You’ve got to give BlackBerry credit for refusing to die. After the underwhelming launch and life of BB10, the company pledged allegiance to Android, whipped up a strangely cool slider phone, then farmed out production of all new BlackBerrys to external partners. The journey has been difficult to watch at times, but it seems like the transition is starting to pay off. After a pair of all-touch phones, BlackBerry and partner TCL have released the KEYone, heralding the return of the classic candy-bar-with-keyboard design.
The Priv was an ambitious attempt at a flagship,and the DTEK50 and DTEK60 were barely recognizable as part of the line. The KEYone, however, is the first BlackBerry in years to feel, well, like a BlackBerry. Surprise, surprise: It’s a pretty great little phone, too. Fans will be glad to know the KEYone is the best Android-powered BlackBerry to date, but I don’t expect this to move the needle for many others.