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BlackBerry KEYone
BlackBerry KEYone
BlackBerry KEYone
BlackBerry KEYone

Informr score
The BlackBerry KEYone currently has an Informr score of 7.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 53 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Excellent physical keyboard
  • Sharp display
  • All-day battery life
  • Plenty of storage
  • Decent camera
  • Attractive design

What's bad

  • Weak low-light camera performance
  • Odd screen ratio for video watching
  • Poor gaming performance
  • Price

The BlackBerry KEYone is the company’s latest attempt to prove that physical keyboards (and their brand) aren’t dead. While their earlier efforts have impressed some, they have yet to release an option that made a mainstream splash.

Does their latest release keep enough BlackBerry around to satisfy long-time fans while providing modern touches that will lure in avid smartphone users?

The reviews are rolling in and we’ve scoured what the experts are saying to bring you this summary—Let’s get started!

The phone features a mostly metal design with a textured rear panel. Reviewers were all quick to point out that this phone looks like a BlackBerry. It’s thicker and heavier than most flagship competitors, but reviewers didn’t mind.

PC Magazine summed up opinions well, saying, “The KeyOne has a solid heft to it and a textured, grippy back. It'll stay in your hand, and it's well-balanced so when you shift your hand to focus on the keyboard, it doesn't feel like it's going to tip over.”

The only design complaints found were a few mentions of trouble with one-handed use.

Heading around front, you’ll see the obvious difference between this phone and most others. Beneath the 4.5-inch 1080-by-1620 IPS display you’ll find a 4-row physical keyboard.

Reviews of the display were mostly positive. Some found that the screen was dimmer than other phones. However, color and clarity received top marks. Pocket-Lint said, “While contrast isn't as impressive as it might be from an AMOLED panel, it's still decent. What's more, colours are natural and look good.”

But, if you’re looking to play games or watch videos, you might consider other options.

The first issue is the screen’s resolution. Due its 3:2 ratio, reviewers noted that most videos featured black bars at the top and bottom. So you won’t be able to enjoy the full-screen experience available on most phones.

For games meant to run in landscape orientation, the odd resolution can cause problems as well.

It’s clear that BlackBerry means the phone to be a productivity and communications tool—not a gaming and entertainment platform. This shows as well in their choice of processor. While the 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor and 3GB of RAM offered reviewers smooth use in everyday apps, emails or web browsing, performance in games was questionable.

PC Magazine said, “This is clearly not a gaming phone; it's a messaging phone.” However, if you don’t need high-end performance, Pocket-Lint noted, “For the most part, the KeyOne is a relatively lag- and stutter-free experience.”

The phone ships with Android 7.1 Nougat and 32GB of internal storage. If you need more space, support for microSD cards makes it easy and affordable to add up to 256GB of storage.

To keep things running long into the night, BlackBerry went with a 3,505mAh battery. Reviewers had zero complaints about battery endurance. Mashable said, “I easily made it through a day and half and sometimes almost two days while doing all the things I'd normally do on my iPhone.” Should you find yourself low on power, QuickCharge 3.0 support offers an 80% top-off in just over 30 minutes.

One of the weakest points of past BlackBerry models is the camera. Reviews show they’ve improved things with the KEYone. The phone includes a 12MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus and an 8MP front-facing shooter for selfies. Reviews for both are good in adequate lighting. But, as with many smartphones, as the light fades, so does quality.

9to5Google summed up camera opinions well, saying, “Shots in less-than-ideal lighting have lots of digital noise and the colors don’t pop as much. It’s certainly the best camera on a BlackBerry, but it’s not the best camera you can buy today.”

If you’re considering a BlackBerry, you’re probably looking for a physical keyboard. And reviews for this one are great. They’ve included gesture based controls that allow you to use the keyboard as a track pad. There's also per-key shortcuts to put virtually anything on your phone a button press away. There’s even a fingerprint scanner in the space bar that reviewers loved. The only reviews that didn’t like the keyboard didn’t like physical keyboards in general.

Overall, the biggest complaint about the phone is its price. While you get a premium look and feel with the KEYone, performance is closer to the mid-tier market. Despite this, you’re paying a flagship price.

PC Magazine summed up opinions well, saying, “What you think about the KeyOne rides entirely on something that can't be measured through tests or benchmarks: It's whether you've moved on from hardware keyboards.”

Operating system
Operating system
2 GHz
2 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
12+ MP, f/2
12+ MP, f/2
3505 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...

Gadgets 360
Gadgets 360

This is a unique smartphone and can't really be judged as an equal with others in its price class. It clearly targets a niche, but what's unknown at this point is whether the target audience is big enough. Even if there are people who like the idea or the memory of a physical keyboard, will they be...

- Jamshed Avari, Gadgets 360
Good Gear Guide
Good Gear Guide

All in all, this really is one of the very best phones you can buy. If typing is important to you it should be near the top of your list.

- Nick Ross, Good Gear Guide

The BlackBerry KEYone is a phone for business users and beyond. The keyboard is great, the design is strong and it will keep going for days, but having that keyboard means some compromises with the screen.

- James Rogerson,

You're stuck for choice if you want a keyboard phone, but the KEYone Black is an improvement on its predecessor that makes the lack of choice easier to bear.

- Alex Kidman,

As a standalone device, the BlackBerry KeyOne is a good phone. However, throw competing smartphones into the mix at the same price point and it’s difficult to recommend the KeyOne.

- Sameer Mitha, Digit

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the BlackBerry KEYone user manual here.

BlackBerry backs up the KEYone with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your KEYone has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact BlackBerry support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find BlackBerry's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Screen Size

The BlackBerry KEYone's screen size is 4.5 inches with 1080 x 1620 pixels resolution.

2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm 8953 Snapdragon 625 Octa core 2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 7.1 Nougat (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo) operating system (OS).

12+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 12+ MP, f/2 camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3505 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are 1241 minutes, 659 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

BlackBerry KEYone Specs

Release Date April 28, 2017
Regions Available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Operating System Android 7.1 Nougat (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm 8953 Snapdragon 625 Octa core 2 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.47 W/kg
Body: 1.31 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Mobile / Cellular Data
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB)
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
12+ Megapixels, f/2
4x digital
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, ASF, DivX, XviD, AVI, MKV
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
8+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Image stabilization, Wide Selfie
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1620 pixels
Pixel Density 433 pixels
Size 4.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3505 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to 738 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to 659 minutes
Internet Use (Cellular) Unknown
Talk Time Up to 1241 minutes
Standby Time Unknown
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Bar
Material Aluminium
Colors Black, Bronze
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.7 x 7.1 x 0.9 cm (5.8 x 2.8 x 0.4 in)
Weight 180 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Yes
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Input / Keyboard Type QWERTY
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Additional Information Other Names (AKA): BlackBerry DTEK70, Mercury
Related Links Manual (PDF)
BlackBerry KEYone Reviews
Where to buy BlackBerry KEYone
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