This right here is the Samsung Galaxy S8. It’s been my main daily driver for the past week and a half. But then, about five days ago, I got a mysterious package in the mail. I opened it up and it had a bunch of this weird cardboard fluffy stuff and underneath of that was a box with a BlackBerry logo.
This right here is the BlackBerry KEYone. It was codenamed Mercury back at CES where we had our first look at this brand new BlackBerry. Straight up, this is a very interesting device and I’m very excited to take a look at it. I’ve been using it the past couple of days and I can’t really officially talk about the phone itself in terms of what I think about it. But I can give you guys a first unboxing experience video about the BlackBerry KEYone, which is a very strange step by BlackBerry. It’s made by TCL, the same makers of Alcatel. So let’s go ahead and unbox it and talk about some of the points that just strike me at first impressions after using this phone after a couple of days now. I will really reenact my first experience while using this phone right out of the box.
So the box is pretty simple, very sleek and as simple as it can be. You open it up and there is the BlackBerry KEYone. A really cool thing about this phone is it runs Android 7.1 Nougat. It has a 4.5-inch touchscreen. It also has a full QWERTY keyboard, an integrated fingerprint sensor on the space bar on the keyboard. The only weird thing that I want to note real fast is the lock button is on the left side of the phone and then this is the BlackBerry convenience key, which you can program it to do almost anything that you want other than lock/unlock your phone. It’s sort of annoying. But overall, let me just talk about the build quality real fast.
This thing is really special. I’ve been teasing this on Twitter. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, I’ve been talking about an amazing phone that’s not the S8 or iPhone or any of those phones. And it’s just this phone feels so high quality in the hand. It’s built like a tank. It feels like a super machine. It almost feels like the original iPhone 4 when we first saw that. It almost has that feel in the hand. Obviously, it’s way more machine than the iPhone in terms of the industrial look. But I’m definitely a huge fan of the way this thing looks.
Let’s go ahead and power this guy on, power up that 4.5-inch touchscreen and we’ll take a look at what else comes inside the box. So open it back up here. We’ll lift up this little plastic sleeve for the phone. We have another sleeve that has your manual and SIM ejector tool. Then inside the box, we have a wall wart, a USB Type-C to USB, and we also have a pair of headphones which look like any ear headphones and they’re BlackBerry branded with a BlackBerry logo on the headphones themselves. I’m not sure if we’ll ever take a look at those again but it’s nice to see that they are USB Type-C for the charging on the BlackBerry KEYone.
So hardware-wise, we’re talking about the Snapdragon 635 processor, Android 7.1 on the software side with BlackBerry’s customization, we also have BBM and DTEK and all that kind of stuff for security purposes.
Again, I really can’t talk super in depth about the software experience or just the overall experience until a few days from now so make sure to keep it locked here at PhoneDog where we’ll have a full review of the BlackBerry KEYone in due time. Check out the video if you want to see a more in-depth software view about this brand new BlackBerry KEYone, make sure to check out the video from CES 2017. It’s called “Meet the New BlackBerry.”
I’ve been using this thing as my daily driver. I’ve been tweeting from it, taking photos on it on Instagram. So if you are taking a look, you are viewing images from the BlackBerry KEYone, which basically has essentially the same camera as the Google Pixel, which is that 12-megapixel Sony sensor on the back of this phone.