Once upon a time the most desirable phone even before iPhone or any other phone which ruled the market and even the heart of people was BlackBerry. Over the period of time the company has lost its spark and in more scientific term we can put it as it is now in the category of endangered. The last smartphone from BlackBerry which we reviewed about a year ago was BlackBerry KEYone and after a gap of one year the company has launched the successor of BlackBerry KEYone which is BlackBerry KEY2 LE which we will be reviewing here to give an insight about this new phone.
Unlike other smartphones the phones from BlackBerry doesn’t require a close look to differentiate because BlackBerry has its own signature design which makes it to appear totally different from rest of the smartphones. The trademark of BlackBerry phones are their Keypad and the new BlackBerry KEY2 also sports a keypad which is very unique and also a brave move from the company because the Keypad obviously occupies the space of screen. The front fascia of the phone has 4.5 inch screen display and rest of the front body is occupied by the Keypad. The phone in terms of its front design and display resembles the old trend which might not do the trick for the company. The top of the display is sporting the selfie camera. In terms of look the phone sports a premium look which is giving aesthetic appeal to the phone when you hold it. The weight is light as well and easy to hold and operate. The body has aluminum frame and plastic back. The rear side is sporting the dual camera sensor clubbed in one frame and besides the frame lies the LED flash. At the top of the phone lies the 3.5mm headphone jack while at the bottom lies the Type-C USB port and dual speaker grille. On the left side lies the hybrid SIM slot which offers you dual SIM space or you have to sacrifice one SIM slot to insert the SDcard. At the right side you can sport volume rockers, power button and an additional button to initiate the Google Assistant. The fingerprint sensor to which people are accustomed and have the notion that it will be either on rear side or on front side has completely been removed in the new BlackBerry KEY2 LE and the phone features the fingerprint sensor in the Space bar of the keypad and it is quick in response as well.
The display of the phone is very simple with a screen size of 4.5 inch with no notch no curvy screen edges. The screen has been compromised because of the capacitive touch 4 row BlackBerry keyboard. The display type is IPS LCD with 16M colors. The screen resolution of the phone is of 1080×1620 pixels with an aspect ratio of 3:2. The screen is visibility is good thanks to the auto brightness mode which makes the screen visible under sunlight as well. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The Keyboard on the front no doubt is the unique identity of all the BlackBerry phones plus the keys can be used for various shortcuts and opening of apps. If you are switching phones and picking BlackBerry then the screen space might be one of the drawbacks of the phone because now the market has accustomed people with big and wide screen space.
The camera of the phone while testing did not amused me too much. The rear camera of the phone sports dual camera sensors with the primary sensor of 12MP with an aperture of f/1.8, and dual pixel PDAF whereas the secondary sensor is of 12MP as well with an aperture of f/2.6, and PDAF. The rear camera of the phone is very strong and has capability of delivering great images at every situation. The focus of the rear camera is accurate and every detail seems to be incorporated and finally portrayed when you capture the image. The flashlight of course gives you advantage of having clear shots at night as well and the night shots are well clear and detailed as well. There are various modes and effects to opt for. The colors the images are well preserved and the quality is great but if we talk about the selfie camera it is not as good as the rear camera and it did not excite me that much. The selfie camera is of 8MP with an aperture of f/2.0 and the quality of the images of the selfie camera is normal not that much capable of drooling the selfie lovers about it. The phones of similar range offers powerful cameras which to some extent gets the attention of the users but BlackBerry KEY2 LE has to really struggle to attract users on the basis of its camera power.
The new BlackBerry KEY2 LE is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 660SoC octa core processor with eight cores where four cores are clocked at 2.2GHz Kryo 260 and other four cores are clocked at 1.8GHz Kryo 260. The processor works very fine; be it multi-tasking or playing games the processor seems to maintain the phone at equilibrium state. The gaming experience might not be that much satisfactory due to screen space but there is no issue with the processor handling big games. The phone rarely heated up when big games were played for long times. The RAM size of the phone is of 4GB which is must requirement to support such processor. The ROM size of the phone is of 64GB and it can be further expanded with the help of microSD.
The phone is packed with non-removable battery of 3,500mAh. The battery power of the phone easily allows you to enjoy any activity on the phone without worrying of quick drainage. While our testing period the battery easily lasted throughout the day with a single full charge. The charging of the phone is also quick thanks to the quick charger which quickly fills the battery tank.
Overall, to conclude it could be said that the new BlackBerry KEY2 LE will only be attractive to the true BlackBerry fans otherwise it is very hard forit to get reasonable amount of users who will be attracted towards this new launch. When you look at the competition it stands nowhere amongst them at Rs 29,990.