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BlackBerry KEY2

BlackBerry KEY2

from  $649+
BlackBerry KEY2 Review

BlackBerry KEY2 Review

Posted   06.27.18
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85 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
85

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

The BlackBerry KEY2 isn’t the first Android-powered BlackBerry, but it is by far the best. Its blend of style, solid performance, a fantastic physical keyboard and a long-lasting battery more than enough to win over one-time BlackBerry devotees and people who hate typing on touchscreens. That’s not exactly a huge market though, and the phone’s many strengths may not count for much to people who have thoroughly embraced their iPhones and Galaxys.

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Pros
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Fantastic physical keyboard
  • Multitasking is lightning-fast
  • Sleeker physical design
Cons
  • Camera can be hit-or-miss
  • Sometimes confusing button placement
  • $650 is pricey for a mid-range device
85 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
85

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

85
 

User Reviews

100
Kevin
Great product!
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Score Breakdown

 
72
Average Critic Score
 
60
BGR
Would I buy a BlackBerry KEY2? No, I would not. There are too many Android phones out there in the same price range that offer more power, a better camera, a much better display, a better UI, and other big advantages. One example is the OnePlus 6, which obliterates the KEY2 in every possible way and costs $120 less. But the keyboard! The glorious keyboard! It’s only been a few minutes since I last held the BlackBerry KEY2 and I miss that keyboard already. I just wish anyone I know still used BBM. Hit me on the hip!
 
70
CNET
If you rely on an older BlackBerry phone, the BlackBerry Key2 is a worthy upgrade, but it will frustrate people switching from all-touch phones, despite some winning extras.
 
90
Gizmodo
While the era of the tactile smartphone keyboard is clearly over, the Key2 makes a great case for why it’s too soon for that feature to completely disappear. If touchscreens have left your frustrated, TCL has provided an able solution.
 
60
The Verge
The very thing that makes the Key2 a BlackBerry is the same thing that keeps the Key2 from competing in a modern smartphone world. A BlackBerry needs a keyboard, but no one needs a keyboard on a smartphone in 2018.
 
70
TechRadar
The new BlackBerry Key2 is a phone designed entirely for BlackBerry fans. You won't want this if you're thinking of upgrading from a Galaxy S7 and your muscle memory is trained for on-screen keyboards, but for old BlackBerry fans struggling with make-believe keyboards and autocorrect, there's something charming about a physical keyboard. It's a contender for a niche audience that doesn't care about multimedia or fancy new camera tricks like portrait mode.
 
80
Digital Trends
Stellar battery life, a useful keyboard, and simple software with a focus on security. The BlackBerry Key2 is an exceptional phone.
 
60
Expert Reviews
For diehard keyboard warriors and BlackBerry fans, the Key2 will still be a draw – it’s the best keyboard phone, almost by default – but the gap between it and the rest of the smartphones in the industry is just too hard to ignore.
 
80
Pocket-Lint
The Key2 is the best example yet of modern BlackBerry. The keyboard is massively improved over the KeyOne, the battery will get through a whole day without trying, and the Speed Key makes it easy to get things done quickly. It's also a niche phone as not many will want a physical keyboard phone in this day and age.
 
80
phoneArena
If the price remained the same as its predecessor at $550, the BlackBerry KEY2 would be a strong contender in the mid-range space, but at $100 more, it's a tougher sell because it's encroaching upon flagship-cost territory.
 
70
SlashGear
At $649.99, unlocked, the KEY2 carries a $100 premium over its predecessor. That also puts it a mere $50 from an unlocked Galaxy S9, and that’s a problem. Unless you really, really want the hardware keyboard, the Samsung bests BlackBerry on screen, camera, performance, and specs. For those devoted to physical QWERTY that may still be worth it; everybody else may well find the market – and their fingers – have moved on.

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