BlackBerry KEY2 LE 

price₹ 29,990 onwards

launchOct, 2018

39.0

excellence score

52.6

value for money score

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Rs. 29,990

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2-Minute Review

Let's cut through the noise, and get to the crux of it. 14+ Expert Reviews analysed and summarised by the PhoneCurry Editorial Team, in a short and sweet 2-minute review.

Design

  • The KEY2 LE has a nice looking plastic body that’s surrounded by a metallic frame - the back panel is made of textured plastic, which gives the user’s hands sufficient grip for holding and pulling out of pockets and handbags
  • Offers a pleasant physical keyboard typing experience - the keys on the keyboard, though placed a tad too close to one another, feel soft enough to be pressed for quick typing - they have the right amount of resistance and travel
  • The space bar doubles up as a fingerprint scanner, which is tiny but effective
  • There’s no dust- or water-resistance rating on the smartphone
  • The convenience key is a useful add-on, and can be customised to show shortcuts from different apps (like open a new Chrome tab, speed-dial a contact, etc.) - it is by default set to trigger Google Assistant - but it's pretty close to the power key and the volume rockers - so accidental presses between these keys seem likely

Display

  • The display, apart from of course being small by modern standards (something you can't avoid in this form factor, if you are going to also have a physical keyboard), and having large bezels, is also not generally of the highest quality - the contrast ratio could have been better for instance - the bright white of the backlight bleeds into the colours, making them look ever so slightly washed out - blacks suffer the most as they never appear completely black

Software

  • The BlackBerry custom UI over Android is of course full of privacy, security, and productivity features/apps - including Hub (an app that integrates SMS, emails, social media notifications, calendar events, and phone calls), Locker (a safe place to put sensitive files), Notable (a screenshot editor), Redactor (a tool to hide sensitive text in a screenshot), Privacy Shade (a tool that hides everything on the screen but the lines you’re reading), Power Centre (a tool to help maximise battery life), and DTEK (a privacy and security monitoring tool) - apart from these, BlackBerry has included its own version of Files, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, and Tasks
  • Some BlackBerry hallmarks like BBM for instance however are just a shadow of a bygone era - and you will likely find it completely deserted of your contacts anyway (who uses BBM now days?)
  • The BlackBerry UI is also iffy at places - for instance, the productivity tab, a pull-out menu that can be accessed from any screen to quickly check meeting and contact details, opens and closes with jagged animation - it’s the same case with the BlackBerry-developed camera app as well — it’s slow and difficult to use

Peformance

  • Good performance in every day use, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset in the background and some good software optimization - of course this is not the best chipset you can get in this price bracket - and of course it's not meant to play high-end graphics games - but that's not the use case for this device anyway, so that's all right

Camera

  • Average cameras - both the dual rear camera setup at the rear, and the single front camera - photos could generally do with more detail, and the colours also tend to appear a bit bland
  • Portrait mode is a hit and miss - the camera can sometimes blurs even a part of the subject in the foreground out
  • Videos shot on 1080p/60fps shake about a lot, with no optical stabilisation on the inside
  • The default camera app too can be a bit of a pain to use - it’s sometimes slow to respond to touches, especially to the touch of the on-screen shutter button - it also doesn’t give enough feedback after taking a photo to let the user know they can view it - switching between modes sometimes takes a good second or two, leaving you wondering if you pressed the button hard enough

Audio

  • The speakers are pretty feeble
  • The earpiece too, while clear, could do with a little more volume as well

Battery

  • Good battery life - it will comfortably last you an entire day with 20 percent or more to spare with mixed usage
  • Fast charging support - takes a little over two hours to charge fully

More

  • While the BlackBerry KEY2 LE still retains the BlackBerry DNA in the form of its long suite of pre-installed productivity and privacy apps, it's use case in the modern day world continues to be iffy - if you’re fond of the BlackBerry suite of apps or if you miss the physical keyboard typing experience, AND if you don't care at all about the camera, or having a large display - you can look at it - but for everyone else the Android landscape has much better all-round phones around

Expert Reviews

We continuously monitor new reviews from 200+ top technology experts

  1. In this modern, bezeless, big-screen smartphones era, it is good to have an option like BlackBerry 2LE with a physical keyboard...but this device might not appeal for the larger part of the audience
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Loses out heavily on standard smartphone points like camera and audio....you should only get it if you’re fond of the BlackBerry suite of apps or because you miss the physical keyboard typing experience
    digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  3. The Key2 LE may not be for all but it will do justice to those who do see some sense in it
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  4. gsmarena.com hands-on Read Review »
  5. techradar.com hands-on Read Review »
  6. gadgets.ndtv.com hands-on Read Review »
  7. androidauthority.com hands-on Read Review »
  8. digitaltrends.com hands-on Read Review »
  9. trustedreviews.com hands-on Read Review »
  10. expertreviews.co.uk hands-on Read Review »
  11. androidcentral.com hands-on Read Review »
  12. gadgetsnow.com hands-on Read Review »
  13. pocket-lint.com hands-on Read Review »
  14. techadvisor.co.uk hands-on Read Review »

User Reviews

User reviews from India’s top ecommerce platforms

BlackBerry KEY2 LE Specifications

Operating System
Smartphone OSAndroid 8.1 OreoExpected update to next Android version
Display
TouchscreenYes (Capacitive)
Screen Size4.5 inches
Screen Resolution1080x1620 pixels (~ 433 pixels per inch)
Display Features
  • IPS LCD
Scratch Resistant DisplayYes, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Proximity Sensor
  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • Hall Effect Sensor
Fingerprint sensorYes
Processor/RAM
Processor1.8 GHz, Octa Core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Ranked #31 in Mobile Procesor Benchmarks
GPUAdreno 509
RAM4 GB
Memory
Internal Memory64 GB
Expandable Memory Slotup to 256 GB
Battery
Battery Capacity3000 mAh
Fast ChargingYes, Quick Charge 3.0
Dimensions
Weight156 gm
Thickness8.35 mm
Camera
Primary Camera13MP + 5MP
Camera Auto-FocusYes
Camera FlashYes
HD Video RecordingYes (4K)
Other Camera Features
  • 13MP: F/2.2 Aperture; 1/3.1" Sensor Size; 1.12µm Pixel Size; PDAF
  • 5MP: F/2.4 Aperture; 1.12µm Sensor Size; Depth Sensor
  • HDR
  • Panorama
Secondary Camera8.0MP
Connectivity
BluetoothYes
Connecting PortUSB-C
USB On-The-GoYes
WiFiYes
WiFi DirectYes
4GYes
VoLTEYes
3GYes
2G Internet (GPRS/EDGE)Yes
GPSYes + GLONASS + BeiDou
CompassYes
NFCYes
More
App StoreGoogle Play Store
Full Physical QWERTY KeypadYes
Dual SIMGSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot)
Noise FiltrationYes
FM RadioYes

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