It's been just over two years since the BlackBerry Classic launched, and, confession time: I picked one up. I don't even remember what phone I was using at the time as my daily driver, but as soon as I could get my hands on the Classic, with that physical keyboard, I jumped at the opportunity.
It didn't last long, though.
Truth be told, while the BlackBerry Classic was a solid device, it lacked in a lot of key areas. The most obvious was the fact that the device simply didn't have the app support that BlackBerry needed to get a successful handset off the ground. BlackBerry 10, the operating system on the handset, was the company's last real effort, and, well, we know how that worked out.
But the Classic lagged in the camera department, too, which, to this day, is still one of the most important elements of a smartphone when I'm considering my next device. So while it was great to return to the physical keyboard for a little while, it wasn't meant to last. And now, just over two years later, I realize that I don't miss that physical typing experience, either.
I'm reminded of all this because we now know the BlackBerry KEYone, manufactured by TCL, will be available to buy on May 31. And while the handset seems like a pretty solid mid-range device, which will probably have a pretty great camera on the back, I can't find any excitement for the smartphone. The inclusion of Android on board is great (as has been the case for BlackBerry's smartphones for quite some time now), but, still, that physical keyboard just isn't something I'm looking for these days.
The stock software keyboard on smartphones are pretty great right out of the box, but even if you don't prefer that experience, there are so many great options to choose from by third parties. Even iOS now supports third-party keyboards! And for anyone that misses the clicking of a physical keyboard, sound effects are easy to turn on for software 'boards.
We've seen a lot of features and specifications in smartphones disappear over the years, and, for all intents and purposes, the physical keyboard is one of them. However, BlackBerry is making a point to revitalize the feature with the upcoming KEYone, and it's happy to do so. My question to all of you is this: Are you actually eager to adopt it? Is the physical keyboard something you actually miss these days? Let me know!