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Hands on with the BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition

I have no idea if Kim Kardashian, a well-known BlackBerry lover and mourner of the classic Bold, has used the new QWERTY-equipped KEYone. (Trust me, I’ve looked on Google and couldn’t find anything.)

But if she hasn’t, she’s really doing herself a disservice because the new “Black Edition” KEYone smartphone is actually pretty. It looks fantastic and performs much better than you might expect.

As its name implies, the Black Edition KEYone  is a black-anodized aluminum version of the same phone that launched in May. This new version will be available in mid-September in both Europe and Canada.

François Mahieu, BlackBerry Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa regions, says young professionals who’ve been flocking to the KEYone for its physical keyboard and airtight security asked for a black version, so they’re delivering it.

Cosmetically, it’s identical to the recently announced Space Black version on AT&T. Internally, though, the Black Edition is different from both the silver and AT&T’s black model: it comes with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM instead of 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM.

Otherwise, the Black Edition has the same specs as the silver version. The phone still has the same 4.5-inch touchscreen, programmable keyboard and “Convenience” shortcut key, 12-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel selfie camera, grippy rubber back, and headphone jack.

The midrange, but perfectly capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chip and large 3,505 mAh battery are also intact. Same goes for Android 7.1.2 and the DTEK app security to protect all your data.

And there’s nothing wrong with that since the KEYone is still a great phone (really!).

The more important thing to consider is how black the Black Edition is. Because people take their black levels very seriously.

It’s definitely not a dark gray, so you don’t have to worry about that. The metal body’s anodized, so it’s just a coated layer of black, but even so it still feels like aluminum. Scratches and scuffs will probably reveal chipped silver underneath.

I didn’t have a regular matte black iPhone 7 on hand for comparison, but just from memory, the BlackBerry looked like it was a shade lighter. But I could be wrong.

On the plus side, since the KEYone’s not glossy, you’ll never have to worry about disgusting fingerprints on except for on the touchscreen.

So listen: Kim, if you’re reading this, maybe you just need a little push. I know iPhones are the coolest phones out right now, but if you’re being honest with yourself, you know that you miss having a physical keyboard. All I’m saying is, if the KEYone is good enough for Sarah Jessica Parker, you’ll probably love it too, especially in stealth black.

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