BlackBerry KEYone is gorgeous – and overpriced

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The Blackberry KEYone is a gorgeous smartphone. BlackBerry is also the last major brand left standing pushing out smartphones with a hardware QWERTY keyboard, so the KEYone is a rare breed. And then, there is the Blackberry security embedded in the KEYone. It reminds me of the BlackBerry Passport.

In effect, The KEYone is a more beautiful version of the PassPort and running Android 7 Nougat. Droolworthy! With nice design cues and lines, there is no arguing that this is a looker. But are all these enough justification for the $549 price tag?

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and 3G RAM, users can only expect mid-range performance from the KEYone. In my opinion, the KEYone is overpriced. Sadly, overpricing has been the norm with BlackBerry devices. No matter how good the model is, it almost always costs more than other devices in its class.

I expressed this opinion yesterday on Twitter and had an exchange with someone who felt otherwise. You can follow this Twitter thread for the full gist of his position:

To put the price of the KEYone in perspective, here are a few key Snapdragon 625 smartphones and their costs:

  • The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Snapdragon costs around $160. The 4GB RAM + 64GB variant sells for $200
  • The Vivo V5 Plus with 4GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage costs $400.
  • Even Samsung whose devices carry premium price tags compared to most other brands has the Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro with 4GB and 64 GB storage selling for $440.
  • The Lenovo Vibe P2 with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage costs $377.

As you can see, the KEYone is by far the most expensive device in that class. Perhaps there are a few individuals who feel that the hardware keyboard is worth the extra $100-200 margin. Not many will be able to wrap their heads around that price difference though.

I love what BlackBerry has done with the KEYone and look forward to getting my hands on one. But I doubt that this beautiful smartphone will sell much at the current price point. I predict that the selling price will drop to around $350 eventually, at which point it will record better sales.


  1. Seriously the price is abnormal. Blackberry is still struggling to get some share of the market overpriced product can’t save them. I was thinking of a product of around $250 which will attract all and sundry but with the current price they may continue struggling for market share. I’ll rather buy Galaxy Note 5.

  2. I don’t know if you realise this, but BlackBerry now has become the domain of fans. Dedicated fans and collectors will buy full price while the rest of us wait for a price drop.

    This is not new – BlackBerry has NEVER realistically priced their devices. Do they really wonder why their hardware isn’t doing as well as other brands? I doubt it.

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