BlackBerry KEY 2 LE
The BlackBerry KEY 2 LE takes the greatest features of the BlackBerry KEY 2 and give it to consumers at a cheaper price. Moving from the ‘mack daddy’ version down to the little brother was something I was worried about doing, but after using the KEY 2 LE for over a month now, the features I thought I was missing from the regular version didn’t seem that important. So while this review might read as a “what the KEY 2 LE lacks that the KEY 2 has,” please don’t look at it this way. This is a fantastic phone!
How It Differs from the KEY 2 Standard
One thing were the LE stands above the regular version is in the variations of the device. The KEY 2 LE comes in 3 different colours: Slate, Atomic Red, and Rose Gold. All three look great, and although we reviewed the Slate version of the phone, it was the Atomic Red device that stood out the most. Under the hood, the LE is rocking a Snapdragon 636 as opposed to the Snapdragon 660 on the standard phone, and has only 4 GB of RAM, as opposed to 6 GB of RAM.
The LE comes in slightly lighter than the standard version, by only about 4 grams, which in the grand scheme of things won’t make a huge difference. The smaller, cheaper phone also means a inferior battery, and although users will still easily make it through a hard, busy work day, it probably will require a decent charge each and every night; on the standard phone, I could often go two full days before requiring a charge. The device still has quick charge options, however, which is a feature I definitely wouldn’t want to live without.
Another major change comes to the keyboard, not in the layout or feel, but in one slight feature that really isn’t that important to me. On the standard KEY 2, the keyboard is touch sensitive, and can be swiped on top of to perform various actions. This feature is completely gone in the LE.
And these are basically the main changes. On top of that, the bulk of our review for the standard phone still applies. However, we’ve copied over some of the content from our original review for features we think users will love in the LE, and why they should consider this phone for all their work needs.
Security is KEY2 Success
The one reason many people opt for the BlackBerry device is the great security features built in. Shoot, these phones have been used by Government’s around the world for over a decade because of how secure the networks are. The biggest issue that held BlackBerry back for some many years was a lackluster user interface, and a lack of quality applications for download. Enter Android OS a few years ago.
Now loaded with Android 8.1 Oreo OS, the device is more powerful and more equipped then ever before, allow users to have access to their favourite Android applications, while maintaining the security features of the BlackBerry Brand. The built in DTEK Security will make sure your device remains safe, and allows you to scan for errors whenever you want!
On top of that, BlackBerry has introduced a brand new application called The Locker, a single location for you to store sensitive data and information, as well as browse the internet free of history worries, great for checking banking information or email accounts. And without the finger print of the owner, no person can actually enter The Locker to obtain any of that data. This is a fantastic new feature, and one I’ll be using a lot to store important work documents.
The KEY2 also has a ‘shade’ feature, which allows you to hide the majority of yoru screen, except the specific item you are looking at. I found it less useful when actually using the feature than I would have thought from reading about the feature. Never-the-less, it is available as an option for those that want it.
Android On Board Again
Yes, we just noted it, but it deserves its own subheading and brief blurb. Having Android onboard yet again as an operating system on the BlackBerry KEY2 will go a long way in getting professionals to hop on board with this device. With so many great financial, data management, and other business applications available on Android – and many of which nicely fit into Google Docs and more – being able to get that access, on the worlds most secure phone and network, is a huge plus, and a fantastic selling feature.
Better Picture Options
One of the bigger missteps with the launch of the BlackBerry KeyOne and the BlackBerry Motion last year, was the underwhelming internal cameras that came standard on the device. BlackBerry heard the complaints, and implemented a better camera than before, and adding an additional back camera for better, clearer photos. And it has definitely paid off, as this phone is taking far better pictures than anything else I currently own, and if I’m being honest, I own some fairly fantastic devices.
Some might say stepping down to the LE is a bad idea, but with the change at some significant savings, I think the LE is the prefered model over the standard. While we noticed some serious downgrades in the gaming quality on the LE – thanks to a lesser internal chip and of course the 4 GB of RAM compared to the 6 GB of RAM – everything else seems to be up to par. Going from application to application is a cinch, and all the new great features introduced on the KEY 2 are back, including the very convenient programmable shortcut key on the keyboard.
Is this the best phone ever created? Of course not. But for those that value security of their data and information, and enjoy full keyboards and a meaty build, this is the phone for you!