BlackBerry KEYone launch, first impressions, video

KEYone portToday, TCL Communication launched the all new BlackBerry KEYone, at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London.

This marks the first retail launch globally of the BlackBerry KEYone.

The phone will be available exclusively at Selfridges from today. It will then become available from Carphone Warehouse stores nationwide from May 5th.

KEYone keynote

Speaking at the BlackBerry KEYone launch event at Selfridges, Johnathan Young, UK Country Manager for BlackBerry Mobile said

We are delighted to launch the BlackBerry KEYone first in the UK with Selfridges. Selfridges, voted world’s best department store three times consecutively have been a longtime supporter of BlackBerry. Our retail strategy is to be where our customers are and, as a multichannel retailer dealing in the premium end of the market, Selfridges reflects BlackBerry KEYone’s identity in the smartphone market.”

Distinctly different, distinctly BlackBerry

BlackBerry KEYone promises to combine the best of BlackBerry’s software and security with all of the advantages of Android.

blackberry keyoneBeyond the iconic BlackBerry design that’s been curated for the modern user, the BlackBerry KEYone comes with a number of additional features that truly reinvents communications for the professional consumer.

The BlackBerry KEYone combines a sleek aluminium frame and soft grip textured back built to offer the best in durability.

keyone backIt is loaded with Android 7.1 Nougat. This hands you access to the entire Google Play store and apps. It will also receive Google security patch updates. At the presentation we were promised monthly security updates for at least 24 months.

They are proud to boast that this will be the most secure Android phone available.
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“The keyboard reimagined”.  Forget what you knew about keyboards, the BlackBerry Smart Keyboard goes beyond typing. It can be easily programmed to launch up to 52 customisable shortcuts, providing even greater ease of use.

The keyboard can also be used to scroll through web pages, the picture gallery or to take a picture.

BlackBerry Hub

The Hub brings all your messages into one consolidated place; including emails, texts and messages from any social media account.


The KEYone features the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone.

keyone sideBlackBerry KEYone offers roughly 26 hours of mixed use, thanks to its 3505mAh battery.

The USB-C port also supports Quick Charge. BlackBerry Boost can effect even faster charging should you need it.


The BlackBerry KEYone includes a 12MP rear camera that packs large 1.55um pixels. When you have to take a video conference on the go, up front is an 8MP front camera with fixed focus and 84-degree wide angle lens.

I was told that the new BlackBerry is packing the same sensor as found in the Google Pixel. As you might be aware, that’s the Sony IMX378 Sensor.

I am expecting good things then.

First impressions

It really does feel nice in your hand.

The full HD 4.5-inch screen seems nice and sharp and the keyboard flicks and scrolling are intuitive. I was hoping that I could still swipe-text, but this is not so. You can type using the keyboard and then ‘flick’ the suggested words up in to your message.

As the KEYone is powered by a Snapdragon 625 which, as my fellow Tech Addict, Brendan said, is a “battery lover” the 26 hours battery life should be achievable.

On-board storage is 32GB but the MicroSD card slot can support up to 2TB!

Listen to the KEYone keynote

KEYone price and availability

The BlackBerry KEYone is available exclusively at the Home and Tech department at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London for a limited period, at the price of £499.

At the presentation we were told that they have already sold out online.