks to the 3505mAh battery. Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 technology enables up to 50 percent charge in roughly 36 minutes. In times when you only have a few moments to charge up, BlackBerry® Boost is optimized to get you the most charge with the limited time you have.

WORLD'S MOST SECURE ANDROID SMARTPHONE

What really sets a BlackBerry smartphone apart from any other Android device, are the enhanced security features built into every device, right from the start. From a hardened operating system to BlackBerry Limited's proprietary technique for establishing a hardware root of trust adding security keys to the processor, the BlackBerry KEYone is designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible. This device comes pre-loaded with DTEK™ by BlackBerry, offering constant security monitoring and protection of your operating system and apps by letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it. A quick glimpse lets you see the overall security rating for your device and provides simple access allowing you to easily improve your security status. This BlackBerry security application monitors your other apps, alerting you if one is accessing your camera to take a picture or video, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, accessing your contacts or location.

IMPRESSIVE PHOTO QUALITY

The BlackBerry KEYone includes a 12MP rear camera with an industry leading camera sensor (Sony IMX378) that captures sharp, crisp photos in any light. The wide aperture lens with large 1.55μm pixels and dual-tone flash ensures your photos will have superior color and clarity. For times when you have to take a video conference on the go, the device includes an 8MP front camera with fixed focus, LCD Flash, and 84-degree wide angle lens.

QUALCOMM® SNAPDRAGON™ POWER

At the core of this new BlackBerry smartphone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 mobile platform with the Qualcomm® Adreno™ 506 GPU. This means BlackBerry KEYone users will enjoy a powerful combination of optimized battery efficiency and usage and fast LTE speeds for super-fast file sharing.

The BlackBerry KEYone will be on-sale in Canada and the U.S. starting on May 31, 2017. For more information about the BlackBerry KEYone and to register for pre-order updates, please visit www.BlackBerryMobile.com.

About TCL Communication

TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited (TCL Communication) designs, manufactures and markets an expanding portfolio of mobile and internet products and services worldwide under three key brands – TCL, Alcatel and BlackBerry. The company's portfolio of products are currently sold in over 160 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, TCL Communication ranked as a top-10 global smartphone manufacturer by IDC. Headquartered in Hong Kong, TCL Communication operates nine R&D centers worldwide, employing more than 13,500 people across the globe. For more information, please visit www.tclcom.com.

TCL is a registered trademark of TCL Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Alcatel is a trademark of Alcatel-Lucent used under license by TCL Communication.

Trademarks, including but not limited to BLACKBERRY and EMBLEM Design are the trademarks or registered trademarks of BlackBerry Limited, used under license, and the exclusive rights to such trademarks are expressly reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.

Qualcomm, Snapdragon and Adreno are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Quick Charge is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno and Qualcomm Quick Charge are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

BlackBerry KEYone now available in the UK in retail first at Selfridges

Today, TCL Communication, a leading global smartphone manufacturer and global smartphone licensing partner of BlackBerry Limited, celebrates the UK launch of its new BlackBerry smartphone – BlackBerry KEYone, at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London.

After the official BlackBerry KEYone unveiling during MWC 2017 in Barcelona, TCL Communications is now celebrating the UK launch of its new Android powered BlackBerry smartphone at Selfridges, Oxford Street store in London. BlackBerry KEYone will be available in limited quantities for £499 GBP at Selfridges and will be available to purchase from Carephone Warehouse stores nationwide starting May 5th.

In addition, the BlackBerry KEYone is also listed on the staging page at Vodafone UK. KEYone offers the best of the BlackBerry-Android software experience with the premium build quality and features you'd expect from a modern smartphone.

BLACKBERRY KEYone NOW AVAILABLE IN THE UK IN RETAIL FIRST AT SELFRIDGES

London – 27th April 2017 – Today, TCL Communication, a leading global smartphone manufacturer and global smartphone licensing partner of BlackBerry Limited, celebrates the UK launch of its new BlackBerry smartphone – BlackBerry KEYone, at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London. It is the first of our retail launches globally of the BlackBerry KEYone, released from TCL Communication under a new brand licensing agreement signed in December 2016 with BlackBerry Limited. Following the Selfridges launch, the BlackBerry KEYone will be available to purchase from Carphone Warehouse stores nationwide from May the 5th.

Speaking at the BlackBerry KEYone launch event at Selfridges, Johnathan Young, UK Country Manager for BlackBerry Mobile said "We are delighted to launch the BlackBerry KEYone first in the UK with Selfridges. Selfridges, voted world's best department store three times consecutively have been a longtime supporter of BlackBerry. Our retail strategy is to be where our customers are and, as a multichannel retailer dealing in the premium end of the market, Selfridges reflects BlackBerry KEYone's identity in the smartphone market."

"We want to congratulate BlackBerry Mobile on the UK launch of the BlackBerry KEYone." said Bosse Myhr, Selfridges Director of Technology, Home and Menswear "We are thrilled to be the first UK retailer to offer customers the BlackBerry KEYone at our flagship Oxford Street store and provide them with a premium smartphone that aligns with their unique and discerning style."

DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT, DISTINCTLY BLACKBERRY

BlackBerry KEYone pairs the best of BlackBerry's software and security with TCL Communication's commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable smartphones to customers around the world.

Beyond the iconic BlackBerry design that's been curated for the modern user, the BlackBerry KEYone comes with a number of additional features that truly reinvents communications for the professional consumer.

  • Built to last – An iconic BlackBerry smartphone made reliable for the demanding user, the BlackBerry KEYone combines a sleek aluminum frame and soft grip textured back built to offer the best in durability.

  • Runs Android™ 7.1 Nougat – giving users access to the entire Google Play store and apps - and will receive Google™ security patch updates.

  • The keyboard reimagined – Forget what you knew about keyboards, the BlackBerry Smart Keyboard goes beyond typing. It can be easily programmed to launch up to 52 customizable shortcuts, providing even greater ease of use. …And use it to scroll through web pages, the picture gallery or to take a picture.

  • Loaded with BlackBerry® Hub® – Bringing all your messages into one consolidated place; including emails, texts and messages from any social media account.

  • Unrivalled security features – The BlackBerry KEYone is designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible.

  • Long battery life – Featuring the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone offers roughly 26 hours of mixed use, thanks to its 3505mAh battery.

  • Impressive photo quality – The BlackBerry KEYone includes a 12MP rear camera with an industry leading camera sensor that captures sharp, crisp photos in any light. And for when you have to take a video conference on the go, it includes an 8MP front camera with fixed focus and 84-degree wide angle lens.

The BlackBerry KEYone is available exclusively at the Home and Tech department at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London for a limited period, at the price of £499 GBP.

For more information about the BlackBerry KEYone please visit www.BlackBerryMobile.com.

About TCL Communication TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited (TCL Communication) designs, manufactures and markets an expanding portfolio of mobile and internet products and services worldwide under three key brands – TCL, Alcatel and BlackBerry. The company's portfolio of products are currently sold in over 160 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, TCL Communication ranked as a top-10 global smartphone manufacturer by IDC. Headquartered in Hong Kong, TCL Communication operates nine R&D centers worldwide, employing more than 13,500 people across the globe. For more information, please visit www.tclcom.com.

TCL is a registered trademark of TCL Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Alcatel is a trademark of Alcatel-Lucent used under license by TCL Communication.

Trademarks, including but not limited to BLACKBERRY and EMBLEM Design are the trademarks or registered trademarks of BlackBerry Limited, used under license, and the exclusive rights to such trademarks are expressly reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.

BlackBerry KEYone coming soon to Vodafone UK

BlackBerry KEYone coming soon to Vodafone UK

The BlackBerry KEYone has just popped up on the 'Coming Soon' area of the Vodafone UK website. While there aren't any specifics on a release date or pricing it's great to see confirmation that the much anticipated BlackBerry KEYone will be available soon from Vodafone UK. Normally devices will sit in this staging area before availability options are made available.

Just last week Steve Cistulli President & GM of TCL Communication (TCT) North America tweeted out to expect KEY news coming this week asking fans to stay tuned.

He also posted a picture along with the announcement showing what we can only assume to be the retail packaging. As we cross the midpoint of this week we're eager to see what news may come about. Vodafone showing support for the KEYone bodes well for buyers in the UK who already have the option of placing a pre-order through Carphone Warehouse.

BlackBerry KEYone Coming Soon to Vodafone UK

It's time to next level the CrackBerry Meetup fun. We've just added 45+ more cities to our CrackBerry Meetup Groups list. If you live in one of these cities and would attend a meetup with other BlackBerry fans, SIGN UP NOW!

As part of our 10 years of CrackBerry celebration fun, I'm trying to bring as many BlackBerry fans together as I can. So far we've hit up Barcelona, Toronto, Winnipeg, Miami and NYC and we've had a blast in every city, giving attendees the opportunity to get an early hands-on look at the BlackBerry KEYone. I'll soon be announcing four more cities I'll be bringing the CrackBerry Meetup tour to in May - you'll want to sign up for the city you live in on our CrackBerry Meetup Groups page so you don't miss out when a meetup gets scheduled.

Making CrackBerry Meetups Happen in More Cities!

I've realized two things from our meetups this year:

  1. It's about bringing BlackBerry fans together. As cool as it was for everyone to get to see the KEYone early, the best part is having a bunch of hardcore BlackBerry fans together in one room who can meet in real life and talk BlackBerry for a night.
  2. CrackBerry Kevin doesn't scale that well. Even living out of a suitcase for a couple of months, there are only so many places I can hit up.

Reflecting on those points, a light bulb went off. We could also have CrackBerry Meetups take place in cities where CrackBerry Kevin can't get to. We can find a volunteer or two in each city be our designated "CrackBerry Meetup Coordinator" and with the support of CrackBerry and our amazing community events/contests coordinator, Michelle Haag, we could bring meetups to life even if I can't be there in person (we'll send out a CB-Meetup-in-a-Box kit to our meetup coordinator, have an awesome prize to be given away at each meetup, etc.).

To that end, we've setup a new CrackBerry Meetup Group page that has FIFTY CITIES on it from around the world. We can add more locations too - so if your city isn't listed you can leave a comment letting us know and we can look at getting it added if enough people mention. I think it would be awesome if we could get 50+ members signed up in each city listed.

So that's it. Hit the link below to jump over to our meetup group listings and SIGN UP for your city. This will also help me to prioritize the cities I'll line up to visit, so if you participate in local BBM Groups, etc., be sure to rally your local BlackBerry-using friends and colleagues to sign up. Spread the word!!

Visit the Crackberry Meetup Groups page to find your city and SIGN UP!

The BlackBerry KEYone is available for pre-order at Carphone Warehouse SIM-free for £499 starting today.

And so it begins! We've been waiting to see some official news in regards to when consumers will be able to start buying the BlackBerry KEYone. The first country out of the gate is the UK with a pre-order announcement from the always-popular Carphone Warehouse.

Beginning today, UK residents can pre-order the BlackBerry KEYone SIM free for £499. The phone comes with the smartest keyboard ever put on a smartphone, a whopping HUGE 3,505mAh battery, and an awesome 12 megapixel camera (check out @blackberrymobile on Instagram for some amazing examples).

Full details in the press release and you can hit the Pre-Order link below to jump over to Carphone Warehouse's website to learn more and place you're order. If you're outside of the UK, be sure to visit www.blackberrymobile.com and sign up for updates.

Pre-Order the BlackBerry KEYone from Carphone Warehouse

Unlock your potential with the new BlackBerry KEYone. Now Available for pre-order at Carphone Warehouse

  • New BlackBerry® device featuring an innovative keyboard, powerful battery, industry leading camera sensor and top level security
  • The BlackBerry KEYone is available to pre-order SIM free for £499 from 20th April

London, 20th April, 2017 – The BlackBerry® KEYone is now available for pre-order online exclusively at Carphone Warehouse.

This new BlackBerry® device from TCL Communication features an innovative keyboard with improved shortcut capabilities and a hidden fingerprint scanner inside the space bar creates an entirely unique and tactile user experience. The unique physical keyboard can be adapted to provide bespoke shortcuts meaning each app is only one touch away.

The BlackBerry® KEYone provides plenty of power with a huge 3,505mAh battery, which is the largest battery ever in a BlackBerry® smartphone with up to 26 hours of mixed use.

The device also boasts a striking build with 4.5-inch, Full HD display screen which showcases the advanced visual quality, and a powerful 12MP camera, with large pixels to capture bright photos, a front facing lens and the capacity to shoot videos at 4K resolution.

BlackBerry's® updated advanced security software also means that the new KEYone is one of the most secure Android smartphones on the market.

For more information or to pre-order the BlackBerry® KEYone please visit:http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/blackberry/keyone.html

About Dixons Carphone

Dixons Carphone plc is Europe's leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company, employing over 42,000 people in eleven countries.

Focused on helping customers navigate the connected world, Dixons Carphone offers a comprehensive range of electrical and mobile products, connectivity and expert after-sales services from the Geek Squad and Knowhow.

Dixons Carphone's primary brands include Carphone Warehouse, CurrysPCWorld and Simplifydigital in the UK & Ireland, Elkjøp, Elkjøp Phonehouse, Elgiganten, Elgiganten Phonehouse, Gigantti and Lefdal in the Nordic countries, Kotsovolos in Greece, Dixons Travel in a number of UK & Ireland airports and Phone House in Spain. Our key service brands include Knowhow in the UK, Ireland and the Nordics, and Geek Squad in the UK, Ireland and Spain.

Business-to-business (B2B) services are provided through Connected World Services (including honeyBee software products), PC World Business and Carphone Warehouse Business. Connected World Services aims to leverage the Group's existing expertise, operating processes and technology to provide a range of services to businesses.

Dixons Carphone was voted 'Retailer of the Year' at the Retail Week Awards 2016.

BlackBerry Mobile's new Instagram feed is glorious

While on my morning social catch up I had several post notifications for BlackBerry Mobile on Instagram. Their page has now gone live, and WOW it's glorious! It really tells a story about BlackBerry KEYone in a thoughtful way. I haven't seen many brand accounts taking such a considerate approach to their Instagram page.

Hello CrackBerry Nation!

When I initially brought CrackBerry Kevin out of retirement for the month of February to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry, I wasn't expecting to have nearly as much fun as I've been having. I also had no expectations that the festivities would continue beyond February and the end of Mobile World Congress.

Following my hosting duties at the BlackBerry KEYone launch event, the fine folks at BlackBerry Mobile let me leave Barcelona with a couple of KEYone engineering samples so I could show them off to other BlackBerry fans itching to get a first look at the KEYone. I did just that in March by hosting a handful of awesome CrackBerry meetups in cities like Toronto, Winnipeg, Miami and New York.

Now here we are, it's April and as we get closer to the rollout of the KEYone I'm happy to say the fun isn't stopping anytime soon.

Listen up for a few announcements that I hope you will all appreciate:

1. BlackBerry Mobile is sponsoring the CrackBerry website for 2017!

BlackBerry Mobile made the unveiling of the KEYone truly memorable by financially supporting us to bring 10 CrackBerry members to Barcelona to attend the event in person.

I'm happy to say that we've now entered into an advertising partnership with BlackBerry Mobile that will be kicking off soon. This means you can expect to see tasteful, fast-loading ads for the KEYone running on the CrackBerry website. It also means we'll continue to keep turned off all the slow-loading, junky units that I know so many of you dislike but have helped pay the bills to keep this site going.

The BIG benefit of this advertising relationship FOR YOU is that it's going to allow me to take the CrackBerry experience to the next level. I'm loving the KEYone and am all-in on doing what I personally can to get BlackBerry Smartphones back on the map again, so you can expect the proceeds to get invested into making CrackBerry extra awesome. More giveaways, more content and even a revamped site design and app are in the works. It also means I can dedicate more of my time to activities like hosting CrackBerry meetups!

If you're wondering whether anything will change content-wise around here because of CrackBerry receiving advertising dollars, the answer is, not really. You can expect the same CrackBerry Kevin as always, along with the same 'ole Bla1ze. More on us remaining objective below. I'm also looking to grow the editorial team and add some new personalities into the CrackBerry mix. One name you won't see though on CrackBerry anymore is James Nieves, because…

2. James Nieves is leaving CrackBerry and will be supporting BlackBerry Mobile!

James only recently started contributing to CrackBerry, but many of you in the BlackBerry community know him from his years running BerryFlow. James has always been an extremely passionate BlackBerry fan and supporter and is now going to level up by supporting BlackBerry Mobile behind the scenes on their social game.

It's a little bittersweet as James was a fantastic addition to CrackBerry, but overall I think this is just a simply fantastic move for both James and BlackBerry Mobile that will ultimately help benefit all of us BlackBerry users. For James it's his dream gig, for BlackBerry Mobile it's pure win as they gain an individual truly passionate for the brand who understands the needs of their long-term users, and for all of us I think we can agree it's just awesome to see. All the best to James and I know he'll do great things and make us proud.

3. Dark Theme and More Coming to CrackBerry!

The last major update we made to the CrackBerry website was rolled out when BlackBerry 10 was getting ready to launch. The KEYone marks a new era for BlackBerry so we're going to mark the occasion with a BIG update to CrackBerry to match. And yes, CrackBerry is finally getting a dark theme. Having seen all of the designs, all I can say is IT LOOKS SOOOO NICE. We also have a big update to our CrackBerry Android app in the works.

Screw The Good 'Ole Days; Let's Make the New Days Even Better!

I hope you read the words above and felt the same level of excitement as I have right now. When I came out of retirement in February it was with the aim of bringing back the "good 'ole days of BlackBerry" on CrackBerry. Reflecting on the past two months and thinking ahead on what we have planned, I had the realization it's time to quit trying to re-live the past and instead focus on creating a new era of BlackBerry awesome. Per the announcements above, I truly believe we can rebuild this community and make it better than ever.

On Disclaimers and Remaining Objective - Over our 10 Years of CrackBerry we have had many advertising sponsorships, including occasional campaigns with BlackBerry. Per disclosure rules, any content that is specifically sponsored always gets labeled as such. Since this new BlackBerry Mobile sponsorship is a broad advertising sponsorship, we'll be baking in a note at the at the top of the site (i.e. 10 Years of CrackBerry brought to you by BlackBerry Mobile) and we've updated our site footer as well with the following verbiage:

You could call us biased, and you wouldn't be wrong, because at CrackBerry we love BlackBerry and think you should own a BlackBerry Smartphone! We also work as a community support and marketing partner with BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile. Our immense passion and knowledge of BlackBerry by our editors and community members make this the best resource for BlackBerry you'll find anywhere!

As part of this disclosure, for personalities like CrackBerry Kevin and Bla1ze on Twitter or Instagram, you may occasionally see us add additional disclosures like #sponsored or #ad on posts related to BlackBerry Mobile product sales. Our social content is always our own, but we just want to be frank and make it obvious with our readers that we're effectively paid supporters of BlackBerry Mobile due to their advertising on CrackBerry.

As for our ability to remain objective during periods of sponsorship, I'll copy and paste in part of a reply I left in the CrackBerry forums the other week on this topic:

When I launched CrackBerry, it was biased by definition and by design. I mean, the site is dedicated to BlackBerry. We're a pro-BlackBerry type of site, even when we haven't always been happy or agreed with everything the company has done over the years (I like to think of us as the coach on the sidelines cheering on their team to win even when yelling at the players). CrackBerry definitely is not and has never claimed to be a journalist-run organization. This is a community by BlackBerry users and fans, for BlackBerry users and fans, that aims to set out to help all BlackBerry users... and we've always felt the world would be a better place if everybody used a BlackBerry so we always put a lot of effort and have a lot of fun covering the newest devices. I think we're always pretty damn objective though as we're more passionate and knowledgeable about this stuff than anybody else out there writing or talking about it.

CrackBerry runs independent of BlackBerry, but over the years there have been times when we work more closely together, whether on marketing initiatives or advertising campaigns or support initiatives. If a content piece or initiative is specifically sponsored, we disclose that. Back in 2013 for example we ran the big BlackBerry-sponsored Talk Mobile campaigns, and at times you'll see advertising running on the site for BlackBerry. We've always had a good working relationship over the years.

If you have any questions based on all that, I'll linger around the comments for a bit so I can answer them.

It's been an exciting start to 2017 and the best is yet to come. I hope you join us for the ride and spread the word that it's time to buy BlackBerry Smartphone again!

The smartest smartphone KEYboard

The smartest smartphone KEYboard

I was tight on studio time this week but found a few minutes to fire things up for another CBK video. You don't call a phone KEYone without a big part of the story being about the KEYboard, so in this video I dive into what makes it so damn smart.

A few weeks ago on Valentine's Day I posted a gush fest video about why physical keyboards still rock and will have a place in the smartphone world for years to come despite the majority of devices these days being touchscreen slabs. If you missed that video, you can watch it here.

In this video I followed up with another video about the BlackBerry KEYone's KEYboard and what makes it so fantastically smart. Of course, if you're reading this on CrackBerry you're likely already up to speed with the KEYboard's awesomeness. Like many keyboard smartphones before it, you can program shortcuts which make the phone more immediately useful every time you pick it up (short press & long press options make these shortcuts even smarter). And like some newer BlackBerry keyboard models, you can also swipe on the keyboard like a trackpad. The KEYone goes a step further adding a fingerprint sensor to the spacebar, which still boggles my mind every time I use it (basically magic!).

I hope you enjoy the video! It's meant to be fun and entertaining and a little informative - we'll definitely do deeper dives into the KEYone's keyboard in the weeks ahead! If you do enjoy the video, I really do appreciate any Shares and Thumbs Ups you can give to the video on YouTube (that'll help re-kickstart our channel a bit), and if you're not subscribed then PLEASE SUBSCRIBE! The more people who watch them the more we'll make! Be sure to turn on notifications so you don't miss any!

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