BlackBerry Key2 is the successor to the BlackBerry Keyone that was launched last year. Despite the resemblance, there are a few key differences. The Key2 has launched in India at a price of Rs 42,990, and will go on sale on July 31 on Amazon India.
My initial observation around the BlackBerry Key2 was its reduced weight. The phone felt significantly lighter to hold. You can’t ignore the reduced thickness compared to its predecessor. However, this time around, the device doesn’t have a metal band running around the top part of the phone. Instead, it has a textured rubber back panel throughout.
At the back of the phone is a dual-camera setup with just one dual-tone LED flash compared to the two last time. The black variant of the Key2, which I have been using, has one uniform color tone throughout. The Key2’s body is a combination of aluminum on the sides, sandwiched between plastic on the front and back. The textured rubberized lining along the back panel makes it easy to handle. The BlackBerry logo is etched on the back panel, while the rear cameras have a bump that makes it wobble a bit when left on hard surfaces.
The BlackBerry Key2 has much larger keys compared to the KEYOne, which helps with a better typing experience. The fingerprint scanner is integrated onto the space bar of the keyboard, which I personally feel makes it very convenient. I must add here that fingerprint sensors on the front of the device are my personal preference. A new addition in the Key2 is the Speed Key on the bottom right of the keyboard. This adds a function key feature to trigger shortcuts.
BlackBerry hasn’t changed the UI of the device. It delivers a stock Android experience that’s complemented by a number of BlackBerry exclusive apps, which essentially is what makes the phone a BlackBerry. The three touch buttons that can be seen on the front of the device sandwiched between the keyboard and display aren’t digital. The space occupied by those keys could probably have offered a larger display. The display is bright, and the IPS panel offers convenient viewing angles.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset paired with 6GB of RAM elicits snappy performance from the BlackBerry Key2 and there was no lag in the screen transition while scrolling and launching apps. Heavy apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, and others opened in succession went off without a hitch or lag. Using the keyboard as a touch surface to scroll is rather convenient.
The dual-rear camera setup that sport a pair of 12 megapixel sensors captures some decent low light photos that is standard for a smartphone in this price range. The front 8 megapixel sensor single lens camera on the other hand, struggles to take a decent photo in low light.
Blackberry KeyOne Review
The BlackBerry Key2 does come across like a promising upgrade over the KEYone, but we can fill in the details once we’ve put the device through some rigorous use to test out all its features. Stay tuned for a more detailed review soon.