The wait is finally over. The embargo has been lifted and we can now talk about the BlackBerry Key2 from TCL.
Instead of producing a full 5-10 minute review of this handset where we kind of touch on every little area of this device but don’t really go into too much detail, we thought we would bring back the 30-Day Challenge series with the Key2. I’ll be removing my SIM card from my iPhone X and inserting it into the Key2, which will be my new daily driver for the next 30 days. Basically the entire month of July, I’ll be using the Key2.
I will be testing other phones throughout this month most likely just because new phones are released every other week or so it seems. But only one phone will be used for my social media updates, emails, personal text messages, etc. That phone will be the Key2.
So the Key2 will be available on July 13th in the US with a starting price of $649.99, which is $100 more than the original Key1. That’s a lot of money for a smartphone. On paper, you get a lot of attractive features and specifications. However, the obvious glaring shortcoming or con is the mid-tier Snapdragon 660 CPU. One of the biggest cons with last year’s Key1 was its sluggish performance and it had the 625 CPU with 4GB of RAM. So there’s two more GB of RAM with the Key2 and a slightly newer mid-tier 660 processor. But only time will tell if the performance is going to hold up on this device.
With that said, it does have taller, physical keys; a slimmer, more premium build consisting of aluminum, glass, and relatively thin bezels. And there are duo rear-facing camera sensors on the rear that offer features like portrait mode and optical zoom.
I’ve never actually used a BlackBerry smartphone as a daily driver. I’ve researched them and tested various BlackBerry smartphones but I’ve never actually used one as my main smartphone of choice. One of the first smartphones I actually ever desired was the BlackBerry Storm, which was RIM’s first attempt at launching a genuine iPhone rival. It was their first all-touch screen keyboard-free smartphone that caught my eye because back in 2008, most phones had physical keyboards. The touchscreen was actually the cutting edge, revolutionary feature that was just starting to make its appearance. Ten years later and things have completely flipped. Touchscreens are unanimous, physical QWERTY keyboards are the minority. That’s what’s so interesting about the Key2 and why this 30-day challenge will be so unique.
Over the next 30 days, we’re going to discuss the build and setup process, apps, software features, performance, display, camera, and battery. And then we’re going to wrap it all up with a comprehensive, conclusive review. Each segment is going to have its own video. I will do my best to provide as much detail as to what my experience has been with the display or camera and what kind of features are off.
If there’s anything you like us to answer specifically in a future video, leave a comment below.