Instead of doing a normal first hands-on, I decided to do a 48 hours later post, to see how I am doing with the KEYone before doing my full review in a week or two.
The Selfridge’s launch party for the KEYone was not something I was expecting to like, but the combination of lovely food, great coffee and great WiFi really changed my mind. At the end of the event I was given a KEYone for review, and oh boy, I am loving it.
Starting with the Display, the 1620×1080 IPS panel was so vibrant, I had to make sure it wasn’t an OLED Panel (pro tip, it’s not). The colours, especially the reds, look really nice, the brightness is pretty good and the auto-brightness works better than most phones I’ve tried recently. Where I got a bit confused was the aspect ratio, as you can tell, 1620×1080 is not quite Full HD, despite BlackBerry calling it full HD throughout the presentation. The KEYone has a 3:2 aspect ratio portrait display, instead of the 1:1 of the Q10, Classic and Passport, or the 16:9 of the Priv, or more recently the 2:1 of the G6. Originally, I thought I’d hate it, I really did. I’d become so used to 16:9 on phones, and I really really liked the extra tall displays of the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+, but honestly, I really dig the aspect ratio of the KEYone. It just works for the device. If it was 16:9, it’d be far too narrow, and with this keyboard, if it were 2:1 (or 18.5:9) It’d be even more unwieldy than the Priv was.
What about Performance then? Well, as you’d expect with the Snapdragon 625, it’s perfectly fine. It’s not a speed demon, but I never found myself waiting around for things to happen. The benefit of using the 625 though is immense. You get an efficient architecture (Cortex A53) built on an efficient manufacturing node (Samsung/GloFo 14nm LPP) with a manageable screen resolution and a decent GPU. That means it’ll last. When you also pair it with a monstrous 3505mAh battery in the KEYone, it’s nearly impossible for me to kill. In fact, yesterday (April 28th) I gave up trying after the KEYone hit 7 hours screen on time after 15 hours off the charger, and still had 20% left.
Preliminary camera testing is okay. The first few Photos I took were very disappointing, but I later found out that it was because I had HDR set to on (not AutoHDR either, full blown on), once I had turned that to Auto, the KEYone was able to spit out some pretty great images. They’re not Huawei P10, Galaxy S8 or LG G6 levels, but they’re by far and away better than what the Priv had to offer.
This is just our quick 48 hours later post, let us know if you’d like us to do this sort or longer form hands on more often, and we’ll see what we can do. Keep your eyes peeled for the full KEYone review coming in the next 2 weeks, If the last 48 hours are anything to go by, these next 2 weeks will fly by.