Is the Key2 the best BlackBerry ever made? After having spent a few days with this dapper new smartphone, we’re certainly leaning towards that conclusion. Here are our first impression after spending some time with the new BlackBerry Key2.
Design and build quality
The build quality for the KeyOne was no slouch, but the Key2 takes things up by a whole ’nother level. To that effect, the build quality of its Series 7 aluminum alloy frame is excellent – yet it’s surprisingly lightweight. It’s also super slim and feels great to hold in your hand thanks to its textured diamond grip non-slip back finish.
The keys on the BlackBerry Key2’s are 20% bigger than the keys on the KeyOne, and that extra 20% makes a big difference in operation. The fact that the keys are no longer raised but are flat, has also helped improve the typing experience. Overall, the typing experience has been vastly improved over the KeyOne. Typing on the Key2 also brings with it a very nostalgic feeling – so much so that I didn’t realize that I kind of missed having a good old-fashioned, physical keyboard to use. The customizable Speed Key feature is especially handy – I find myself using it regularly to quickly pull up apps.
The security features and tweaks that BlackBerry has brought to Android are expansive and quite impressive. Features like Privacy Shade, which blocks out parts of the screen as needed, can be very practical at times. If you’re obsessed about your privacy and staying control of your data, the Key2 is likely going to tick all of your boxes and then some.
Display, Performance and Camera
Though a bit cramped, the display is sharp and bright. Day to day performance on the Key2 so far seems a lot better than its somewhat sluggish predecessor, but we still need more time to test the device and run benchmarks. Meanwhile, our initial first impressions of the camera is that it’s capable, but not at all at 2018 flagship level.
We’ll have a full review of the BlackBerry Key2 up soon.
Update 6/21/18: The BlackBerry Key2 will be available in the U.S. starting on July 13th at Amazon and Best Buy. Pre-orders start on June 29th. The phone will be available carrier unlocked for GSM networks (AT&T and T-Mobile) for $649.99.
Update 6/26/18: Check out our in-depth review of the BlackBerry Key2.