It's not a BlackBerry...
It's an Android phone with a keyboard.
There won't ever be a KEYtwo.
The hottest phone in town this week isn't the new Samsung but, improbably, BlackBerry's comeback device. Partly this is a quirk of a staggered rollout by TCL, which has awarded the UK virtual exclusivity for a month before the US gets it. But it's not entirely down to production issues. After 24 hours with the KEYone as a main …
Yes, but keyboard + decent screens are so rare, I'd nearly take windows. I don't want to pay a premium for an Apple Inc (who NEVER have made a phone with a decent amount of buttons) so an Android with keypad & decent screen is better than nothing, which seems to be the alternative.
I use my Android Sony as a feature phone. No Wifi or BT or Mobile Data. Save photos / load music via USB. Has nice FM radio too and a Notepad app.
Well, but BlackBerry is known for having particularly bad versions of Android which deliberately locks you out. The official reason is that managers, who have no idea of IT, cannot easily break them, but the "paranoid" reason is that they can hide their backdoors more easily.
Yes, a small mobile computer with a tiny keyboard would be desperately needed, particularly since with an actual keyboard you can actually enter moderately strong encryption keys... but this isn't it yet.
Exactly, and my Passport is superior due to its advanced OS. Android is shite no matter how much better BlackBerry makes it. Stopped reading at, "Typing is slower..." Have raced many and nobody can touch my speed or accuracy on the Passport's awesome keyboard. Keyboard shortcuts are awesome, but so is actually being able to type without staring at your keyboard, and a real BlackBerry has more and more programmable shortcuts.
Y'all missed the bus if you didn't get you some BB10. Such a pity. I'll be on this Passport for five more years and, sadly, it will still be the best mobile computing device ever made.
No no. Rule zero is milk before hot water. How can you define the strength of your tea without consistent milk level? You need jedi skills to do hot water with the tea bag first.
However, I love how tea is more relevant than a Blackberry phone in 2017. Shows how much the Apple/Google brigade has hit hard on the legacy brands.
"You need jedi skills to do hot water with the tea bag first."
How so? You just need to be able to consistently pour the water onto the teabag up to the same depth each time. As long as you squeeze about the same amount of liquid out of the bag when you remove it, then you can reliably keep the same milk/tea ratio to within a couple of percent.
Variations in the type of milk used, or the contents of the tea bag will make more of a difference.
>Now I will hide as a lynch mob forms to tell me I'm doing it wrong
Yeah you did it wrong when put tea leaves instead of gound up coffee beans in the hot water (or even better in my climate skip heating the water and just put room temp water and grounds in the fridge for a day or so).
The only viable phone OS options out there now (unless you have xBILLION for a whole new App store, ongoing dev and PR campaign) are Android or iOS
Seeing as the latter isnt sharing anytime soon and you are free to customise the living bollocks out of the former, the choice is obvious. They tried cooking up there own, and look at how that ended up (Cries of "it isnt well supported"..... "Where are all the Apps?"...... "Why doesnt it update like Android / Apple?") etc.
For BlackBerry to keep going (and pay employees) they made the most logical choice, and spotted a gap in the market for a phone with a keyboard. If you want blackberry to thrive, support them.
If not, go back to your iPhone.
So you mean the only viable desktop OS were - and are - Windows and macOS, and because "seeing as the latter isnt sharing anytime soon and you are free to customise the living bollocks out of the former, the choice is obvious." people should really stop whining about Windows, even if it now slurps as much as Android?
It' really a poor mobile world where the only mobile OS choice is Android... just like as on PC is Windows.
Maybe so, but that's the world in which we live. Others have tried and failed, it's no surprise that Blackberry have admitted defeat in the OS arena.
The third option on the desktop is pretty mature, has a healthy app ecosystem, and you can fudge Windows applications onto it if needs be - there is no equivalent OS for phones . Blackberry tried having their own OS that also runs Android applications, but that didn't go so well, and all other efforts have failed, so you can't blame them for throwing in the towel.
Canonical look to be the best hope for getting an alternative phone OS off the ground, but overcoming Android's market dominance is going to be quite the feat.
@AC - "It' really a poor mobile world where the only mobile OS choice is Android... just like as on PC is Windows."
That's only true if you're someone who can't figure out how to run a proper GNU/Linux desktop or BSD. Tons of choices.
And if you don't like Android, then either root it and change it or get a flip phone. Do you really need a laptop in your pocket anyway?
BB have spent billions on an alternative OS and they were deserted by users for iOS and Android.
Nokia have spent billions on an alternative OS and they were deserted by users for iOS and Android.
MS have spent billions on an alternative OS and they were deserted by users for iOS and Android.
So rather than complaining about only 2 choices remaining, go and raise billions in funding to market one of the other choices out there, and probably witness those billions simply disappear. Alternatively, stop talking out of your orifice.
Yep, just accept the mediocrity that is Android, keep on buying it and Google won't have any incentive to fix it, ever.
Every time they do a major update on Android I try it again, and one time I stuck with it for 6 whole weeks before I ran out of goodwill. Absolutely unbearable, with snooping thrown in.
I can't see Apple making a phone with a QWERTY built in. Likely they will have a phone with NO connectors at all and no buttons soon (Inductive so called wireless charging and various wireless techs for all I/O).
Apple might even ditch touch screen and insist you use voice + guesture (video camera)
I can't see Apple making a phone with a QWERTY built in. Likely they will have a phone with NO connectors at all and no buttons soon
Surely a single button:
Or possibly a wheel:
True enough. But the tragedy is that they let BB10 die because Google wouldn't let them run full Android on it. I have a Classic and the BB10 OS, with its QNX kernel, is far smoother than anything copied from a patent office's 1969 TTY-machine time sharing word processing system. It runs some Android apps, and can even access the Play store if you install the modified version that somebody called Cobalt posted. But without full Google Play Services, many apps fail.
Well, now BB and Google seem to have made peace enough to do a BB-flavored version of Android, so why couldn't Google also let the whole subsystem run in BB10? It wasn't exactly taking away much market share.
After reading Andrew's article the other day, I searched a bit for the KeyOne. Looks good, except for one big thing - the battery can't be replaced. I'm not a big smart-phone user, so the one I have (my first!), a Samsung S4, is what I'm still using. I wouldn't be using it if I couldn't have replaced the battery when it was dying. I'll spend money on a new phone at some point, but I don't want to be doing it every 2 or 3 years just because the battery dies!
And yes, I do realize I'm not the target demographic.
I would have agreed with you a few years ago but unless the battery flips to hand-warmer mode in the first few weeks/months then it is likely to last quite some time. I currently have a Q10 which is still on the original battery but am likely to get a KEYOne because the Q10 is getting a bit battered and the USB connector is iffy but I want a phone with a physical keyboard.
If I have not needed to replace the replaceable battery in the four years I have had the phone then it disappears as a significant factor. Thinking back I have only ever once had an extra battery for a phone and that was a long way back when I was using a phone a lot and needed the comfort factor of spare power 'just in case'. These days I carry an emergency battery thing which covers that role for all my devices.
My quibble with this new device is the screen: it is a "4.5” scratch-resistant display". As mentioned in the article, this is a business device, but who doesn't ask for the biggest screen they can get from their workplace? I would like a phone with a real keyboard, but not at the expense of the screen. If it was all about the keyboard, we could make a fold-out model with a recycled flop phone screen stuck on top and clean up. Not likely!
If/when you get desperate, this non-replaceable battery claim might not be so.
Now this is definitely not for the average Joe, but I replaced the battery on a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 5 armed with nothing more than a £10 mobile phone "toolkit" from eBay, the batteries themselves, and a well executed YouTube video. And I'm the most hamfisted caveman you could meet. They are funny looking things actually, for a start they are not solid, they bend about like a packet of paste. Their connectors are fiddly too. But both worked first time and ones still in daily use. Just sayin' !
There are some you can't pop out and replace in five seconds, and any modern phone that's got a decent installed base can have its battery replaced while you wait at a mall kiosk or DIY if you are as capable as the typical Reg reader (i.e. more capable than the average person)
You most certainly don't have to toss out a phone with a non-replaceable battery if the battery starts to go on it.
iPhone battery replacement is a 5 minute DIY job and child's play as long as you have you near vision.
Or at least it was up to iPhone 7 when Apple added water resistance, replacing gaskets might make waterproof phones a trickier battery change job.
Once out of warranty 7s appear, I'll be attempting one.
"not the expensive and flawed Priv slider, that had launched some 18 months ago, I wonder where the company would be today on the comeback trail"
It was called the Q10, it was a brilliant phone but only three people (Including me) brought it.
In the comeback trail they would be exactly the same place as current just with less money.
I have played with 4 phones over the last few years and am currently using 2 as daily drivers. 1 is a Z10 that I have had so long that the otter case is wearing out and the other is a priv. Nevertheless, when I want to do anything serious I always go back to my passport.
When I got the priv I could not believe that you couldn't open the ports for samba without rooting it (something that I had taken for granted on BB10 and that I make use of every single day [I cannot piss about in the registry on a customers computer just so I can use some bastardised version of samba on my droid]). I have warmed to android and Blackberry have done a good job of securing it, but I would go back to BB10 tomorrow if it had decent app support.
Getting music off iTunes using blackberry link was so piss poor that I wrote my own software to parse the playlists and then used rsync to dump the files across, but for my music now, it is unbeatable. Syncing to android was no better anyway.
I think you mixed up here, it was NTP that was the patent troll suing RIM
(RIM had to pay ~$612 mill, for using email on a mobile device, NTP later settled and lured money from the rest of the tech industry, a major fault in the legal system, let us never experience this again)
Can anyone tell me why a keyboard is a necessity for an Android device?
I mean seriously the entire OS and its attendant apps are all predicated on touch screen interaction, not a PKB.
And all this talk of the keyboard being a trackpad is just the same trackball nonsense the company used in earlier devices.
Bottom line is that this phone is of appeal mainly to QWERTY diehards and no doubt it'll sell to that crowd but to the rest, no much chance of a success at all. It'll flop.
"Can anyone tell me why a keyboard is a necessity for an Android device?"
Entering lots of text.
You may be able to type lengthy paragraphs, with eloquence and style, on a phone touchscreen, but I for one find it laborious. I am not a die hard blackberry user. I left BB and went to android. My first smart phone was not a blackberry.
So these people exist. These people will buy the KeyOne. If it flops, then you can stand there and point and say a great big "See? SEE? I was right to ridicule it. "
It will be a good day for you.
Why do some insist that they're the only ones who should be catered for?
If you want a shiny, grubby, slab of glass to mush your fingers against you've got lots of choice -- why not let those of us who know the advantages of hardware qwerty get what we want also?
Sadly I don't actually think that the minority would be so small if more people forgot what the marketroids at Apple told them used physical keyboards for a week or so.
"Can anyone tell me why a keyboard is a necessity for an Android device?"
It's a lot easier to enter a wodge of text for me. I'm the customer, why shouldn't I have the choice?
"And all this talk of the keyboard being a trackpad is just the same trackball nonsense the company used in earlier devices."
It's not nonsense. I often hit something unintentionally when scrolling on a touchscreen. The ability to use the keyboard to scroll avoids that completely.
I have a BB Passport and my above points reflect my experience with it.
err, because some people DON'T LIKE touchscreens, or have physical coordination problems that make them a complete pain in the derriere to use...
FYI on a bad day, I find it f'ing difficult to type on my MBP, can you imagine what it would be like on a touchscreen that is trying to 'help'
Horses for courses my friend!
Its called touch typing. They were doing it on typeriters when they were invented.
Wifey in her 50's has been doing it since she was at school. Her party trick is to hold 2 conversations at the same time, looking at both parties and not the screen, and still type with 100% accuracy at stupid fast wpm. She still maintains the DOS version of WordPerfect was THE best word processor by a mile, btw. Says it knocks the stuffing out of Word. Even today.
And she has a BB Classic and says its the best phone she's ever owned. And I still love my Z10 I bought 2 days after release.
When I was having chemo it did something to my skin and most touch screens (the ones with pressure sensors or ir grid overlay were the exception) would not register that I had touched them. It took months before the damage was reversed. I needed a phone with a physocal keyboard then or I would not have been able to use it at all.
Say, do you still use a computer? Because if you don't get the whole idea of a keyboard, you might want to try one.
T= go to top of page or list
B = go to bottom
C = create new message
U = next unread
D = delete
M = mark read/unread
CTRL + B, I, U = bold, italic, underline
CTRL + Z= undo
CTRL + X, C, V = you know the drill
For me, the keyboard doubling as cursor keys plus the "T" and "B" buttons alone make the whole physical thing a worthwhile addition. I so miss all that on a smudgey screen, from which you can't help feeling strangely divorced a lot of the time.
Well, I don't know if they've anounced anything about this phone in particular, but on the PRIV, there have been regular updates. Security updates every month (most of the time in the first week of the month, even). I've had my PRIV since December, it had Android 5 out of the box, immediately upgradeable to Android 6. 7 is rumored to be coming this summer.
If that is how they treat this phone as well, you should be covered quite neatly, I'd say.
My wife has been using the Blackberry DTek60 since last year. I can tell you that Blackberry has been updating the software regularly, right now it is on Marshmellow Android 6.0.1 and the Security Patch is 5 March this year ( compare it with my HONOR 7 - Huawei the Security Patch is still June 2016, I presume Huawei has abandoned it ). I know that SONY is also good with software updates.
They go to all the trouble to design a new keyboard and leave out a red and green one that might come defaulted to answer and hang up a call? I can't think of how they decide "we want to make a phone for people who like buttons" and then seem to forget that the phones can be used to make phone calls and people who like buttons might want a button or two for the primary purpose of the device.
Hopefully soon someone is going to come out with a low cost raspberry hat that can do 4G. With a decent API and then maybe we will see some decent progress made though the hackerspace type groups.
I will be getting one on AT&T, and my wife on Verizon. No doubt about it. Physical Keyboard for the Win. Yeah, it'll be difficult, switching from BB10 to Android; but that keyboard. To me (personally, so don't flame because you think otherwise!) that is the saving grace.
Business phone, not an iPhone or a Samsung phone. Had a Note 2 - didnt like it, couldnt work with the keyboard. Now running on a Passport, and a BB10 Classic...
So yeah, bring it on.
If the smaller screen + keyboard = the best battery life on the market...
Color me intrigued. I always liked having a real keyboard.
My biggest problem is I want Google's App Store minus the security issues. Unless they fork Android I don't know how that happens. It needs some kind of built in security analyzer. I.e. Did an app open a port, try to access other data on the phone, send data out... what/where?
Also, I didn't see a price mentioned. $199 is what I'm willing to pay for an Andriod phone. Anything more and I'd be going with an iPhone SE.
The latest and greatest = a poor value
This just deepens my puzzlement about why the flip (clamshell) form factor hasn't returned bigtime.
Yes, I know that for a decade manufacturers and marketurds have slavishly followed Apple's vulnerable-slab-of-glass approach, but Samsung's half-hearted efforts aside, no one seems to have stood back and said: "Wait a mo: we could do flip-phone really, really well now".
The advantages remain obvious:
* Protecting the single most expensive vulnerabilty, the screen, when not in use (and even when in use for making those old fashioned phone call things, if you like)
* Double the amount of available console (input+output) area in an instant—in this case, the keyboard could have been nicely sized without compromising the screen, but the possibilities are almost endless
* Miniaturisation has come so far that everything from feature- to really powerful smart-phone could be implemented in a wide variety of sizes and overall designs
* Supplementary user aids include flip answering/closing calls; having a low power notifications display on the exterior; using voice/BT/whatever to make and receive calls without even touching the phone, let alone opening it ... lots of opportunities here
* Most important, you can make it innately more robust than anything with a screen smeared all over its exterior, which, if you think about, its a bit daft.
Make sure you add a headphone socket, removable battery, memory card slots etc, and you have a potential set of winners that you could spread across a broad range of physical sizes, features, screen sizes etc—and for the market segment that wants it, a good way to implement a really oustanbding keyboard.
PS—Maybe even a market for VR-specialty flips: using both inner surfaces as HD+ screens, the (potentially vanishingly narrow, if Samsung were on the case) bezel in the middle rendered irrelevant with a goggle attachment ... reinforcing my frustrated point that flip offers vast possibilities and flexibility, and is nowhere to be seen while the lemmings keep pumping out Apple clones.
A flip phone is necessarily much thicker than a slabphone, simply to make the two parts both physically strong enough.
For some reason, being "very thin" is an important marketing spec point.
Moving parts are much more expensive and break far more often than non-moving parts.
So a double whammy. I am disappointed of course, because "open to answer, close to hang up" is a beautiful and intuitive UI.
I agree. The cleverest of the flip phones was the Samsung Alias 2. It opened both ways, with a clever dual hinge. Its keyboard half had e-paper buttons which could be a dial pad when opened vertically or a QWERTY keyboard when opened horizontally. I'd love to see a similar phone, with just a bigger screen (and thus a bit wider overall), running a decent version of Android.
BlackBerry have a solution to that, called WorkLife. It amounts to virtualising SIMs on the handset. Works with iOS, Android, BB10, doesn't need BES as far as I know.
BlackBerry are the only people out there that have properly tackled BYOD. BlackBerry Balance is brilliant on BB10, WorkLife is another thing that removes the need to carry two phones.
£500 for an Android phone? (Presumably with a single sim slot)
I would have bought a passport, had it been dual sim, (possibly even a single sim one had the OS not been dropped).
And given how many features never made it over to BB 10 from BB 6 (etc), (each update got better though, until they pulled the plug), the playbook being dropped before it got BB10, and then the plugs being pulled on BB10 I would be very dubious about another BB, unless the price was rock bottom.
If I am forced to choose between iOS and Android, then I will stick to cheap dual sim phones, because then when something annoys me it is only tens of pounds, not hundreds.
(I'd quite happily get an old qwerty symbian phone if telegram supported it.)
As usual I'm late to the party, but for 80 quid at Dixons at the airport a few months ago I bought a Helium 50 by Archos
This is dual sim - one is 2g the other 4g.
So what? Well, you can fit your 3g/4g data slurping sim for when you want data, but switch the 3g/4g sim off and have just 2g for receiving calls. Then turn the 3g/4g back on when you want.
The battery seems to last ages now with only 2g on - (thanks to an El Reg reader who pointed this out apropos something else).
Sure, the camera and sound aren't as good as a 600 pound phone, and for some reason it won't run NavMii - but for most data stuff it seems OK. And no Facebook built in.
I like my key board HTCs but age and eye sight mean a large screen is good for me.
I'm happy this exists to keep the Blackberry infrastructure going, but will be sticking to my Priv until it dies.
Although early the Priv had heating issues, it's been fixed in software - the phone throttles back if it starts getting too hot, and it's not a problem.
If I was buying now it'd be a more difficult decision, the Priv is top heavy with the keyboard open, something that's not the same in later models I believe. Course, the Priv was ridiculously expensive on release, and I only weakened because of a £200 discount on Black Friday..
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