If you’re looking for a new smartphone right now, it’s hard to look past Samsung’s latest releases. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are eye-catching, curved beauties that boast an impressive set of features. However, the more affordable BlackBerry KeyOne is also hitting the market, and if you harbor fond memories of the physical keyboards that marked BlackBerry’s peak, it may just reel you in.
These two Android smartphones actually have quite a few similarities on paper. For a little more help deciding, read on as we delve into the specs and pit BlackBerry’s KeyOne against Samsung’s Galaxy S8.
|Size||149.1 × 72.4 × 9.4 mm (5.87 × 2.85 × 0.37 inches)||148.9 × 68.1 × 8.0mm (5.9 × 2.7 × 0.3-inches)|
|Weight||180g (6.35oz)||155g (5.5oz)|
|Screen||4.5-inch IPS LCD||5.8-inch AMOLED|
|Resolution (pixels)||1,080 × 1,620 (433 pixels per inch)||2,960 × 1,440 (570ppi)|
|OS||Android 7.1.1 Nougat||Android 7.0 Nougat|
|MicroSD card slot||Yes||Yes|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 625||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 9 Series 8895 (International)
|Connectivity||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE|
|Camera||12MP rear, 8MP front||12MP rear with OIS, 8MP front|
|Video||2,160p at 30fps||2,160p at 30fps|
|Bluetooth||Yes, version 4.2||Yes, version 5.0|
|Other sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, iris scanner|
|Wireless Charging||No||Yes, Qi and PMA|
|Ports||USB-C, headphone jack||USB-C, headphone jack|
|Marketplace||Google Play Store||Google Play Store|
|Color offerings||Black||Black, silver, orchid grey, blue (international), gold (international)|
|Availability||Amazon||AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Samsung|
|Price||Starts at $550||Starts at $720|
|DT review||First Take||4 out of 5 stars|
In terms of performance and raw power, this is a walkover for the
Design, display, and durability
Moving onto the screen itself, Samsung is the clear leader in the smartphone market with its Super AMOLED technology, and the S8 offers 5.8 inches of bright, vibrant, clarity. The BlackBerry KeyOne has an unusual, slightly squat, 4.5-inch display, because the front of the handset must accommodate that keyboard. It is respectably sharp, but it can’t compete with the best.
If durability is important to you, then things are less clear-cut. The S8 boasts an IP68 rating, which means it can take a dunk without dying. But when it comes to potential drop damage, that edge display is awfully fragile and expensive to fix, whereas the KeyOne has a solid frame to protect it and is designed to be able to withstand a tumble or two.
Battery life and charging
With a whopping 3,505mAh battery, the BlackBerry KeyOne has enough power to keep on ticking for a long time. Coupled with a smaller, lower resolution screen, we expect that battery to last perhaps well more than a days between charges, but we’ll have to test it out to make sure. The
Both phones have USB Type-C ports for fast charging, but only the
Winner: BlackBerry KeyOne
On paper, the BlackBerry KeyOne and
While the S8 ships with Android 7.0 Nougat and Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top, the BlackBerry KeyOne boasts the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat and it’s almost stock. Samsung offers some interesting and useful extras including, smart gestures and shortcuts, iris scanning as an unlock method, special Edge screen panels, and the Bixby assistant, though we’re not too impressed with the latter in its current form. You can even get the DeX dock to use the S8 as a desktop replacement.
BlackBerry folds its suite of apps into the mix and some tweaks to make better use of the keyboard, which also supports gestures. One important factor in the KeyOne’s favor is the commitment to regular updates from BlackBerry, which will include Google’s monthly security updates for Android.
Price and availability
|Samsung Galaxy S8||BlackBerry KeyOne|
|AT&T||$750 or $25 per month for 30 months||$550|
|Sprint||$750 or $31.25 per month for 24 months||$550|
|T-Mobile||$750 or $30 per month for 24 months with a $30 down payment||$550|
|Verizon||$720 or $30 per month for 24 months||$550|
Unfortunately, the KeyOne has been delayed slightly. It was originally touted for an April release, but this has been pushed back until May 31.
Winner: BlackBerry KeyOne
Overall winner: Galaxy S8
Whatever way you slice it, the
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