Overview & Price

In this Blackberry Key2 review we will be looking at what makes the phone unique and showcasing some of the best Blackberry Key2 contract deals in the UK.

The Blackberry Key2 was released on 27th of 2018, offering users a better, upgraded version of its predecessor the Blackberry Key1.

The Blackberry Key2 is by no means a cheap blackberry phone, but the value for money you get with this device is strong.

Priced at £540 here in the UK the phone offers some cool features, first being its computer style keyboard.

Check out these cheap Blackberry Key2 contract deals..

Those who spend long periods of time on a computer will find the physical keyboard much easier to use and type with, however if your used to an on screen keyboard it may take a while.

The Blackberry Key2 offers a huge 6GB of RAM, decent camera and strong battery life, although the smaller display is questionable.

Lets take a closer look…

Design & Display

The Blackberry Key2 looks different to almost every other phone out there and this will not be to everyone’s taste.

This is because it has a physical keyboard rather than an onscreen one.

If you’re looking to buy blackberry phones, the Key2 has had a rather big makeover; it is slimmer, easier to hold and looks slightly better in our opinion than the Key1.

Just under the display you will find the navigation keys, which allow you to move around the interface and move through the phone, just underneath you have the main event that is the built in keyboard.

The keyboard feels awesome and we loved typing with it, buttons are easy to press and feel great.

It does take a little getting used to especially when coming from using our daily iPhone XS, however when you do get the hang of it you’ll find yourself rapidly responding to texts and messages.

The keyboard also doubles as a track pad, making it that little bit easier to navigate around on.

One thing to bare in mind though is that because of the physical keyboard, there is no IP rating on the phone, so be sure not to use this thing in the tub or expose it to water.

The phone is made from aluminium, and has a super grippy texture on the back of it, Blackberry has stuck with its hallmark durability, this phone is ideal for construction workers or those who work in an office.

Over to the right hand side you will find the volume rocker, a textured power button, they feel nice to press and make a satisfying click when pressed.

On the left hand side you will find the SIM slot, which also houses a microSD slot for expandable storage.

cheap blackberry phone

Image: GabrielaPatron

Up top you will find a headphone jack, meaning you wont be forced into investing in wireless ones as soon as you have bought the phone.

Then down to the base of the phone we have the USB-C charging port and two speakers either side of the port.

During this Blackberry review, we absolutely loved the design of this phone. It has squared edges but a very premium feel, the grippy surface on the back makes it stick to the inside of your pockets so it wont slide out as much and it will hold onto your work station too.

The classy design is stylish too, we felt so cool when whipping this bad boy out of our pockets and it was a great conversation starter too.

The Blackberry Key2’s display is 4.5-inch, with a resolution of 1080 x 1620, almost identical to the one used in its predecessor the Key1.

This is an LCD display so you wont get the deep blacks that you would find on an OLED, that being said the Key2’s display is great, colours are bright and pop and the blacks aren’t too bad either.

Now because of the keyboard at the bottom of the device, and the super small display, this isn’t an optimal device for watching YouTube or Netflix on, which is something to consider when looking to buy blackberry phones.

If you are a media lover then you may want to opt something with a larger screen or ensure that when you are watching movies, you have it in portrait mode at least.

We did notice that the phone would cut out videos that were recorded in portrait too, as they simply wouldn’t fit on the screen and we found when watching some Instagram videos we would be missing a big chunk of content.

Performance

The Blackberry Key2 runs Android 8.1, whilst maintaining some Blackberry software too; it has Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Blackberry Hub and DTEK security all built in.

DTEK performance is cool as it lets the users constantly monitor what goes on inside your phone, it gives you a overall security rating too so you’ll know if you have any fishy applications downloaded.

You wouldn’t find this level of security on any other cheap blackberry phone.

BBM is a classic too, allowing you to be in contact with your fellow blackberry users, however we found Facebook Messenger to be more reliable and easier as more people use it and have access to it.

Because of the Android software it allows you to download all of the applications you want from the Google Play store.

There are plenty of shortcuts that can be customised on the phone, from loading up your camera to setting screenshots; these can all be done through shortcuts making life a little easier on the Key2.

There are some Blackberry apps available too, for example the password protector locker will store all of your passwords and private documents, password manager and a Google classic Notes application.

The Blackberry Key2 has the Snapdragon 660 chipset, alongside 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (expandable up to 256GB).

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Image: GEEK KAZU

The phone feels fast in everyday use and will glide through the UI effortlessly, we found switching between apps to be instant and multi-tasking is a breeze for the phone as well.

The phone isn’t necessarily a gaming phone, but it can easily handle almost anything you find in the Google Play store.

You will notice the phone struggles to run games like PUBG or Runescape though as these are way more taxing on the phone, we did try but found the games to run very slow and fps drops were frequent.

If you are a gamer and are looking for a gaming handset, you may want to check out our Samsung Galaxy S9 or Huawei Mate 20 Pro review, those phones will offer more power than the Key2.

Performance wise the Key2 isn’t going to blow your socks off, but it is enough for the average user and has more than enough storage to store plenty of photos, music and apps.

Camera

The Blackberry Key2 has had a noticeable upgrade from the Key1; it now has a dual camera setup with two 12MP lenses, images aren’t the best but they are certainly not trash.

The Key2 has the ability to take some solid photos especially when in portrait mode thanks to the background blur feature.

Daylight photos are strong and the Blackberry Key2 camera has a 2x optical zoom, that doesn’t lose much detail or quality either.

The camera setup is noticeably better than the Key1, however if your looking for some stunning Instagram shots then this wont be the phone for you.

The portrait mode got easily confused and the background bur was far from the best we have seen, we found it would blur out some of our subjects face thus resulting in shocking photo.

This was hit and miss though and depending on lighting conditions the portrait mode can produce some average shots.

blackberry review

Image: GEEK KAZU

For the most part we found the camera to have good dynamic range, colours were vivid and bright, there was a fair bit of glare though which was hard to cope with and colours sometimes looked washed out especially in low light.

Shots in low light had a strange yellow tinge to it, coupled with a fair bit of noise too. The selfie camera was nothing to shout about either; it has an 8MP f/2.0 lens.

We found selfies to lack detail, even when using portrait mode the phone struggled to produce a solid image.

Moving on swiftly, video recording is available in 4K and there is a slow-mo mode that can be fun to play around with, the phone is capable of capturing decent video footage however it’s a million miles away from what you would find on the Samsung Galaxy S9 or Google Pixel 3.

Battery Life

The Blackberry Key2 has a 3500mAh battery life, which is more than capable of lasting you through a full day, even with plenty of social media browsing and the occasional video.

This is dependent on the user though as gaming on the phone will drain the battery a lot quicker, seeing as though this is not a gaming phone though we feel the average user will be more than impressed with the battery power of this device.

The reason the battery performs well on this phone is because it has a very small display and an underpowered processor, so the phone is generally not working very hard.

The Blackberry Key2 charges pretty fast too, and you can expect to go from fully flat to 100% in less than 2 hours.

There is a ‘boost mode’ that will cut the performance in order to help charge the phone faster, just like turning your phone off to charge or placing it on airplane mode.

Summary

So, is the Blackberry Key2 worth your cash?

The phone is extremely unique, and we absolutely loved the design.

The phone looks clean and has a super professional look to it; we found it to be extremely grippy and would almost stick to our workstation resulting in us hardly ever dropping the phone.

Its practical design and durability mean it is a usable in almost any environment, however the poor camera performance does pull the device down as a whole and photographers will not be a fan.

The Key2 does also lack in performance, gamers will really struggle to play any demanding games on this device.

For business purposes though the phone is great, it has some cool features allowing you to keep all your tasks in order and is super practical.

The Blackberry Key 2 is certainly not a cheap blackberry phone, however it is super stylish and offers some impressive specs.

Overall we were impressed by the Key2 but feel it is definitely overpriced and there is definitely better value for money options out there.

We hope you have enjoyed our Blackberry Key2 review, and feel free to check out the cheapest Blackberry Key2 contract deals at the top where you can buy blackberry phones.

We recommend you check out our OnePlus 6T review before making a purchase decision.

Full Spec Below:

Launch: 2018, June

Body:

  • Dimension: 152.4 x 71.8 x 8.5mm (5.96 x 2.83 x 0.33 inches)
  • Weight: 168g (5.93 oz)
  • Keyboard: QWERTY
  • Build: Aluminium frame (7000 series), plastic back
  • Sim: Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) – BBF100-6 only
    – Capacitive touch 4-row Blackberry keyboard

Display:

  • Type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
  • Size: 4.5-inches, 60.0cm² (-55.2% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1620 pixels, 3:2 ratio (-434 ppi density)
  • Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Platform:

  • OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660 (14nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260)
  • GPU: Adreno 512

Memory:

  • Card slot: microSD, up to 256GB
  • Internal: 64/128GB, 6GB RAM

Camera:

  • Primary:
    – 12MP, f/1.8, 1/2.3″, dual pixel PDAF
    – 12MP, f/2.6, 1/3.4″, PDAF
  • Features:  Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR, panorama
  • Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps
  • Secondary:
    – 8MP, f/2.0, 1/4″
  • Video: 1080p@30fps

Sound:

  • Loudspeaker: Yes
  • 3.5mm Jack: Yes
    – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic

Comms:

  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, LE, EDR
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS2
  • NFC: Yes
  • Radio: FM radio
  • USB: 3.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go

Features:

  • Sensors: Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proxmity, compass

Battery:

  • Non-removeable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery
  • Charging: Fast battery charging 18W: 50% in 36 mins (Quick charge 3.0)

Misc:

  • Colours: Black or Silver
  • Price: As seen in above post

Tests:

  • Performance: Basemark OS ||: 2850 / Basemark OS || 2.0: 2391 / Basemark X: 20665
  • Display: Contrast ratio: 1572 (nominal), 3.212 (sunlight)
  • Camera: Photo / Video
  • Loudspeaker: Voice 66dB / Noise 72dB / Ring 79dB
  • Audi Quality:  Noise -90.7dB / Crosstalk -94.2dB
  • Battery life: Endurance rating 86h