BlackBerry has recently launched its new KeyOne smartphone. It combines a physical keyboard with an Android operating system, BlackBerry secure email and a 4.5inch touchscreen.
Many smartphone users find typing on physical keys more accurate than tapping out emails using a touchscreen and this is the audience that BlackBerry is targeting with the new KeyOne.
The keyboard can be set up to enable shortcuts. For example, set it to press “L” to open LinkedIn, or “P” for your photos. Keys can also be assigned as shortcuts for specific contacts, to switch Bluetooth on and off and so on. Each of the 26 keys can be used for two different shortcuts – a long and a short press. You can also swipe vertically or horizontally on the keyboard as you would on a touchscreen, letting you flick through menus or scroll down pages, while the phone’s fingerprint scanner is built into the space bar.
The design of the KeyOne is smart and professional. It looks high end and the touchscreen is bright and clear with a resolution of 1620 x 1080 pixels. The KeyOne uses the latest version of Android (Android 7.1.1 Nougat) and is geared towards business users who value productivity above all else. Users have access to all of the apps on the Google Play Store as well as a number of enterprise-focused BlackBerry programmes.
Aside from the keyboard, the BlackBerry Hub software is the highlight of the KeyOne. It combines notifications, messages, calls, LinkedIn, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and calendar notifications into one streamlined location.
The BlackBerry KeyOne is available on contract from various providers or SIM free from £499. It includes 32GB of storage, expandable with optional microSD cards if you need more storage space.