From the Passport to the KEYone: Five reasons the QWERTY keyboard is the killer feature

Security has always been a focus for BlackBerry and remains an important aspect of its phones today. However, the physical keyboard is distinct and offers more than just a good time for reminiscing BlackBerry fans.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Most reviews I have read of the BlackBerry KEYone, make sure to check out Jason Cipriani's full review, state that the device is best for those who still like physical keyboards. After using the BlackBerry KEYone for the past five days, even if you never used a physical QWERTY on a phone you should still consider this device for an enhanced experience in efficiency.

You can pickup your own BlackBerry KEYone today and if you are still not sure if it is for you then I recommend you visit a Best Buy store to try one out for yourself. It is unlikely that you will be able to enter text faster on just a QWERTY keyboard when compared to a big software keyboard on a touch screen slab. However, combined with BlackBerry's suggested words you may be surprised how fast you can become after a few days of consistent use.

The real eye-opener for me, in regards to the QWERTY keyboard, was what else you can do with the keyboard to significantly increase your productivity and efficiency with a smartphone. Beyond text entry, you can also use the physical QWERTY keyboard for the following:

  1. Assign up to 52 keyboard shortcuts from the home screen to open apps, speed dial contacts, directly compose and send messages, or choose from over 50 other predefined shortcuts.
  2. Some apps have integrated predefined shortcuts. For example, in Hub you can press C to compose a message, B to scroll down one screen at a time, N to scroll up one screen at a time, S to search, and more. In Calendar, press A to jump to Agenda view, D to jump to Day view, W for Week view, M for Month view, and T to go to Today.
  3. Scroll through websites, apps, home screen panels, and more using the touch capacitive function built into the keyboard. It's great to keep your finger off the display and see the full screen while scrolling.
  4. Unlock your KEYone using the fingerprint scanner built into the space bar.
  5. Install Keyboard Browser and control your web browsing experience with integrated QWERTY keyboard shortcuts.

As you can see, there is so much more you can do with the QWERTY keyboard than just entering text. I highly recommend you take advantage of the productivity options BlackBerry provides in the KEYone.

After five days, I have just over 20 home screen keyboard shortcuts setup and plan to spend time going through and adding even more. The predefined shortcuts are excellent and the issue for me changes to what I can remember rather than what I setup.

Related ZDNet BlackBerry KEYone coverage

Photos of the BlackBerry KEYone

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