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Home Software BlackBerry Key2 LE Review: The Budget Throwback We Could Have Skipped

BlackBerry Key2 LE Review: The Budget Throwback We Could Have Skipped

BlackBerry has found new life over the last 2 years under the close partnership with hardware maker TCL. During that time, we’ve seen two fan-favorite devices that return BlackBerry smartphones to its roots with full QWERTY keyboards: The KeyOne and the latest Key2. While they’ve both been well received, they were not exactly budget-friendly, but BlackBerry and TCL have set out to fix this with the BlackBerry Key2 LE.

Unfortunately, they may have missed the mark with the LE model. Let’s deep dive into the nitty-gritty in our official review.


Hardware can be overrated at times, but it has a lasting impact on how a phone is perceived. This is the main knock I have against the Key2 LE. The internals are OK. You’ll find a Snapdragon 630, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage with expansion microSD.

The screen is the same 1620×1080 IPS panel found in the KeyOne and Key2. Around the right side, you still have volume rockers and the power key. One thing the company did move is the dedicated “Convenience Key” that can be mapped to launch a specific app or function via the Settings.

On the top, you have a 3.5mm headphone jack and the bottom is flanked be speaker grills and the USB-C port. The basic design layout is almost identical to that of the Key2.

They are all par for the course with the Key series lineup from BlackBerry. However, the overall feel of the phone isn’t great. Holding the Key2 LE doesn’t have the same results as the Key2 or the KeyOne. Those phones were tanks that scream premium materials.

BlackBerry Key2 LE

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The Key2 LE feels like a cheap toy. It’s super light in the hand and almost feels like a demo unit with no internals. BlackBerry has traditionally made superior hardware over the years, even on budget models, and the Key2 LE doesn’t match up. Especially, with the keyboard.


I’d wager that if you’re reading this review, it’s most likely because the Key2 LE has a physical keyboard design. Well, sorry. This keyboard is terrible. Really, BlackBerry should be ashamed of it.

The overall travel and feedback are extremely mushy. The plastics echo the same cheap feel of the rest of the phone. I also struggled to consistently type on it with keypresses not registering on a regular basis. As mentioned before, the main draw to these devices is the keyboard and the LE simply fails to make this compelling.

Speaking of compelling. One of the most unique features of the keyboards found on the KeyOne and Key2 didn’t even make the cut to be included on the LE and that’s bonkers! The other models offer a touch-enabled keyboard that allows you to use gestures on the actual keys to maneuver around fields much like a traditional trackpad on a laptop. It’s a really cool feature and a great selling point that I don’t understand being nixed on the Key2 LE.

BlackBerry is already intentionally hitting a niche market. By doing so, they should lean on the keyboard to lure customers. Removing the touch portion of the keys on the Key2 LE was a corner that shouldn’t have been cut. It’s an iconic feature of the lineup that deserves to be there. Even on the budget version.

One positive addition is that of the “Speed Key.” You activate it by hitting the circle-grid in the bottom right plus the letter you assigned to a specific app. So, from anywhere in the operating system you can launch into your favorite apps with just two key presses. Having a dedicated key to add more keyboard shortcuts is a nice feature that I found myself using on the regular.


I was pleasantly surprised by the day to day performance of the Key2 LE. The Snapdragon 630 with 4GB of RAM is just enough juice to not show many hiccups while using the device. Transitions are good and apps launched as expected.

If you push the device with heavy apps like graphics intensive games, you may see it stutter, but most of the time, the Key2 LE performed admirably. The market that the price point is looking for will be more than happy with the daily usage.


Let’s just say that it has one. The Key2 LE takes very average photos for 2018. Images come out dull and washed out with little detail. You can take decent shots at times in really good lighting, but as soon as the illumination lowers the results struggle. It’s another corner that we often see cut on most budget phones and the Key2 LE fall in line with this trend.

Key2 LE Photo Samples

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The software on the Key2 LE could use some work. While I commend BlackBerry for trying to implement its app suite and the Hub, its just overkill on Android Oreo. The original Hub for BlackBerry 10 was awesome. It was the central notification center of the system and really had some new ideas like having Twitter and Facebook built into the Hub where you could respond without leaving the notification area.

Unfortunately, most of that integration is no longer there on the Android version, and honestly, it’s done better already in the default Android notification shade. The Hub just seems like a redundancy that’s no longer needed with Android. It duplicates the entire notification system again inside BlackBerry’s Hub. I would recommend that TCL and BlackBerry simply drop this development for what’s already available in the operating system.

I’m also over manufacturers making duplicate general apps. If I’m buying an Android phone, chances are that I’m already using Google Calendar and Contacts. I really don’t need another option on the Key2 LE. While it may be nice for the limited number of BlackBerry holdouts, I don’t think the average Android user is looking for another duplicate app suite to Google’s offerings.

Battery Life

This is one strong point for the BlackBerry Key2 LE. I have not had any issues going through my normal day with above average battery life. I even had a weekend where I made it through a second day until having the charge up. The combination of Snapdragon 630 with the 3000mAh battery makes for a powerhouse of a phone for users.


I think BlackBerry is correct in that they need a phone hitting the price point below the $700 Key2 proper. However, I don’t know if the Key2 LE is that device. The keyboard and overall build materials make me feel the Key2 model needs to stay at the premium level. At $450 unlocked, I’d be more pressed to point a buyer towards a more polished product from Motorola or Nokia. They have much better hardware at even cheaper prices. If you can afford another $100, I’d also totally recommend the OnePlus 6T.


How much data does video streaming use?

When it comes to internet usage, video watching is one of the main interests of users. Most users are mainly inclined towards streaming videos so it matters a lot to know how much data is required for it. Of course, we do require a smooth internet connection to be able to stream our favorite content online.If video streaming is your preference then you must consider high-speed internet like Spectrum internet for instance, that do not offer data caps. This means you do not have to worry about any extra fee surprises in your bill that are bound to happen if you run out of your data limit. Most of the providers in the United States do impose data caps so it is very important to find out an internet plan that assures a no data cap policy. For that, let us first have a look at the data that is needed for various video streaming platforms.YouTubeJust like using any other app on your smartphone, YouTube being one of the popular platforms needs data too. It nearly takes 562.5 MB of data per hour. This holds valid when you stream at around 480p resolution. In case you want better resolution, then you might require 1.86 GB per hour for 720p. For 1080p you might require 3.04 GB. For watching videos in 4K, you will require a massive 15.98 GB of data per hour.NetflixWe all agree with the fact that how much we love Netflix as it has successfully evolved as one of the most popular video streaming services. For subscribers exceeding 130 million, the internet speed is not much of a problem. An hour of video streaming in standard definition would need around 1 GB of data. If you want to enjoy high-quality video streaming, you might need up to 3GB. For ultra-high-definition, you can require up to 7 GB of data per hour.The selection of accounts can help you decide a suitable resolution for your connection. If you want to save your data, you can check the settings option and click the save button when you want.Amazon Prime VideoAmazon Prime Video was launched by Amazon as a streaming service in 2011 and has ever gained popularity among the users. Nowadays it is seen as one of the biggest competitors for Netflix. This service provides up to three resolutions for the users. Among them include good, better, and best. The Good enables streaming videos at around 480p in standard definition and utilizes a data of 800 MB per hour. The Better option allows an HD stream with a data requirement of around 2 GB per hour. The Best option consumes nearly 6 GB of data per hour. You should also know that accessing Amazon Prime Video on your mobile app results in low data consumption as compared to the desktop app.HuluHulu is another important video streaming option that uses somewhat less data as compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video This makes Hulu as one of the most economical options available. You require around 680 MB per hour of data for the standard definition. If you switch to a 720p high definition setting, the data requirement may jump to 1.3 GB per hour. 1080p resolution can need data up to 2.7 GB per hour. You can also stream live TV if you are using Hulu’s $39.99 monthly plan.SpotifySpotify is one of the best-known music streaming platforms but not everyone knows that it also provides a video service in certain areas. The company does not disclose much about the data requirements of the video streaming service. However it only notifies that video streaming requires more data as compared to music streaming and is much like the ones needed for other video channels. Mostly the videos are in high definition and can consume up to 3 GB of data for an hour streaming.VimeoVimeo does not have any details regarding data usage. The standard definition content can need up to 353 MB of data per hour. As far as the HD videos are concerned, they need up to 2.75 GB per hour.StanMany of us might not have heard of Stan as it is accessible in Australia only. The app usually provides four-tier quality. The lowest standard definition setting can require up to 1.13 GB per hour while HD and 4K can require around 3 GB per hour and 7 GB per hour respectively.DirecTVThe DirecTV website also does not display clear information about the required bandwidth. In case if your provider puts a data limit, you can always reduce your video quality. The data consumption parallels to the aforementioned video streaming platforms.Sling TVSling TV is another one of the highest quality video streaming service that uses around 2 GB per hour of data for its highest quality option. The data required for medium quality is 540 MB per hour that further lowers to 360 MB per hour for low-quality streaming options.Summing UpYou need to be aware of the data consumption involved in the video streaming service you are using. This can save you from exceeding your data limit and paying any additional cost.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

This portable UV-C wand sterilizes your items and work space

In an age when cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer aren’t easily found, it’s a little tough to keep your personal items and space clean. Not wiped down and washed, but free from germs and bacteria.Rather than fighting your way through a store to find only to find out there are no wipes left, take a smarter approach. The SANITECH UV-C Wand, on sale for just $72.99, is the sort of thing you buy once and get to use over and over. Try that with those Clorox Wipes.About the size of an electric toothbrush, the SANITECH UV-C Wand emits a UV-C light that kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria within ten seconds. It cleans all sorts of surfaces, including clothes, bedding, phones, keyboards, laptops, and more. If your hands touch it, you can probably clean it with the SANITECH UV-C Wand.FeaturesUV-C light kills 99.9% of germs, bacteria, & viruses within 10 secondsChemical-free for your safety & can be used on baby products, cosmetics, pet supplies, on home and public spacesLasts up to 90 minutes w/ full chargeBuilt for travel & convenienceBuy it NowPurchase the SANITECH UV-C Wand for just $72.99, a savings of 18% off the normal $90 price. Choose from Winter White, Flamingo Pink, and Seabreeze Green.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

How to set up a Messenger Room in Facebook Messenger

With the launch of Messenger Rooms, you can now participate in video calls from the comfort of your smartphone and without any extra apps.If you’re using WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger, you can now make a virtual room and invite your friends in a matter of seconds. This saves you the trouble of installing extra apps like Zoom.Today we’re going to look at how to set up a Messenger Room in Messenger.How to set up a Messenger Room in Messenger – The easy wayThe only real pre-requisite here is having the latest version of Facebook Messenger installed on your phone from the Google Play Store. Download it here.Step 1Tap on the People tab at the bottom on the Messenger app and choose to Create a RoomAt the bottom center of the screen, you will have the option of Share Link. Tap on it.With the Who Can Join, you can also control who joins the Messenger Room if you wish to keep the room exclusive to friends, family, etc.Step 2Copy the link in the box and paste it to the group or people you wish to share it with. They will also need to have the Messenger app installed and on the latest version of the app for it to work best.You can share the link via any app or medium you wish, but whoever has access to the link can join your room, unless you modify the Who Can Join settings in Step 1.From here, you just wait for your friends to join and carry out your business. When you feel the room has met its purpose, you can close the room by tapping on the X button at the top right of the room.Leave will mean that the room will still be there to return to for anyone who has the link. End Room will close the room and make the link invalid. This means you’ll have to make a new room if you do End Room here.We also wrote a guide on how to start a Messenger Room from WhatsApp. The feature will soon go live on Instagram globally, so be sure to look out for that as well!If you’ve used Messenger rooms, let us know what you think of it in the comments section below!

How to make a fence in Minecraft

Gates and walls take time to build from scratch, so get your pickaxe and axe ready for a chopping good time.