I’ve had the #KEYone for a little over two weeks now and i decided to write a post on my experience so far. A few things to put out before i get into it. I am a hardcore BlackBerry fan. Outside of my very first Motorola flip phone i have never had a cell other than BlackBerry. The #KEYone is my first experience with Android. Also, I will not write about the specs at all. In my previous post i mentioned how this guy at the Montreal KEYone meet up was running comparisons between his dtek50 and the KEYone. Obviously comparing apples and oranges. It was more about how fun it was to see such enthusiasm over the KEYone’s performance and how much he needed to have it.
Although my son rolls his eyes when i say this, i consider myself a power user. I use my phone mostly for communicating (texting, email and if i must, talking 😜) and on the social media front i have 3 main ones i use. I am heavy on Twitter, followed a close 2nd by Instagram and a distant 3rd FaceBook. That’s it. I should also mention that i have not changed my habits now that i have the KEYone. During the work week i turn off data while at work. I do it mostly because having data off allows me to focus on work and not get the urge to look at my phone. It’s not to say i don’t but i do very little. Once i get off work i step up my game. My typical day starts at 6am and goes until about 1030-11pm (occasionally midnight). Therefore, i unplug my phone from the charger at 6am and plug it back when i call it a day. The following random screen grabs show you the typical battery life i have left at the end of my day.
You can certainly tell by the dips when i am off work 😜. Also, during this two week period on a couple of occasions i really used the phone a lot on social media. It’s fantastic that i don’t have to worry about bringing a charger with me. However, having written that, although i have not tried it yet i cannot see how i can go 2 days (or more) without charging the phone. I also think i have tweaked all the settings that will help battery life.
Here’s an example of my battery usage over a weekend. Similar for both days. On weekends i start my day off @7am.
What can be said about the hardware other than it is gorgeous. Look at it. Another great looking and quality phone here. It feels great in the hand and although some reviewers have referred to it as “chunky” i don’t see it that way. It is also much lighter than i expected. Definitely lighter than my Passport SE. Truth be told, my initial observation was that unlike my Passport SE i felt that the KEYone would not survive a drop. I have never dropped any of my phones and i don’t intend to intentionally. The bend test “fail” by JerryRigEverything had me all bent out of shape but the “durability” test by @CrackberryKevin got me back on track and feeling better about things. I sported my Passport SE without a case however, for my KEYone i did purchase one. I opted for a transparent one because like my Passport SE it would be scandalous to hide such a beautiful phone!!!
My typing experience so far has been interesting. I have always been a keyboard guy and my transition from my Classic to the Passport SE (4 rows of keys vs. 3) was less difficult than my transition from the Passport to the KEYone. I struggled more than i thought i would. It took a little over a week before i got back to being my ninja self again . Some reviewers feel the keyboard is cramped. I don’t think so. One reviewer went as far to complain that when he needs to type 7 and he presses the Alt key with his left thumb and 7 with his right it’s cumbersome. Well buddy, try pressing the Alt with your left thumb and the 7 with your left thumb. Amateur. The flicking capability of the PKB is on fleek and i notice that swiping back to erase words is better than with the Passport. Quick and efficient. There are times though that it takes several cracks at flicking successfully the word from the middle of the PKB. As some reviewers have already mentioned .. sometimes when i do flick a word i inadvertently fire either the triangle, circle or square action. Using the PKB to scroll has been for the most part excellent. There are times when it hiccups & is not so smooth. And just like flicking words, when i scroll mostly from the middle, at times i fire off the circle action. Not the end of the world. Finally, one of the best features of a PKB is shortcuts. I cannot stress this enough. I use both the short and long press shortcuts. I have so many set up; from launching apps, to texting/emailing contacts. it’s not only A-M-A-Z-I-N-G but EFFICIENT!!!! For example, i set up the short press ‘M’ to email my wife, long press to text. ‘F’ set up the same for my son and ‘D’ for my daughter. Instagram gets long press “I” and Twitter gets long press “T” while tasks gets short press “T”. Notes gets long press “N”, while Notable gets short press “N”… anyway you get the idea.
I will end it by saying that i do love the KEYone PKB but for now atleast i give the edge to the Passport SE PKB.
Not much to say about the fingerprint scanner on the spacebar; super quick!
My transition to Blackdroid has been smoother than i thought. I honestly thought i would lose my shit but i would say that after a few days i was pretty much assimilated. Admittedly a few times i found myself trying to do things a la BB10. Also, and maybe it’s my lack of experience with Android but it seems that to find some setting you have to always go 2 or more levels deep. Like, it’s never ‘voila’ here it is!!! I don’t know, maybe i am being too picky. No. i am not. BB10 is better 😀!
The KEYone is pretty snappy. There have been a few times when i tap on an app in the recents list and there is this lag but for the most part it seems to be the Google Play music & videos app while i am listening to music.
As i mentioned i use Twitter alot. Talon for twitter is my choice and it’s helped cope with not having @Blaq which is a fantastic twitter client on BB10. Instagram is instagram but completely ridiculous that it doesn’t offer the ability to repost photos/videos like BB10 apps. You are forced to download a 3rd party and the drawback to these free apps is the in-app ads … MY GOD, SOOOO ANNOYING!!!! I also notice that if “battery saver” is on, instagram videos refuse to play. I tried it on 3 different occasions thinking “it’s me, not you”… but no, it’s you. I don’t get it though. When you turn on battery saver, you select a threshold so you would think that the saver would kick in when you hit that threshold and not before. It almost seems like it kicks in, period. The Facebook experience sucks. That’s all i can really say there. It was suggested (by Kylie aka @kewlgirl05) i try “Friendly”. I may do so at some point. We shall see, as i mentioned i am not high on FB. btw, she is also the one that gave me the heads up on Talon! I am also not sure what is going on with notifications. On BB10, truth be told, notifications were hit and miss. Very erratic and inconsistent. Well, it appears to be the same for Android. They either happen quickly, late or not at all. Speaking of notifications, during the first couple of days with the KEYone, whenever the LED would go off, my first instinct was to check the hub but at times there was nothing new there and it would drive me bananas because i couldn’t understand what was triggering the LED light. Well, eventually I discovered it was the Android notification bar (or whatever it is called) at the top. And speaking of the hub; no comparison yet. BB10 hub is a rock star, Android hub is still the wanna-be. On BB10 i basically lived in the hub. I still do but it’s like i went from a luxurious mansion to a one room apartment. I also miss the file manager. I have looked at a few alternatives in the Google Play Store but i am still undecided. There are so many and i am weary of just taking any old one. Now as for the Google Play Store i don’t know what the deal with it is sometimes.. There are times when i try to download an update and it takes seconds to download and install and then there are times when that spinning donut just spins and spins and spins and nothing happens.. whether on wifi or data. The last time i got fed up and rebooted the phone, got back into the play store and then everything was fine. Install of updates was seconds.
I use the productivity tab as i think it’s pretty useful.. but admittedly there are times i forget it’s there. I know with time that will change.
The camera is phenomenal. It’s the best camera on any previous BlackBerry phone. The speed is fantastic, as is the quality of the photos. So far, i am a point and shoot guy but I will look to expand on that. My photos posted to instagram are all #nofilter (ok maybe 1 or 2 i used a filter). Over the weekend i had the opportunity to take video on a long road trip we had with our senior AAA soccer team. Great footage (you’ll have to take my word for it) . I really like the slow mo feature.
After getting my Passport SE, i wrote all my blog posts on it. All of them. This is not the case with this post. I do intend on using my KEYone for future posts though. This post was also not written in one sitting but over the course of several days. I used both “Notes” And “Notable” to take notes and screen grabs for use on this post.
I’ll leave off with a few words about my BlackBerry phones. i have always and will always treat them with huge care.
I have never sat anywhere while having my cell in my back/front pocket. And it will never happen. As a matter of fact i have rarely ever had my cell in my back pocket. If my shirt has a pocket i will use it otherwise the phone is always in my hand, front pant pocket or table. I also make it a point of holding the phone such that the BlackBerry logo is facing outward because people have to know that i am a proud BlackBerry supporter 😀!
.. anddddd speaking of the logo.. There is no question that the BlackBerry logo is well recognized around the world but i have to say i was saddened that the BlackBerry brand name is not on the KEYone. It got me wondering how much longer before the logo will disappear altogether too. Ironically while chatting with a BBM contact he made a sarcastic comment that eventually it could be branded AlcatelBerry!
well that’s all folks for this post.. It’s really sad that BB10 was not given a chance. I am not an X-files conspiracy theorist but i do believe the big two had a hand in making sure BB10 didn’t get off the ground. I have zero proof though 😜.. so i guess it is a conspiracy theory!! lol. I am far from being sold on Android right now but i am enjoying every minute of my KEYone. No regrets.
I had a great time at the may 15th #KEYone meetup in Montreal. I got to meet Kevin, BlackBerry enthusiasts and of course I had some hands one with the #KEYone. It was cool to see what BlackBerry phones folks are currently carrying and it was surprising to see how many have the original BlackBerry Passport. I was one of only two that had the SE (that I noticed). Some folks asked for hands on. Pretty neat. It was great listening to Kevin’s stories too. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him one on one too much. Asked him what his thoughts were on all the different reviews out there for the KEYone.
As for the KEYone. I can’t wait to get my very own. I was surprised by how light it is. The quality build is as always BlackBerry which means fantastic. I cannot understand folks that complain that it’s too tall. Ridiculous. Honestly, it DOES fit perfectly in the hand. The keyboard is less clicky and will get some getting used to. Having said that even with the little amount of time I was on it I can tell it won’t take me long to adjust. I certainly see that I will lose my shit for a while getting accustomed to Android. The navigation was a little tough. I figure a week before I get the hang of it. This phone is fast! Everything is smooth about it. The camera is phenomenal. Fast too. Same with the video. By far the best I have seen on any BlackBerry phone. There was a gentleman there that put his Dtek50 up against the KEYone. No contest. KEYone hands down the champ!
I should mention that my wife who also has a BlackBerry came out as well and is completely in love with the KEYone. Goes without saying that she will be getting one too.
I see myself putting this phone to great use.. on the social media front I know It will help me bring my game to a whole new level!
The one thing I am sad about is that the BlackBerry name is not on the KEYone. Sure, the logo is forever recognized but still it would have been nice to have the name branding as well.
Ok, ok. I guess I have been waiting for the BlackBerry Mercury. You can read a great article by E. Over @utbblog as to why she waited for the mercury (http://utbblogs.com/wait-mercury/). My reasons differ.
Full disclosure. I am a BlackBerry fanboy. Have been since the days of the BlackBerry Bold 9000. I have owned the 9000,9900,torch, Q10,Classic and now the Passport SE. I have also messed with (but not personally owned) a Z30 and Z10. As you can see, the phones I have owned all have a PKB. If I were angry about the things that have happened since the release of BB10 I would have left and gone to another brand a long time ago.
As a company BlackBerry had to do whatever they had to in order to survive. They are no different than any other company. What that means is that what they discuss behind closed doors doesn’t get conveyed to the public the same way. Meaning that what they deliver to the public are half truths. They claim to continue to support BB10 and in fact they are doing so. However, I feel like they are doing so in a sort of ‘buying time’ kind of way. I mean all u have to do is look at how long the update of 10.3.3 took. And some are still waiting to get it. BlackBerry is simply buying time and I am not even convinced that they will actually release 10.3.4. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they just put out the same 10.3.3 update by simply just changing the last 3 to a 4 ;).
Here’s my opinion of what has transpired since the arrival of John Chen.
John Chen comes on and assesses the situation
In short order he sets BlackBerry on the path of #Android
The release of the #Priv signs the death warrant of BB10
The release of the Dtek50 and Dtek60 had the grave being dug for BB10.
The impending release of the Mercury or shortly thereafter; Funeral arrangements (and eventual burial) for BB10.
See where I am going with this? BlackBerry has been buying time because I think they have android where they want it or very close to it. This is the reason why I am buying the Mercury. The writing for BB10 has been on the wall forever so it’s time to move on and embrace #Blackdroid. Of course the Mercury has a physical keyboard so that too 🙂 !!
For those of us not living in a bubble, we know that @BlackBerry 10 is going away. The writing has been on the wall for some time now. There are some that still refuse to accept it but the reality is that at some point the hardware that is housing BB10 will need replacing and well… there won’t be any for us to choose from come that time. Anyway, i digress. Even with this impending end of life for BB10 (rumor has it that @BlackBerry will announce this May 30), I still periodically check BlackBerry World for “new arrivals” in the “social apps” category.. and quite frankly i am surprised that apps continue to show up. One popular one is #FaceBook. Get a load of this:
The only native app out of all the ones listed is #Face10 from NemoryStudios. In the early days of BB10 when there was a native BlackBerry FB app i of course used it exclusively. When #Face10 made an appearance i purchased it to support the dev. When support for the native FaceBook ended, i actually started to use FB off the browser and found the user experience better than #Face10. #Face10 as is the case with most of Nemory’s apps is bloated. He tends to throw everything but the kitchen sink into his apps and that’s not always a good thing. Sometimes, less is more and i think he should have taken this approach. I got tired of a few things with #Face10 like pictures not loading, hanging that from time to time locks up the phone so i started to look at other options and recently downloaded 2 FaceBook apps that are free;FaceSlim and Feisbook.
Have been using it for a little over a month and i am pretty pleased with it. It gives me everything i need. Obviously, at times it isn’t smooth since it isn’t native but it’s the exception to the rule.
I’ve had this app for a few days now and i think i got lucky as when i downloaded it, it was free. Now it’s not. Anyway, same impressions as FaceSlim. I do like the skin better and it offers more options (settings). It has some little quirks but it’s so new that i assume with time these quirks will be ironed out.
Right now, if we count the browser, i have 4 apps for FaceBook. i will give it about another month then will bring it down to two. The browser and one other. Most likely, Feisbook. Yes, i will opt for a non-native version and not Face10. For one, and as mentioned, i get annoyed by the issues Face10 has and as well, although i appreciate his effort, Oliver, aka NemoryStudios could do some growing up/maturing. He has a habit of doing this quite a bit.. and trust me this is not the first time:
It’s too bad that apps like twitter and instagram don’t get the same attention FB gets.
Anyway, reluctantly I have made the decision that I will move on from BlackBerry 10 and will buy the BlackBerry Mercury. In past posts I wrote that I would wait until May/June but I don’t think I will wait after all. I will buy it within a month or so after it gets officially announced Feb 25th.
This here is apparently, supposedly,possibly,maybe the next BlackBerry phone code named ‘Mercury’. It will be an Android or as its been dubbed; Blackdroid. I started to save up so I can purchase it. Is it because I have decided to embrace android? No. Not at all. Apparently it will be the last BlackBerry in-house built phone. That’s why I want it. I mean look at it. How gorgeous is it? It also looks very similar to my Passport SE. A slimmer version. I can tell you that I cringe at the thought of having to go android at some point. As you may know I detest #Apple and will never get an iPhone. This past weekend I found myself having to handle an iphone more than I wanted to and it was annoying and frustrating !! I understand it was only one weekend but the user experience is lousy!!! It’s horrible. Anyone complaining that BB10 is not intuitive is a bloody liar and obviously iphone brain washed. Most of my friends and colleagues are android users… so I see plenty of android. Here’s the thing… I don’t like the OS look at all. I just don’t find the look appealing. That’s important to me. BlackBerry 10s OS look is simply beautiful… a small sample of three of my most used apps…
Beautiful ! It saddens me to think that this OS will eventually go away.
Apparently mercury will be out in February… I don’t think I will purchase it right away.. will wait until April or May… we shall see.
It was good to see @BlackBerry put out a small blurb about the state of 10.3.3.
Finally. I think the silence on this topic was deafening to many. I guess BlackBerry wanted a little distraction from all the hoopla that was caused after their ‘exiting hardware’ announcement. It’s great to read that it’s in the ‘final stages’ but does that even mean anything? Final stages? That could still be months away! Lol. I don’t know how to feel about it. I mean, we were all told from day one that this update was strictly security based. Last I read there would be some update to the browser but that’s about it. Or is it? This little gem cropped up a few days ago…
Could it be possible that even though we were told that the update is strictly security that we will get surprised with all the changes mentioned on this site post? Could it be? Maybe this is the real reason behind the delay? I think it’s wishful thinking on my part. Some folk in the BlackBerry community are already calling bullshit on the post. Some are saying that it’s a wish list and not what will be in the update. I tend to agree. I love BlackBerry 10 but as difficult as it is to write I know it’s going away. Guys like UTB ‘I will never use a BlackBerry android’ Brad while sporting his #Priv Android device preaches that if BlackBerry 10 does go away the fault will rest on the shoulders of the BlackBerry community. Those black sheep of the community that are creating FUD, trashing on John, whining over the lack of anything on the BlackBerry 10 side, etc that are going to be responsible for the potential demise of BlackBerry 10. I don’t know. Should I even put any weight on anything this guy says? On the flip side of things Brad keeps reiterating that BlackBerry 10 isn’t going anywhere…It’s easy to preach that BlackBerry 10 isn’t going anywhere. I agree, it isn’t going anywhere. NOW. Because it can’t now. U just can’t drop an OS that is being used by very important and crucial entities.. but everything that seems to be happening around BlackBerry 10 tells me that the plan is to phase it out eventually.
Here’s what I think BlackBerry’s game plan was once they made the decision to go to the dark side and embrace Android.
1) get former BlackBerry enthusiasts who left the brand and are now androidians to come back with the android offering
2) get newbies who are android enthusiasts to embrace BlackBerry by hopping on their offering of a more secure Android.
3) get BB10ers to convert and embrace the dark side that is Android. You know, assimilate.
Of course all three are risky business but I think it was a risk they obviously decided was worth taking. My take is that they know very well that some of the BlackBerry loyalists will not buy into item 3 but the hope Is that the combination of 1 and 2 with some of 3 will greatly outnumber the portion of 3 that will leave the brand because of their utter disgust over BlackBerry’s choice to embrace Android. I know my view seems to be on the simplistic side but why not? Right? I mean how many times did John Chen say that he would let the market dictate what happens. If you put very little effort on an OS at one point something is going to give. Those of us that make up item 3 will get fed up and will make a decision. I think that is what John is counting on. Good or bad.
Anyway – I truly hope I am wrong. I simply love BlackBerry 10. It’s so amazing. It’s really a shame it never got traction like it should have. I love my Passport SE. Just love it. Having written all this though I have decided that I will start to save up and I will target the purchase of this here:
According to the photo ‘mercury’ will be out in January of 2017.. I will not make the purchase then but rather wait until April or May of 2017. That’s how I am feeling right now. Time will tell if I will assimilate or I will continue to fight the good fight with BlackBerry 10. Stay tuned.