Although BlackBerry’s latest, and so far last, QWERTY phone has been making rounds on the Internet, it hasn’t actually made official rounds in the US. That all changes this Friday as the BlackBerry KEYone finally does land in the US. But if you’ve been pining to get your hands on this one through a carrier, better luck next time. Unless you’re already on Sprint, because that’s the only place you’ll be able to get it in the US for now.
If you’re any sort of a BlackBerry or QWERTY fan, it’s not hard to fall for the KEYone. It blends the best of that physical keyboard with a screen aspect ratio that’s still “normal” for conventional Android smartphones. It does become a bit top heavy because of that, but this isn’t something that you’ll be using with one hand only anyway.
The BlackBerry KEYone has its fair share of controversy, most of which has centered around how flimsy the adhesive used for the screen is. JerryRigEverything found that the screen detaches with very little force while CrackBerry had the opposite experience. Both sides supported by countless testimonies. Nonetheless, BlackBerry promised it would take steps to strengthen the glue while, at the same time, downplaying the number of affected units.
It’s not yet established whether that new, fixed batch is the one landing in Sprint’s catalog, but we’ll presume it is the case. Starting 14th July, one can buy it from the carrier for 18 monthly payments of $22, a full price of $528. Those on other networs have to get it the old-fashioned way: waiting or buying from e-tailers.
Sprint seems to be building up a team of popular but niche smartphones. Andy Rubin’s Essential phone, which still has to ship, has an exclusive deal with the carrier. Unsurprisingly, not everyone is happy about that.