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Blackberry Key2: Keeping the physical keyboard alive

Blackberry Key2

The blackberry Key2 is a phone designed primarily for Blackberry fans. People that have owned a Blackberry before, and miss the days of physical QWERTY keyboards that the company’s devices were famous for. You might not enjoy the Key 2, if you are upgrading from an iPhone or other flagship device.

This is because the Key 2 is not heading towards the direction that is the future of smartphones. Rather it is a throwback into what the Blackberry experience used to be, riding high on nostalgia bringing back the physical keyboard that technology had long buried.

The Key2 was retailing for about Shs2.5m when the phone was launched in June of 2018 and it was a replacement to the KeyOne. The price was considered steep because for that amount you were able to get a Flagship like the OnePlus 6, which had a by far better camera and maximised screen real estate. However this is a price that many diehard fans were more than prepared to pay to get a hold of a new product from Blackberry.

In an age where smartphones are becoming more delicate with glass backs the Key2 shines with its durable hardware build that will not shatter if you mistakenly drop the phone. Blackberry clearly held up its name with the impeccable construction they put into the Key2 as they have traditionally done with their devices. However the device is not waterproof so you might want to take extra care of it as you head out to the beach.

To get a better understanding of the Key2 a comparison with it’s predecessor the KeyOne would help paint a better picture. The KeyOne was released in February 2017 and came in two configurations. The 64GB variant had 4GB RAM while the 32GB option came with 3GB of RAM although they both had the Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 chipset and were running on Android Nougat.

The Key2’s internals are an improvement. It came out running Android Oreo with a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 64GB and 128GB size options. However, just like its predecessor, the device has a 3,5000mAh battery, which is not bad and can comfortably power through the whole day. A bigger battery for the Key2 would have made things a lot more interesting.

The Key2 also maintains the 4.5 inch IPS display and both handsets have a textured back that affords a nice grip to the user. It also maintained the good all headphone jack, FM radio capabilities and a micro SD slots that accepts a memory card of up to 256GB. These are features that you are not likely to get from premium manufacturers like Apple.

The Key2’s keyboard has twenty percent larger keys than its predecessor and is more tactile. A matte finish replaces the silver highlights that the KeyOne’s keys had making for a more uniform look. The spacebar also doubles as a fingerprint scanner allowing you to unlock the device.

For photography, the Key2 has a pair of 12 megapixel rear shooters that are an improvement to the single lens camera that the KeyOne came with. Blackberry maintained the 8-megapixel front facing cameras for both devices. However it is in the photography department that the Key2 struggles.

Its pictures are not as sharp and detailed as for many of the flagships released last year. Phones like the OnePlus 6 outclass the Key2 when it comes to taking great pictures.

The outstanding selling feature of the Key2 just like the KeyOne is its physical keyboard. This remains the number one reason to pick this phone out if miss the days when phones had keyboards built into their hardware.

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