BlackBerry KEY2 Hitting Most of the Key Requirements
We’ve had the privilege of using the BlackBerry KEY2 for a few weeks now, and from our impressions, things are looking pretty good for the companies latest phone. Based on feedback from users who owned the BlackBerry KeyOne, the company has made the necessary changes to make this one of the best BlackBerry devices ever to release. Let’s dive into a few of the features we really like, and things we feel could use an improvement!
Build and Design
The BlackBerry KEY2 was built for a very specific audience, and instead of trying to woo everyone with their latest smart phone, the company opted to created a tailored experience for a niche market. While that market is still very large, it’s important to preface this review by saying that it is possible the BlackBerry 2 is not made for you. If you are a stay at home parent, it’s likely not for you. If you are using your phone for Netflix and gaming 90% of the time, it’s probably not for you. But if you are attempting to balance entertainment and business, coupled with a professional look and feel, you’ve found your gadget!
And the latest BlackBerry smart phone truly is built to last. The beautiful aluminum body holds the gorilla glass perfectly in place, and the smooth corners and textured buttons will help you quickly hop from application to application, turn that volume up and down, and power on and off your device. It’s beautiful to look at, and looks professional when in hand.
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.
Doing Everything Faster
From the BlackBerry Hub and keyboard gestures to the very popular convenience key, BlackBerry is making their devices more useable than ever before. The return of the Convenience Key is back and better than ever, allowing you to tailor it to your current needs, whether connected to home WIFI or for when you have your phone set to “in a meeting” or whatever else! Having the ability to pull up 3 different applications with the press of the button is fantastic, and allows you to get what you need, when you need it.
While little has changed on the Hub, BlackBerry added a new keyboard button that will revolutionize the way you hop between applications: the Shortcut Key.
The Shortcut Key is exactly what it says, a key that allows you to hotkey specific applications, and jump between them with ease. For example, I set key to open Twitter when pressing “Shortcut Key + T” on the keyboard. I created similar shortcuts for Facebook (“Shortcut Key + F”) and my Gmail application as well (“Shortcut Key + G”). The speed at which the phone moves between the applications is truly amazing, and was better than even my own expectations based on what we were being told ahead of the phones launch.
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.
Taking it a step further – and more in line with our interests – the range of great Android games will also nicely move over to this device, without restrictions. We’ve been playing Disney Magic Kingdoms religiously over the past few months, and seamlessly moving from an older Android phone to the BlackBerry KEY2 has been fantastic. It’s been all business one minute, and all entertainment the next.
Gaming is what we are all about at GamesReviews.com, and we were pleasantly surprised with how well the BlackBerry KEY2 handled processing heavy titles like Disney Magic Kingdoms – which tended to chug a bit when played on the BlackBerry Motion and the BlackBerry KeyOne. Even when loading up the popular Android racing game, Asphalt – known as one of the ost demanding experiences on Android – the phone ran that experience with ease as well, with very few hiccups. As a phone not designed with gaming in mind, the development team did wonders with the internal processor, and graphics chip.
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.
There are things we haven’t even touched on yet, such as the long lasting battery, the fast charge capabilities, and even more! Ultimately, the BlackBerry KEY2 will be a phone for a very niche market. The business person is the first customer BlackBerry is looking for here, while providing these individuals with enough to satisfy their other, less time intensive entertainment desires, such as Netflix and Android Gaming.
If you aren’t using a phone often for work related purposes, there likely isn’t a good reason why you’d pick up the BlackBerry KEY2. But if you are looking for that perfect balance between business and pleasure, this is definitely the phone for you. With a full keyboard that makes typing more organic and natural, to the long battery life, to the beautiful, high resolution display, there is a lot to love about this device, and very little to be upset about.