In an era of all touch phones, a physical keyboard is a surprising feature. While Samsung and Apple are struggling and aiming to produce bezel-less phones, BlackBerry is trying an alternative approach. Both BlackBerry KeyOne and BlackBerry Key2 come with physical keyboards.


The BlackBerry Key2 is not a phone that you can use for entertainment purposes. It is primarily targeted for a productive user base that uses phones for business communications such as emails, text messages and calls. It does not feature a fast processor or a top-notch camera. However, BlackBerry has loaded the phone with security apps. The keyboard also doubles over as a trackpad and is fairly easy to get used to.


BlackBerry Key2 runs the latest Android 8.1 Oreo software.  The phone has a 4.5-inch display, which is less compared to other phones on the market. The screen size is less due to the keyboard. Packed with a 3500 mAh battery which lasts more than 24 hours, it has a USB-C charging port. The BlackBerry Key2 has 6GB of Ram, and 64GB or 128GB internal storage. TCL has added a Snapdragon 660 CPU. It has a 12MP back and 8MP front camera. The pixel range is low and the image quality is not so great.


Due to its small screen size, the phone is not particularly favourable when it comes to using social media apps. Instagram’s full display does not fit right into the screen view, and watching YouTube videos is highly uncomfortable. You can also not play games on this phone.


The BlackBerry KeyOne and the BlackBerry Key2 are both phones with a physical keyboard. When it comes to design, not much has changed from the KeyOne to Key2. Both have the same sort of keyboard with backlit keys, a fingerprint scanner coupled with the space key; however, in the Key2 the keyboard doubles over as a trackpad.  There is a new key in BlackBerry Key2’s keyboard, the “Space Key”. This allows users to quickly launch two applications while other applications are still running in the background.

When it comes to software, the BlackBerry Key2 witnesses some major upgrades. The KeyOne ran on Android 7.1, while the Key2 has Android’s latest software- 8.1 Oreo. TCL has also upgraded the hardware. Last year’s KeyOne had a Snapdragon 845 chipset, an octa-core processor and came in two variants; 3GB RAM with 32GB ROM and 4GB RAM with 64GB ROM. This year Key2 has been upgraded to 6GB RAM with either 64 or 128 GB of ROM. The chipset has been upgraded to Snapdragon 660 CPU.
KeyOne has a 3505 mAh battery which features fast charge and the battery can be charged up to 50% in 36 mins. Key2 has a slightly smaller battery, it’s a 3500 mAh cell which can also be fast charged.
The camera in Key2 has great changes. It now features a dual rear camera sensor although the pixel range remains the same. The KeyOne had a 12MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. The Key2’s cameras have optical zoom and 1.28-micrometre pixels for better low light performance.


For most Android users out there, this is not the phone to purchase. Perhaps it is a good option for business communication and those who want to use a slightly advanced phone for regular functions of calling and messaging. However, if you want your hands on a heavy and not-so-modern smartphone, you can go for it. BlackBerry Key2 has a good camera and a generous battery. Most of all, if you are one of those who loves using a tactile keyboard with an upgrades technology of smartphone software, you can definitely give it a try!

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Nur ul ain Chaudhry is a LUMS Economics and Politics graduate who takes a keen interest in tech blogging and tech news. Her forte is Interbrand comparisons and reviews and Startup/Kickstarter stories and ideas.

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