• It’s simply not for everyone

    By Jon , March 25, 2017 - Leave a comment

    No matter what smartphone; from any brand with any feature set, there will be those who like and dislike the finished product. That is a fact of life. It’s what makes life so diverse: we do not all like the same thing.

    But why does there seem to be a constant need to criticise or find fault? Can we not embrace, realise achievements and the needs of others?

    I am not calling anyone out here in particular. Yet there does seem to be an increasing number of detrimental comments across the web, always looking to knock a product or brand.

    This happens across many product categories of course. I am not sure if it’s just me though, but it seems more rife in technology. Particularly if you follow the comments of big tech blogs and YouTube videos.

    Recently, I have noticed a lot of negativity directed at BlackBerry as a company and their new KEYone. Some comment that it is not relevant. Other say it’s not needed or appealing because the specs are somewhat mediocre.

    This is true. The specs are not the very latest and greatest. So the BlackBerry KEYone doesn’t rock the latest Qualcomm chip, nor does it have 6GB of RAM or even water-resistance. But does that make the phone irrelevant? I think not.

    BlackBerry KEYone announcement specification Clove Technology

    I have heard many say that the physical keyboard factor is dead and not needed. Well OK, that is your opinion. But the KEYone was not made for you, in the same way that a £50 feature phone without 4G connectivity wasn’t either. You need only look at the success of Gemini on Indiegogo to confirm a market, albeit niche, for a keyboard.

    Perhaps it’s just not made for you

    I know it is generally only a select few who comment and complain louder than most. Still why can we not just embrace that we are all different, and that we all need and want different things.

    On the whole the tech press have been kind to the BlackBerry KEYone. In fact the almost ‘retro’ design has got some a little excited over something a little different; not just another large-screened, all-touch slab.

    This device was designed to be a workhorse. It is for those who want something from a lot of worlds: touchscreen & physical keyboard, performance & battery beyond a few hours. Those who want a decent camera, but may not be presenting their photos to general public for critique.

    The £499 price tag… Well when using a device like this for hours a day – week in, week out, to keep businesses operational – that cost is negligible.

    I have used several devices in the past with a keyboard and touchscreen combination and loved them. Despite my personal preference for smaller phones, the uniqueness of the KEYone, to me, screams “Use Me!” Of course you may well think different. And that’s OK by me.

    BlackBerry are rebuilding themselves; strengthening the company and their brand in a space that many who leave such unsupportive comments are not.

    I say good going to you BlackBerry. The smartphone market is turbulent and you are doing a good job in creating products for a niche.

    It is great to see that in a world of highly specific, but ultimately similar-format smartphones which are difficult to tell apart, that BlackBerry are brave enough to address this subset of potential customers.

    Jon

    Constantly challenging opinions and looking for new opportunities, Jon develops the product ranges and business activities and very much strives to maintaining growth and taking Clove in to the future.

    Never knowing when to stop, he spends a lot of time coming up with ideas.

    When he does relax, however, he can be found out in the forest walking his Dog, down the pub or enjoying food at local restaurants.

    Comments

  • My wife has to have a physical keyboard so she’s got the BB passport. She doesn’t need top specs. Just a half decent camera that can take quick pics of our 3 yr old. Most likely she’ll get this keyone next. I’ve ordered a oneplus 3t to replace my Note 4 as samsungs repair centre water damaged my phone so they wouldn’t have to repair it!. A phone that worked with the wake lock app is now a dead paper weight!

  • I bought the BlackBerry Passport from Clove and without doubt it’s a phone I love and use as my prime phone. I don’t see to many about but I get asked loads of questions about it by people who have never seen one before!!!. Will I buy the new phone? Yes but later on in the year as the Passport is an incredible business phone for me.

  • I have a Silver BlackBerry Passport and love it. It’s by far the best smartphone I ever had. The only shortcoming is the increasing number of Apps that I can’t use because developers are narrowing it’s use to Android or ios. So the KEYONE may just be the best replacement for my Passport… It’s also beautifully designed and runs on Android. It’s just heartbreaking that BlackBerry doesn’t release a Passport on Android!

    Zola

  • great article. Somehow the best smartphones now have to be touch only and have top specs? I am not much into watching or taking videos with my phone. or viewing / rating pic quality on it either. I use my phone for comms. so processor speed needs to be ok but not breathtaking. I take the odd picture with my phone. But what I am fussy about is an intuitive keyboard. This is why currently I rate my BB Z10 above my S4. Have not used a phone with a physical keyboard in a long time. so my upgrade choices do feature the DTEK60 and the KEYone.

  • I must say I was a little disappointed with the somewhat high price of the keyONE, that said though I probably will end up buying it simply because of the keyboard and touchscreen combo.
    As you say, a good workhorse with good battery life is what really matters.

    • Iqbal.

      The price is perhaps a little higher than we would like, but to be honest we all want things cheaper don’t we?!

      At £499 it is still a lot cheaper than some new phones. Price it over 24 months/2 years and its just over £20 per month, that is pretty good going I think.

  • Of course it’s a relevant device. Different devices suit different people…. However I have the blackberry set of apps installed on my One plus so you don’t necessarily need a BlackBerry device in order to use the host of services they offer. EG I’ve just typed this out on the Blackberry virtual keyboard… and my email comes through on the hub.

    The problem BlackBerry have is while they release phones that are suited to work Samsung and LG produce amazing all round flagships…. That frankly look like a piece of future tech. Releasing a device that looks retro isn’t going to win any fans. It essentially looks like a thin blackberry passport silver edition….. How is that to compete against an infinity display or the edge to edge screen of the G6.

    The problem blackberry has is that it’s lost its cool…. After being the king of cool. All they can really do is hold on untill people forget that.

    Keyone would make a nice second phone or would be great for office and work use…but it’s not going to be something somebody chooses over an S8

  • Nicely put! I’ve gone back to using my BlackBerry leap at the moment. Can’t afford stupid amounts of money for a top spec phone that, in reality, will be out of date in a year. Have we all not realised how successful marketing campaigns have been for a while now, and how completely we’ve all been sucked into the ethos of ‘latest is best’? It may be true in some respects, but for the same price as the Google pixel, Apple 7, Samsung 8, you could have at least a washing machine plus dryer or dishwasher. A 50 inch TV, plus sound bar, even a second hand car as I purchased for £750 recently. A top price of £900 and rising for a 256Gb phone, to me, is crazy. I would LOVE to know the mark-up on some of these phones and just how greedy the companies have become in the pursuit of profit. Especially as they’re so reluctant at the same time to pay tax on said earnings. The world has finite resources. The next time you consider spending such a crazy amount on a phone- reflect first! People are homeless out there. Consider giving a little to them instead. God bless. P

    • Valid points there Phil. I don’t dare get into commenting on the tax payments of large companies 🙂

  • I absolutely totally agree. We’re all different, and our wants and needs are different. What a boring world it would be if we weren’t. And to bash something just because it’s not what you’re looking for is pretty petty and short-sighted.

    Very well written article.

  • A well balanced article Jon, I have a BB Passport for work and love physical keyboards (also had a good number of Palm devices), but unfortunately my work is heading towards iPhones and another MDM that is not BES.

    iPhones IMO are great devices (hell all modern smartphones are) but what they are not, is a good corporate email device, in my opinion. They get the job done but….

  • Went from Iphone 6 to BlackBerry Passport se. The keyboard is fabulous when you want to work. I’ll definitely buy the KEYONE. With stock android it will be perfect.

  • I certainly agree. It is nice that in this hyper-technical world you can always find something that fits your needs and wallet.

  • Good for you Jon, I couldn’t have put it better myself. I’ve always loved BlackBerry and use the Priv (cracking phone). Since BlackBerry adopted Android, they’ve reinvented the brand and they’ll power on from here, despite the negativity. By the way, you wouldn’t believe the admiration the Priv receives from Joe and Josephine public because it’s different.

  • Right you are Jon. Every user have their own preference on which smart device fits their needs in terms of features, budget and how the device will be utilize. Those users where physical keyboard plays a vital and most frequently used aspect will definitely consider the Blackberry Keyone.

    Personally I have had fumbles typing messages on smaller screen smart devices virtual keyboard. But I accept the incovenience as it is a feature I seldom used.

    I would say it is great that each manufacturer decides to offer some feature that differs from the mainstream as it provides option for consumers to choose from. As users themselves differs from each other.

  • Hi Jon,

    The physical keyboard is very functional – easy to use, fast, reliable and durable. Blackberry perfected it and in many ways led the smartphone revolution with it front and centre as one of it’s leading edges! It couldn’t be beat by the competition and I suspect still can’t when it comes to keyboard technology.

    The waves of improved screen, computer and camera capabilities eventually pushed Blackberry aside and advanced the smartphone into a whole new realm of features, attributes and operating performance. The physical keyboard was replaced for convenience and ease of design purposes. It was relegated to a less important or relevant feature. But I don’t think it was ever surpassed!

    For many practical people and some with gifted dexterity in their fingers and even those with less than normal dexterity, the physical keyboard has lived on as an important smartphone feature to maintain when making their next buying selection. I

    I have adjusted to an onscreen keyboard but interestingly enough have stayed with Blackberry over the years because they offered unique keyboard features that somehow transitioned over to onscreen keyboards. But the physical keyboard still continues to maintain an edge in my mind when it comes to speed, ease of use and dependability.

    The power and need for apps functions in almost everything we do today, finally led both Blackberry and myself into the Android world. It is a little mind boggling to sort through the huge variety of apps options, but I will get there.

    Blackberry still remains my smartphone of choice, although I am stubbornly clinging to my Z30 as I learn how to use my DTEK 60. Thanks for offering a manual, which I have just ordered from Clove.

    As I cross into the Android world, I may explore other smartphones – Sony’s Xperia is intriguing with it’s advanced camera capabilities and 4K offering. But I am sure Blackberry’s keyboard strengths will remain firmly imbedded and preferred!

    Best regards,

    Craig

  • As one of Blackberry’s long suffering,but diehard fans;as an owner of eight different generations of BB phones;as a member of the CrackBerry nation-some of your opinions hold true.
    However,Blackberry let their core fans down badly and lost the handle on what they used to do best:make quality phones with great battery life and many of the strengths you say this new phone has-I hope you are correct.
    I’m writing this on an iPhone:why?Am I Apple’s biggest fan-no;but it is a good phone.When the Q10 came out,which I think I bought from Clove,and it kept turning itself off,that was when many long time users like me lost faith in the quality control of the company.What was given as the solution to the problem of it turning itself off:”wedge a piece of plastic under the battery to hold it against the contacts “.That’s when I thought that Blackberry had finally lost the plot.
    I hope the new manufacturers have produced a better product and I wish all who buy the phone well.If I read a few good reviews,maybe I could be tempted to give it a try,but it’s a shame that all of those mistakes were made by a firm that thought they could make it something it wasn’t.
    TF

  • Personally I love BlackBerry and think BB10 is a far superior OS. It’s a pity it doesn’t get the support it deserves. I have a BlackBerry dtek60 on android so I can get certain apps but prefer to use my BlackBerry Passport, the physical keyboard is fantastic!

  • Guess so, my Passport works amazingly well and it’s just the lack of apps etc that is making me change over.

  • Looking forward to this phone. Having been a user of keyboard phones from the Palm Treo devices (Palm OS and Windows Mobile), and Nokia E series I moved on the BB10 devices. A shame that O/S didn’t gain traction as it was actually pleasant to use. Since then I switched to a Sony Xperia Z5 and find the on-screen keyboard frustrating to use even though I’ve tried a few different keyboards.

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