Before Mobile World Congress officially kicked off, BlackBerry took the stage and announced its newest smartphone: the TCL manufactured KeyOne. The device had been leaked often enough ahead of the public announcement, going around as the BlackBerry Mercury, and one of the main draws of the upcoming handset is a physical keyboard.
Nostalgia is playing a pretty big role for some companies out there. HMD Global, for example, the company that's in charge of building and releasing new Nokia-branded phones, is using the familiar Nokia 3310 name to launch a device that might make the perfect backup phone due to its pricing, but is certainly no Nokia 3310.
And then there's TCL and the BlackBerry brand. But, more than that, physical keyboards.
First, I just have to say that while Nokia hasn't necessarily been out of the smartphone game all that long, it sure feels like they have. And the Nokia 3310 is a relic of yesteryear -- it deserves to be soaking in nostalgia, and, maybe, even a reboot. (Hey, Hollywood, the smartphone industry would like its slice of that pie, too.)
Meanwhile, it's only been just over two years since the BlackBerry Classic launched, and here we are with the BlackBerry KeyOne (KEYone?), where its most lauded feature is a physical keyboard -- like it's been missing for years. I don't have any doubt that there are still people out there who would prefer a physical keyboard, but maybe that shouldn't be the only standout feature on your new smartphone for 2017.
To be fair, the KeyOne's camera is similar to the one that's installed in the Google Pixel, so there's a chance that future owners of the KeyOne will have a really strong camera experience with their smartphone, too, which is definitely a nice bonus. But, as far as the rest of the specs are concerned, the KeyOne is a mid-range handset where its primary selling point is that physical keyboard.
But! While the KeyOne isn't a device that has my attention at all, I'm curious to know if any of you out there have already planned ahead to make this your new daily driver for the year (or for how ever long you hold onto it). Are you wanting to go back to a physical keyboard? If so, do you mind the other mid-range specs? Or would you prefer a high-end smartphone with a physical 'board? Let me know!