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7 reasons why the BlackBerry KEYone isn’t worth it, despite the hype

Image: lili sams/mashable

I gotta hand it to BlackBerry for getting everyone so hyped for its new flagship KEYOne phone.

It’s such a polarizing phone. I’m honestly torn on the KEYone. On the one hand, it’s the best BlackBerry in years, finally successfully melding Android with a touchscreen, a physical keyboard, and a striking metal design. On the other hand, the KEYone still falls short compared to the latest premium phones like the iPhone 7, Galaxy S8, and Google Pixel.

If you haven’t already read it, go check out the 11 reasons I think the KEYone is worth shelling out $550 (unlocked price) for, because this article’s all about why you shouldn’t buy it.

Is the KEYone right for you or not? I can’t make that decision for you. But hopefully you’ll be able to make a more informed decision after reading both the pros and cons.

1. It’s thick and bulky in an industrial kind of way

Image: lili sams/mashable

Top to bottom: iPhone 7, Google Pixel, and BlackBerry KEYone

If you’re looking for one of the thinnest and lightest phones, you won’t find it in the KEYone. BlackBerry’s latest flagship is big-boned and proud of it. The aluminum body’s thick, but handsome thanks to the rounded bottom corners and flat top. I really like it; it’s so anti-iPhone that it’s surprisingly refreshing. Even the large metal ring around the rear camera is attractive because it fits so well with the phone’s industrial look.

2. The keyboard is… mushy

Image: lili sams/mashable

I’ve got a love-hate relationship with the KEYone’s keyboard. While I applaud BlackBerry for being brave enough to sell a phone with a QWERTY keyboard in 2017, I personally don’t exactly love it. It’s a fine keyboard, but I find they keys to be too mushy for my fat thumbs. I would have preferred the BlackBerry Bold’s keys, which aren’t as flat. That said, the QWERTY keyboard is still one of the best on any phone and you should definitely try it for yourself to see if you like it.

3. Typing in landscape mode sucks

Image: lili sams/mashable

There will no doubt be times when you need to enter text in landscape mode on a virtual keyboard. It’s those times when you’ll curse the KEYone because you’ll basically need to reach over the keyboard with one hand in order to peck at the on-screen keyboard. Doing so is super uncomfortable and made me type slower.

4. Convenience key is handy, but poorly placed

Image: lili sams/mashable

Aside from the programmable keyboard, the KEYone’s also got a Convenience key located on the right side for the phone below the volume rocker. BlackBerry purists will love its inclusion for mapping a shortcut, but its placement is questionable. I kept accidentally pressing the Convenience key with the palm of my hand whenever I gripped the phone.

5. The power button is in a terrible place

Image: lili sams/mashable

Lefties might love the left-sided power button, but everyone else will hate it.

And speaking of poorly-placed buttons on the phone, same goes for the power button, which is located on the upper left side. I hated the left-sided power button on TCT’s Alcatel Android phones like the Idol 4S and I still hate it on the KEYone. There’s a reason why most Android phones and the iPhone have power buttons on the right side: it’s easy for thumbs to press and reach. Lefties, however, will probably love it.

6. Camera can’t compare with Pixel’s

Image: lili sams/mashable

The KEYone takes decent photos, but they’re not as good as the iPhone 7 or Google Pixel’s, despite having the same image sensor as the latter. As I expected, the KEYone’s 12-megapixel photos just can’t compete with the Pixel’s superior software processing, which is able to significantly enhance dynamic range and improve low-light photos. Ditto for selfies; they look fine from the 8-megapixel front-facing camera, but the Pixel’s selfie camera is still better.

If having best-in-class cameras isn’t a deal breaker, then by all means, ignore what I’m saying. I could live with the KEYone’s photos — they’re certainly the best on any BlackBerry ever — but I want the best camera, especially for low-light shots and there are just better options available.

7. The name is terrible

KEYone? What was BlackBerry thinking when it came up with this name? KEYone couldn’t sound any more bland and uncool. Calling it the "new BlackBerry Bold" would have elicited more nostalgic feels than KEYone.