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 can’t even write ‘Amateur Hour’ because the whole interview lasted a few minutes. I was so excited to hear that John Chen was going to be on CBS This Morning that I pvr’d it because I head out early in the morning for work. Anyway while at work I saw a tweet from CBS where they actually misspelled the @BlackBerry twitter handle. I certainly had to comment on it. Look, we all make typos but still pretty careless and amateurish on their part… atleast they had the decency to delete the tweet. Yes, I have that much clout ;)! This morning I sat down and watched the few minutes CBS mustered up to devote to John Chen. Wow. I thought the tweet was amateurish. That interview, if you want to call it that, was amateur 101. It’s clear that not much ‘homework’ was done. It’s clear that not too much effort was put before hand. It’s great to see especially now when journalism is being attacked by you know who, that the most important thing to know is if instagram works with this new BlackBerry. Sad.
At this past Wednesday’s earnings call @BlackBerry made it official that they are exiting the hardware business. That is they will no longer design and manufacture phones. For anyone paying attention, even remotely, to the goings on with BlackBerry this should not come as a surprise. The first glaring clue should have been the #Dtek50. That was BlackBerry telling us without telling us. One other piece of item that should not be forgotten is that John Chen is a software guy so should the path BlackBerry is on really surprise anyone?
BlackBerry will continue to put out phones only they won’t be the one making them. Let’s not forget the #Dtek60 is around the corner and the ‘mercury’ I assume at some point in early 2017. This of course means nothing because after their announcement all you could read were headlines with ‘quit’,’bailed’,’ending’,end of an era’,’no longer’ and on and on and on.. why? Because haters gonna hate.
This announcement certainly garnered a lot of reaction and emotion… some of it even anger. I am a proud Canadian and proud to support a Canadian icon like BlackBerry. I am first and foremost a BlackBerry supporter. It’s a business and I have come to terms and understand that John Chen had to do what he had to do to ensure BlackBerry didn’t go away. Am I angry that BlackBerry will no longer manufacturer the phones? No. Am I sad? Yes. It does make me sad. Interestingly enough I think BlackBerry has always been about software but let’s face it when u hear ‘BlackBerry’ your first reaction will always be hardware; the cell phone. For me BlackBerry has always been about gorgeous ‘look and feel’ and quality phones. Name me a BlackBerry phone that didn’t have quality behind it? That’s what I worry will happen with outsourcing. Take a look at the #DTEK50.. I had a chance to look at one up close and personal and in hand I don’t feel that quality. I understand it’s a low end phone but still. The ‘powers in the know’ are reassuring the BlackBerry faithful that BlackBerry will continue to have a say and QA input with these future outsourced phones. Let’s hope so.
The Passport SE one of the best examples of what quality is..
So is it the end of an era? Well ya I kinda think so… but is it a new beginning as John Chen put it? It certainly is.
so true.. there is more to BlackBerry!! The irony is the very same people that continuously dwell on the same old things are the same people that accuse BlackBerry of living in the past!