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BlackBerry Key2 LE review

The business phone with a party price

Verdict

It's tough to sum up the BlackBerry Key2 LE because it will be seen very differently by different groups of people. It's fair to say this is not a phone with mainstream appeal – as is the case with most BlackBerry phones these days.

For its target audience, which is people and businesses who want a keyboard-toting BlackBerry like the BlackBerry Key2 but without the price tag, it hits the mark. 

We'd like to have seen a little more battery stamina (perhaps in exchange for the second rear camera), but it's solid overall.

Who's this for?

Essentially, it’s for all the people who told BlackBerry they wanted a less expensive version of the Key2. 

That will likely be both business and personal customers: corporations who want to provide it to their employees, and people who want a solid work phone or personal handset with a focus on security and productivity.

Should you buy it?

If you like the BlackBerry physical keyboard and can type efficiently on it (which we never quite managed even after daily use), this might be the business phone for you.

It's not the strongest on camera and battery, but the interface is well-designed for its intended use and the security additions are valuable.

Considering its affordability, it also has a commendably classy corporate design, which we think even Patrick Bateman would have admired. Although of course he'd have gone for the more expensive one.

Looking for other options? Consider these alternatives:

BlackBerry Key2

The Key2 LE’s main competition could well be its bigger brother. The LE knocks around a third off the price, but the Key2 has dual 12MP cameras in place of the LE’s 13MP/5MP setup, 6GB of RAM instead of 4, and a Snapdragon 660 chipset instead of the 636.

Read our full BlackBerry Key2 review

Honor 10

An impressive phone in a beautiful body, the Honor 10 is the handset to beat in this price range. Its well-designed fingerprint scanner, AI-powered dual camera and slim-bezeled 5.84-inch 1080 x 2280 display all make it a strong proposition, but only if you don’t need a physical keyboard.

Read our full Honor 10 review

Huawei Mate 20 Lite

With its 6.3-inch screen and iPhone X-like design, the Mate 20 Lite has a lot of display real estate over the BlackBerry Key2 LE. The AI-enhanced camera is fun to use, but phone performance leaves a little to be desired, and again you’d have to live with an on-screen keyboard.

Read our full Huawei Mate 20 Lite review

First reviewed: November 2018