BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition review by Chester Tan

Black is Back in Singapore. BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition, which was announced in September at IFA 2017, will be going retail from 21 Oct 2017 at S$858 with 12 month local warranty, available from StarHub Online Store and M1 Retail Store (SingTel is available only to Business customers). This is according to the press release issued to me during the private session (on 10 Oct).

BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition review by Chester Tan

BlackBerry devices are licensed to TCL Communication who designs, manufactures and markets the handsets. TCL who is ranked as a Top-10 global smartphone manufacturer by IDC, also sells Alcatel OneTouch smartphones and its in-house TCL smartphones. Despite its drastically shrunk mobile market share, no one can deny the influence BlackBerry has in the majority of business users in the previous decade. The name itself exudes a lot of nostalgia.

BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition review by Chester Tan

I was invited to a private session where Travis Bell, Sales Director of TCL Communications, briefed me on the product and shared some insights to BlackBerry’s planned resurgence. Prior to KEYone, TCL produced BlackBerry PRIV (2015), DTEK50 and DTEK60 (2016). The KEYone which was originally launched in February 2017 in silver, marks the return of hardware keyboard.

BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition review by Chester Tan

Key Product Specifications

  • Processor: Snapdragon 625 Octa-core 2.0GHz with Adreno 506 650MHz GPU
  • OS: Android Nougat 7.1
  • Display: 4.5-inch (1620 x 1080) IPS LCD, 3:2 aspect ratio, Corning Glass 4
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, microSD up to 2TB
  • SIM Slot: Single, Nano
  • Rear Camera: 12MP f/2.0 1.55um IMX378 sensor, 4K Video Recording at 30fps
  • Front Camera: 8MP 1.125um 84-degree wide angle, 1080p FHD Video at 30fps
  • Keyboard: Touch-enabled backlit with fingerprint sensor, capacitive touch, 35-key supports swipe typing, scrolling.
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi AC band, Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C, NFC, FM Radio, Qualcomm QC 3.0
  • Battery: 3505mAh

What’s In The Box

  • Phone unit
  • USB Type-C cable
  • QuickCharge 2.0 adapter
  • Earphones and earbuds
  • SIM Tray release pin
  • Quick Start Guide (English and Traditional Chinese)

BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition review by Chester Tan

Distinctively Different. Distinctly BlackBerry.

Full experience write-up is available here. Thanks to TCL Communications for the loan unit to allow Music Photo Life to be one of the first in Singapore to review the BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition. Units available from 21 Oct 2017 with 12-month local warranty. The authorised service centre is TOM (Total Outsource Management) located at 5 Little Rd #05-05, Cemtex Industrial Building.

Update 12 Oct: I received news that the official launch date may not be on 16 October itself, but rather, on the week of 16 Oct. It means that the actual date of sale is some time within the week. We will update this page when we receive new information, and apologise for the disappointment.

Update 21 Oct: The KEYone is officially available at StarHub, M1 and limited retail outlets like Mobile Hardware Shop

Aggregate Rating
2.5 based on 12 votes
Brand Name
Product Name
BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition
SGD 858


  1. Did they mention if this will be eventually available to Singtel consumers? And if this batch of phones in Singapore also have the screen issue fixed (google “screen issue keyone”)?

    1. I checked with BlackBerry and they shared that “such issues were detected early in the process of the first generation KEYone and were addressed before most global shipments were made of this initial device. This also means that they have been addressed long before subsequent manufacturing of the KEYone Black.”

      1. Chester, back to my question raised on Oct. 14, did they mention if this will be eventually available to Singtel consumers and if so, when?

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