The BlackBerry KEYone has been surprisingly well-received by fans and critics since making its debut, but if you’re buying one, be sure you don’t accidentally sit on it. Although the device holds up well when it comes to scratches and scuffs, it fails miserably in a bend test.
The KEYone offers almost everything a BlackBerry fan could want in a smartphone. It’s the ultimate productivity device thanks to its physical keyboard and features like BlackBerry Hub, and it’s strong on security. It’s also snappy thanks to its Snapdragon 660 processor and near stock Android software, and it takes terrific photos using the same camera as the Google Pixel.
It’s also one of the prettiest handsets we’ve ever seen with a BlackBerry logo, thanks largely to its premium aluminum chassis. But that chassis is nowhere near as strong as it looks at first glance. YouTube torture tester JerryRigEverything put the handset through its paces in a durability test and found that it bends surprisingly easily.
Without too much pressure, you’ll notice the chassis warps and the KEYone’s display pops right out. After a bend in the opposite direction, the display’s ribbon cable tears and the screen stops functioning altogether. Zack notes in his video that there is a notable lack of adhesive holding the KEYone’s LCD panel securely in place.
“The whole [display] can be removed entirely removed by hand because there is zero adhesive holding it in place,” he explains. “A quick Google search reveals I’m not the only one who has this problem. One guy dropped his phone on the center console of his car and the screen popped off. Another guy woke up with a detached display.”
In other aspects of the durability test, the KEYone performed well. Its cover glass is as scratch-resistant as any other flagship, and although its keys and fingerprint scanner can be damaged relatively easily, they continue to function as normal. The display also recovers well after JerryRigEverything’s customary flame test.
Of course, BlackBerry no longer manufactures its own handsets. Chinese company TCL Communication has secured the rights to the BlackBerry name in almost all markets worldwide, and it has been responsible for every handset released after the Priv. BlackBerry itself is responsible only for the software.
Don’t let this durability test put you off the KEYone; it’s still the best handset available with a physical keyboard, and if you look after it, you shouldn’t have to worry about it breaking. Just treat it like an expensive smartphone, rather than a candy bar.