Black­Berry Key­One Xiaomi Mi Max 2 AirBar

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - CONTENTS -

The Black­berry Key­one

may be un­con­ven­tional-look­ing, but true to Black­Berry’s legacy, it has a pow­er­ful amal­ga­ma­tion of touch screen and phys­i­cal keys.

In its can­dy­bar de­sign, the dis­play mea­sures 4.5 inches with a phys­i­cal QWERY key­board. The three touch nav­i­ga­tion keys for home, back and mul­ti­task­ing are placed just above the key­board, on the screen, mak­ing them in­tu­itive to use. Those of us used to the 5.5inch dis­play will, per­haps, not ap­pre­ci­ate the smaller dis­play, es­pe­cially when read­ing and watch­ing videos. But when it comes to work, the Key­One means busi­ness.

While it took some time to fa­mil­iarise my­self with the key­board, typ­ing e-mails, tex­ting and chat­ting was a breeze. The phys­i­cal key­board has been made ‘smarter’ by Black­Berry. Scrolling through e-mails and web pages is pos­si­ble by just mov­ing your thumb over the key­board. Short­cuts can be as­signed to the keys to launch apps, elim­i­nat­ing the need to use the touch screen. For in­stance, the let­ter ‘b’ can launch the browser and ‘c’ com­poses e-mails. So, to open the Chrome browser, you only need to long-press ‘b’. Many of these short­cuts have been as­signed by de­fault; one can change them as per pref­er­ence from the short­cuts tab in the app tray. I as­signed Gmail to ‘g’, Face­book to ‘f’ and Set­tings to ‘s’.

There’s more nov­elty. The fin­ger­print scan­ner is hid­den in­side the space bar and un­locks the phone quickly. The power key is placed on the left panel (un­like other smart­phones), and is a bit of a bother. But, thank­fully, as the thumb rests on the space key (with fin­ger­print scan­ner), it was easy to un­lock the phone. There is also a con­ve­nience key on the right that is cus­tomis­able and can be as­signed to any app.

The Key­One, although unusu­ally long (at 149.3 mm), has an er­gonomic de­sign. But the hard­ware dis­ap­points. TCL Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, man­u­fac­tur­ers of the lat­est Black­Berry smart­phones, has not been able to live up to the prom­ise of the good old days. As a re­sult, the de­vice lacks the pre­mium feel.

The user in­ter­face is neat and of­fers cus­tomi­sa­tion. There is a Black­Berry Hub wid­get that fetches all the no­ti­fi­ca­tions from across your apps into one use­ful feed. There is also a pro­duc­tiv­ity tab that can be ac­cessed on the home­screen by swip­ing side­ways. It show­cases up­com­ing ap­point­ments, un­read mes­sages and favourite con­tacts. Run­ning on An­droid 7.1.1, Key­One packs in Google apps along with util­ity apps such as BBM, DTEK for se­cu­rity, de­vice search, pass­word keeper, and power cen­tre.

Key­One is pow­ered by Qual­comm Snap­dragon 625 pro­ces­sor, paired with 3 GB of RAM that han­dles most apps with ease with­out any heat­ing is­sues. The bat­tery back-up, too, is im­pres­sive – the 3,505-mAh bat­tery lasted close to two days on a single charge.

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