The BlackBerry KeyOne was a pretty successful smartphone for Blackberry, it brought the modern Android experience and combined it with the classic Blackberry physical keyboard but it definitely wasn’t a phone that appealed to everyone and not everyone wants a physical keyboard and that’s where the brand new Blackberry Motion comes into the play. It basically takes everything that made the KeyOne so great, bumps up the specs in a few key areas and does away with the physical keyboard.
One thing that I really appreciate about Blackberry right now is that they’re not afraid to do things differently. In an era where dual cameras, bezel-less displays, and curvy slick pebble like designs are all the rage, the Blackberry Motion sort of buck all those trends and it all starts with a phone’s designs. It’s made completely out of metal so it’s still very high quality and it feels great in the hand but it has completely flat sides and chamfered edges and has a very sharp and angular look to it.
The phone has a very asymmetrical design, the top is rounded whereas the bottom is completely flat and the top forehead is a lot smaller than the bottom chin, but the bottom chin is lot bigger for good reason. It has a front facing fingerprint sensor, designated by that Blackberry logo and it’s actually a physical clicking home button not a solid state home button, surrounded by large capacitive keys which will be liked by many, because some smartphones have really tiny capacitive keys which very hard very hard to press.
On the back side there’s a faux carbon fiber pattern which not only looks really nice but it’s also very soft to the touch and gives the phone a lot of grip. The buttons on this phone are also really high quality, like volume rocker on the top, the power button and the Blackberry signature convenience key, they’re made of metal so they’re clicky and tactile and they all live on the right side.
As the Blackberry Motion doesn’t have a physical keyboard, taking up a ton on space that gives you a lot of room for a larger display, hence you get a 5.5 inch LCD with 1080p resolution and it’s not the most attention-grabbing display but it is a pretty god looking screen, it has vibrant colors, good looking angles and outdoor visibility is not really that big of an issue. A major problem with this screen though is that it has this durability coating which is meant to protect from scratches but it makes the screen really hard to keep clean from fingerprints and it’s also very tacky to the touch, like a screen protector on top of it.
Inside it has the same exact specs as the Blackberry Keyone, Snapdragon 625, 4GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage and it’s not the fastest performing phone, not top of benchmarks and you may notice the occasional stutter from time to time. Certain apps like Snapchat don’t perform quite as smoothly as they don other flagships, but generally it’s a good performance phone, which launches apps quickly and play all graphic demanding games well.
Biggest benefit of the Snapdragon 625 is the battery sipping properties and when you combine that with huge 4000mAH battery you get a very long lasting phone for about two days with consistent 6 hours of screen-on time, with lot of gaming, YouTube watching, which is really impressive. With QuickCharge 2.0 this huge battery will be full in lesser time, or come to the rescue for a quick top-up. Users will be happy to know that it come with a dedicated headphone jack and an expanded storage option, and it’s also ip67 rated so its water and dust resistant. So it has all the bells and whistles of 2017 smartphone.
The camera is also the same as the Blackberry KeyOne, it has an 8-mp camera on the front and 12-mp camera on the rear side. It is very simplistic without too much shooting modes, but it has Panorama and Slow-mo option. But ‘Bokeh’ effect or the portrait mode is missing here and camera itself is just ‘OK’, it gives you nice-looking pictures in well-lit situations with vibrant colors and great contrast and pretty nice detail. Things are bit disappointing in low-light situations, photos are noisy, washed out and typically over-exposed, camera is sluggish is slow to capture and constantly hunts for focus.
The software experience is the USP of this phone as it come with the stock Android and Blackberry’s customization, they are all really useful. It starts with Blackberry Hub, which aggregates all of your social media, text messages, emails, etc. all into on place, making it easy to check so you are not jumping from one app to another just check all of your notifications.
There’s a lot of other really nice touches, like swiping up to any app icon will give you options for that app’s widget and the privacy shade which basically blacks out your entire display except for a small little window to make it harder for the person besides you to read what’s on our screen. And the best thing you get is the Blackberry’s best-in-class security with DTEC which always insures that your phone is secure and your data is encrypted.
BlackBerry KEYone Specifications:
- Android 7.1 Nougat OS
- Hybrid dual SIM support
- Fingerprint sensor
- 4.5 inch 3:2 display with 433 PPI, scratch-resistant glass protection
- 1620 x 1080 pixels resolution
- 4-row Physical QWERTY backlit keyboard with capacitive touch
- 2GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 625 14nm processor with 650MHz Adreno 506 GPU
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB internal storage memory, Expandable up to 2TB with microSD card
- 12 Megapixel rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash, Sony IMX378 sensor, 1.55µm pixel size, 1/2.3? sensor size, f/2.0 aperture and PDAF
- Ultra HD 4K video recording
- 8 Megapixel front-facing camera with 1.12µm pixel size and f/2.2 aperture
- FM Radio with 3.5mm audio jack
- 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4 & 5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS / GLONASS, NFC and USB 3.1 Type-C
- 3505mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support
Blackberry Motion is in limited availability, currently available in selected markets like Middle East and Canada. Hope that it comes to your country soon. So a win-win situation for both Blackberry fans with modern Android software and for Android fans with more security features.