Articles by Crackberry Kevin

CrackBerry Kevin Fasting Fundraiser Complete: 20lbs dropped and $13k raised for hurricane relief efforts!

CrackBerry Kevin's Fasting Fundraiser is now complete. In 3 weeks CBK dropped 20lbs through fasting and exercise and helped raise over $13,000 for Hurricane relief efforts!

October 14th, 2017 - Hi Everyone! A quick update here in regards to my #FastingForFlorida challenge. I fly home Sunday back to Canada, which means this event has officially come to an end (that said, you can still hit the link at the bottom of this post to contribute to the disaster relief efforts of your choice).

It's been a transformative three weeks for me. On the fundraiser side, it's been amazing to exceed our $10k goal and raise over $13,000. On thee personal side, I feel like a 21 year old CrackBerry Kevin vs. 37 years old. I managed to drop 20lbs through fasting, strict diet and exercise and I feel simply awesome. I'm really taking this experience as a strong turning point to make sure I maintain both this focus on health but also on giving back and doing everything I can to help others.

Be sure to watch the video above for an update. And if you're curious to hear more of the nitty gritty details of my three weeks, be sure to stay tuned for the CrackBerry Podcast getting recorded early this week.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed. Your support is TRULY appreciated!

ORIGINAL POST: September 21st, 2017

I'm in Miami the next three weeks. Instead of over indulging the way I tend to when I visit Florida, I'm going to fast and give the money I'd normally spend on food and booze to the American Red Cross to help fund Hurricane Relief Efforts

OK CrackBerry Nation... it's time for... something a little cracky. For those of you who have been following this BlackBerry-loving community for the past ten years, you'll know that from time to time CrackBerry Kevin does slightly crazy things. Sometimes it's crazy for the sake of crazy, and sometime I try to make the most out of that craziness and raise money for good causes. Example: Here's a video of me eating a giant raw onion to help grow my Movember mustache quicker.

I'm tackling this new stunt as a way of raising money in support of Hurricane relief efforts. If you have the means to contribute and haven't yet, please hit the link at the bottom of the post to jump over to the official fundraising page where you can donate to the American Red Cross. I'd love us to raise a whack load of cash. And if you don't have the means to contribute, no worries - I'd appreciate your positive energy the next few weeks as I eat a lot of... air. Hopefully there will be some entertainment value here too. Be sure to watch the video above for the official #FastingForFlorida challenge introduction! :)

21 Day #FastingForFlorida Challenge

Over the past decade Florida has been my home away from home. Mobile Nations is HQ'd out of Florida and we have many people spread throughout the state. I spend a lot of time visiting colleagues and friends in Miami. And for many years BlackBerry would also hold their annual WES/BlackBerry World conference in Orlando every May, which was always the highlight of my year. I am lucky and grateful for to have sooo many fond and unforgettable Florida memories (including an awesome Bachelor party weekend...which I mainly remember).

Normally when visiting Miami I tend to indulge - lots of food and lots of booze. I can't help it. As a Canadian living in Winnipeg (COLD LONG WINTERS) coming to Florida always puts me into vacation mode, even when I'm here to hustle and get work done. Somehow flying into Miami today and thinking about all those who have been impacted by the recent (and ongoing) hurricane disasters hitting Florida and the Caribbean, transitioning into my default Miami lifestyle just doesn't feel right. So instead, I'm going to do the opposite. For the next three weeks I'm going to fast while here and take all that money I save by not eating or drinking and donate it to hurricane relief efforts. That's $3,000 I'm going to personally pledge. I'll do it safely - following the protocols outlined in The Complete Guide to Fasting. I'll also chronicle the experience for those who have ever wondered what's it like to give up food and exist off 200 calories a day (mainly soup broth and Kombucha) for three weeks. Be sure to follow @crackberrykevin on Twitter and Instagram for the daily updates and visit the #FastingForFlorida Fundraiser Page for regular updates.

My Challenge to You / Your Company

While I'll be personally donating $3,000 to this campaign, if you can contribute, please do. The more we raise the more I'm going to make sure I see this thing through to the end (no cheating!). Every dollar raised helps. I'd love to raise over $10,000 at a minimum. And more would be even better. And if any person or company is willing to match or exceed my donation, you a lot of CBK love is coming your way. Let's do this!!

Visit the #FastingForFlorida Fundraiser Page on CrowdRise to Contribute!


Black Edition vs. Space Black vs. Limited Edition Black BlackBerry KEYone... Say what?!

Double tap this photo if you think I'm a jerk (but secretly still 🖤 me) for posting a photo of THREE BlackBerry #KEYone Black Editions because you want one right now but need to wait a little longer! 😂 #hoardingphones #blackberry #10yearsofcrackberry #android #IFA2017

A post shared by CrackBerry Kevin (@crackberrykevin) on Sep 2, 2017 at 9:39am PDT

The new blacked-out BlackBerry KEYone goes by three different names and variations depending on where in the world you live. There are some differences between each model. Let's set the record straight.

For those of you jonesing for the newly-announced black version of the BlackBerry KEYone, I don't blame you. It's one hot... err.. dark looking phone. You really can't go wrong with the KEYone in either color - my informal polling so far has shown about a 50/50 split on the debate of which of the two color schemes looks best. That said, when it comes to the black KEYone, there's more than just a color decision to be aware of but a specs and price one as well. And, to add a little extra confusion to the mix, the black version of the KEYone itself comes in three different varieties depending on where in the world you live. Let's clean up the confusion!

Key Differences of the Black BlackBerry KEYones explained

We'll get to the black Black KEYone's in a second, but first, we need to recap where the original KEYone is at for this discussion.

Original "Silver Edition" BlackBerry KEYone - 3GB of RAM, 32GB of Storage, $549USD outright/unlocked pricing. There are regional variations of this phone supporting different carrier bands and versions of the keyboard the phone ships with, when it comes to the name and RAM and Storage, it's all the same.

Now, when it comes to the black KEYone, there are three (well, more like four, I'll get to that) ways that the KEYone is being referenced:

1. BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition - You can think of this effectively as BlackBerry Mobile's default worldwide edition of this phone. Compared to the original BlackBerry KEYone, it ships with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of Storage. There's no US pricing for this phone just yet (will get to that shortly), but based on the Canadian pricing it looks like these bumped specs add about $100 to the price of the phone.

2. BlackBerry KEYone in Space Black from AT&T - On September 1st, AT&T began selling the KEYone in Space Black color scheme. Design-wise, it looks identical to the Black Edition, but specs-wise it's the same as the "Silver Edition" KEYone, with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. AT&T is selling this blacked-out version of the KEYone for $500 outright, which is about $50 less than the original KEYone. With a date for the spec'd up Black Edition not being announced yet, I'm assuming AT&T has an exclusive on the color black in the US, at least for a little while, so for now if you're in the US and really want a Black Edition KEYone your best bet would be to buy it in Canada and get it sent over. But honestly, the price of ~$16 bucks a month is a pretty sweet deal.

3. BlackBerry KEYone Limited Edition Black from Optiemus India - The BlackBerry KEYone is now being marketed, sold and supported in India by BlackBerry licensing partner, Optiemus. While this phone ultimately carries the Made in India sticker (my understanding is some final assembly and software loading happens in India), as we saw with my review unit it's really the identical device to the BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There is one exception though - the Made for India KEYone also features a Dual SIM card slot (note, the second SIM card uses the MicroSD card slot so if you're running two SIMs you can't take advantage of expandable storage). Note, if you're outside of India and decided you really, really, really needed to have a dual SIM KEYone, you could buy it from Amazon India (you'd need somebody in India to re-ship it to you outside of India), but keep in mind if you run into any need for support or warranty issues you would need to deal with BlackBerry Mobile India (Optiemus) and not BlackBerry Mobile (TCL).

4. Bonus - KEYone in China - Recently, the BlackBerry KEYone began selling in China through JD.com (their equivalent to Amazon). In reality, they're selling the Black Edition KEYone with 4GB of RAM and 64GB and one SIM card slot, but they're keeping it simple, and it's just called the BlackBerry KEYone.

But.. but. but... Why?!

Many times this year I've said that 2017 feels like the good 'ole days of BlackBerry are back, and this slightly confusing rollout just adds to that. If you think back to phones like the BlackBerry Curve, we saw different colors and iterations of the phone with every carrier. AT&T had the BlackBerry Curve 8300 and 8310 (with GPS!), while T-Mobile had the Curve 8320 (with WiFi!) and Sprint/Verizon launched the Curve 8330 in CDMA. And carrier partners often launched a special edition color exclusive only to them.

With TCL Communication aka BlackBerry Mobile effectively relaunching the BlackBerry phone brand this year as they roll out the KEYone to more and more markets, it's clear that they're working with carrier and retail partners on marketing and distribution partnerships (they're just not selling the phone online unlocked). It's a smart move as this one of those tactics that helps get BlackBerry in front of users again as in many places it's been out of sight and out of mind for many years (I love seeing the KEYone in Sprint locations!).

The downside of this, of course, is that with more partner wheeling and dealing happening, it's more likely that these types of situations arise, which can be a bit more confusing for us consumers. I get the mechanics of all this of course, but in CBK's head, it does feel like it would be easiest to just do one blacked-out KEYone and roll that baby out everywhere under the one name. Maybe with the KEYtwo! :)

3GB RAM / 32GB Storage vs. 4GB RAM / 64GB Storage

One of the questions I've been receiving a lot of recently is whether or not the additional GB of RAM in the black KEYone increases the speed/performance of the KEYone and makes the Black Edition the KEYone to go for. Based on my usage to date (MrMobile's too - see his excellent video embedded above), I'd say not really, but maybe... it depends. Both variations are equally fast in regular use. More RAM doesn't make the phone snappier in daily use - technically where it could/should make a difference is that if you're running a lot of apps all the time that chew up RAM it'll help prevent slowdowns (especially as you're jumping back and forth between a bunch of open apps). So for some I could see that the extra GB of RAM could/should make a difference, but for me at least -- and I run a lot of apps -- it's felt more or less similar. As for more storage memory, while I always side with the more the better, the fact that you can throw in a MicroSD card if you need more storage space makes this benefit more of a nice to have than a potential must-have. If you watch my initial KEYone review I said I wouldn't mind a version with a bit more RAM and more storage, and low and behold that device now exists! Good going BlackBerry Mobile making dreams come true.

Overall, if you like silver and want to save some money, going with the Silver Edition KEYone is totes fine. If you like black and want the extra RAM, you're going to want to get yourself a Black Edition. And if you're on AT&T and like black and want to save some $$, the Space Black will work well for you too. And if you desperately want a KEYone with dual SIM cards, you can get one from India. It's going to be the same quality as every other black KEYone, but just keep in mind that if you run into any issues your support is through Optiemus and not TCL/BlackBerry Mobile who is supporting the KEYone in every other market.

May the Force Be With You

Phewww... So much for being super concise. It turns out there's a bit to know on this VADERBERRY. In a world where CrackBerry Kevin makes all the BlackBerry phone decisions, I think I would have opted for this special edition of the KEYone to be called the KEYone Pro or KEYone World Edition, jacked up the price a bit more if necessary, and rolled it out with 128GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and Dual SIM across all international versions and offered this configuration in both Silver and Black. That said, I'm super content they've spec'd up the KEYone a bit more more with an alternative color and version that fans like myself can get behind. And did I mention the blacked-out KEYone is damn sexy?! Easily one of the most eye-catching phones of all time.

Hopefully, that helps. If you have questions, drop them in the comments or our CrackBerry KEYone forums.

If you're interesed in learning more about KEYone and buying your own tap here!

Related Articles

Cleaning Up The Confusion: What you need to know about BlackBerry vs. BlackBerry mobile

Understanding the Difference between the KEYone from Optiemus in India and the KEYone from BlackBerryMobile/TCL



What matters most to you in a BlackBerry All Touch smartphone?

We're interested to see what our community actually wants from an all touch BlackBerry device. Take the survey!

Looking back, we've seen BlackBerry embrace the all touch form factor as early as 2008 with their first all touch smartphone the BlackBerry Storm. Subsequent versions and new models like the Torch 9860 have kept the flame alive for BlackBerry all touch smartphones, and most recently with the move to the Android operating system, we've seen two all touch BlackBerry devices the DTEK50 and DTEK60.

Some people love these handsets and others never gave them any attention. With rumors online swirling about a potential new all touch device built by BlackBerry Mobile brand we're interested to see what our community actually wants from an all touch BlackBerry device. BlackBerry historically is a phone with a physical keyboard, yet the DTEK series had some small considerations like the convenience key that helped make them feel a bit more BlackBerry-esque.

We're still waiting for a true BlackBerry all touch device that honors the brand heritage in a more focused way. As the weeks fly by we're looking to see what matters most to you, our readers, as it pertains to a new BlackBerry All Touch. User's like the one below have made their desires super clear, we're interested to see what you have to say too!

Survey Time: It'll take you 3 to 5 minutes to fully complete this survey.

Survey Requirements: You do not have to have previously owned an all touch BlackBerry to take this survey, however, those who have interest in one are appreciated!


Win a Free BlackBerry KEYone in @CrackBerry's Back to School/Work Giveaway! [ Winners Announced]

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: September 1st, 2018 - And we have THREE winners to announce in CrackBerry's Back to School with a BlackBerry KEYone giveaway. From entering on the CrackBerry.com contest (by leaving a comment on this post), the winner is wrecker385. And by entering on @crackberrykevin's Instagram Giveaway, the two winners are iam_xtopher and austinhuche. Congrats to the winners and HUGE thanks to everyone who participated. Keep following CrackBerry - you know another giveaway is just around the corner!

For many of us, our summer holidays are coming to an end which means it's time to get back to school and/or back to work. If you're not looking forward to that, hopefully, this giveaway will cheer you up. I've been out of school for a while now, but if I was starting off the new academic year, I could think of nothing better to get my school and work hustle on than rocking a BlackBerry KEYone courtesy of CrackBerry.com.

Enter to Win a Free BlackBerry KEYone:

How to Enter:Simply login to CrackBerry.com and leave a comment on this article (the one that you're reading right now). It's as easy as that. Your comment can be about anything - but if you're looking for an idea drop a note as to how you're going to put your KEYone to use so you can get your school or work hustle on!

Contest Details: The giveaway is open worldwide. Entry deadline is Midnight Pacific Time on August 31st. We'll announce the winner here on CrackBerry on September 1st. The winner will be contacted via email to arrange details on getting their KEYone.

Bonus Chance to Win: If you're looking for another chance to win a BlackBerry KEYone, be sure to follow @crackberrykevin on Instagram. If you visit this post, you can leave a comment for your chance for you and friend to each win a KEYone.

Good Luck!

Thanks for participating. I hope everyone had a FANTASTIC summer holiday and has fun as they transition back to school/work life. I think it's going to be a busy and fun fall around here, so be sure to visit CrackBerry regularly!


RSVP Now for a Special Edition CrackBerry Meetup in Berlin on August 31st!

BlackBerry Mobile is teasing something for IFA 2017, so we're taking the CrackBerry Meetup tour on the road to Berlin, Germany to get a first hand look! RSVP now to take part in the fun!

Update: August 26th: We still have a few spots open to attend our special edition CrackBerry meetup in Berlin this Thursday. It's going to be a great turn out, and we even have some BlackBerry fans flying in from all around Europe for it. If you can make it, RSVP and we'll see you there. Going to be a fun night!

Earlier this week BlackBerry Mobile dropped a teaser that they have something special to announce at the upcoming IFA tech show. So in true CrackBerry fashion, we're packing our bags and heading to Berlin, Germany, so we'll be there to get a first hand look at whatever this new BlackBerry hotness (or maybe darkness, based on the teaser video) may be.

Also in true CrackBerry fashion, and building on the success of the 15 meetups we've held this year, we're going to host a Special Edition CrackBerry Meetup in Berlin on August 31st. If you're a BlackBerry fan and live in Berlin or can make it there, this is a meetup you won't want to miss. The event will run from 7pm to 10pm - you can find full details and RSVP by hitting the link below.

RSVP NOW FOR THE CRACKBERRY BERLIN MEETUP


Follow up test from JerryRigEverything confirms KEYone display can stand the test of time

Two months after the date of his first BlackBerry KEYone durability test video, Zack sacrificed a newly-purchased KEYone to see how well it would hold up to his bend test a second time around. In his first test, the KEYone was getting the green light all around until it came to the bend test, where his KEYone unit's display separated from the chassis. Based on this, the KEYone ended up on JerryRigEverything's Shelf of Shame. That's not a good thing, especially for a phone that touts durability as one of its key selling points.

BlackBerry Mobile was quick to respond to customer concerns and confirmed that additional measures would go into place to further strengthen the adhesion of the KEYone's display. They also reaffirmed that if anybody should already own a KEYone and run into an issue where the screen starts to pop out, that they'll replace it.

I highly recommend watching the new video - it highlights just how stuck in the KEYone's display is. Zack couldn't pop it out by bending it, and even blowdrying the glue to heat it up didn't help to ease the display out. In the end, the adhesion was so strong he destroyed the display while trying to remove it.

Based on this extreme durability, Zack has removed the KEYone from his Shelf of Shame and changed it to buy a recommendation - "I can fully recommend it as a phone that will stand the test of time."

Where to Buy the BlackBerry KEYone

Related: Real World BlackBerry KEYone Durability Test


Take CrackBerry's BlackBerry KEYone Owner Super Survey!

Take CrackBerry's BlackBerry KEYone Owner Survey. We'll be sharing the results with BlackBerry Mobile - this is your chance to participate and have your voice heard!

The time has come for us to post our first BlackBerry KEYone owner survey. As regular visitors to CrackBerry know, our BlackBerry KEYone forum has been filling up with informal owner feedback since the phone first began rolling out to customers months ago. By getting this feedback provided in a more structured survey format, it helps us to get all the information in one place which makes it much easier to analyze - the good, the bad and everything in between.

For BlackBerry KEYone owners, this is your chance to offer feedback on your KEYone experience to date. We'll be sharing the results of the survey with BlackBerry Mobile so they can take the feedback of our CrackBerry community into account as they continue to work on delivering experiences that meet and exceed the expectations of us demanding BlackBerry users. As a heads up, this survey is fairly in-depth and we ask a lot of questions to better understand your usage patterns and some of the most critical aspects of why you made your KEYone purchase and why you choose BlackBerry over other alternatives on the market.

Survey Time: It'll take you 8 to 20 minutes to fill in depending on how detailed you want to get with some of the open feedback questions.

Survey Requirements: Only take the survey if you already own a BlackBerry KEYone (thanks!).

Take the Survey


BlackBerry KEYone Cases - The best one to buy!

Since getting my hands on the BlackBerry KEYone earlier this year, I've primarily used the phone naked (not me naked, I'm wearing clothes, but the phone is naked... as in without a case on it). I like the feel of the KEYone naked, and it has proven to me time and time again that it can take bumps and drops with ease.

That said, as I've met more and more BlackBerry KEYone owners in person, I've noticed that many are rocking a case on their KEYone. So with that in mind me and the team did some research into the various KEYone cases on the market and ordered a handful to check out and try out ourselves. Be sure to watch the video for a concise look at them. There are plenty of options, depending on what you're after in a case. You really can't go wrong with any of the cases highlighted here - it all depends what you like. Some people like flip cases, other people like skins, and some people need heavy duty cases to protect their phone from their butter fingers.

For myself personally, it's actually been the Incipio NGP Case that has stayed on my KEYone after this not-so-scientific but useful round of case testing was all said and done. Be sure to leave a comment with the case you're using and your thoughts on it. And if we missed any here that are worth checking out, let us know!

Where to buy the cases featured


Understanding the difference between the KEYone from Optiemus in India and the KEYone from BlackBerry Mobile, a business unit of TCL

With the cooperation of TCL, Optiemus is launching the BlackBerry KEYone in India under the BlackBerry Mobile India banner

Today, Optiemus Infracom Limited announced they are launching the BlackBerry KEYone in India and will be available as of August 8th as an Amazon India Exclusive. This is awesome news for BlackBerry fans in India, because one of the most frequently asked questions I have received this year is Will the KEYone launch in India?

For many months I wasn't sure if it actually would, for good reason. As we clarified earlier this year, there are currently three companies that BlackBerry has licensed the BlackBerry brand to for the manufacture and sale of BlackBerry Smartphones: TCL Communication, Optiemus Infracom and BB Merah Putih. Optiemus has the rights to BlackBerry in India and BB Merah Putih to Indonesia, while China-based TCL Communication is the main partner globally supporting markets including North America, Europe, the Middle East, China and Latin America.

With TCL owning the hardware design of the BlackBerry KEYone, there was no guarantee that India would get a KEYone as TCL didn't have the rights to launch it in that market. That said, the launch of the KEYone in India by Optiemus shows that BlackBerry's hardware licensee partners can work together if they choose to.

The launch of the KEYone in India by Optiemus shows that BlackBerry's hardware licensee partners can work together if they choose to

In this case, it appears that Optiemus and TCL Communication struck a deal for TCL to supply KEYone components to Optiemus so they could launch the KEYone in India. I don't know the full logistics of how this hardware deal works, but what I can tell you is that the Optiemus BlackBerry KEYone I'm holding feels 100% a KEYone - the design, materials and build quality are of that same premium standard I've come to expect from a KEYone. It looks and feels identical.

[Update: After noticing that the box my Optiemus KEYone arrived in said the device was Made in China and manufactured by TCL and Imported by Optiemus, I reached out to Optiemus for further clarification. They noted that the first lot of Limited Edition Black devices ("just a few devices") was provided to them by TCL but come September the units shipping to customers will be Made in India.]

That said, there are a couple of differences under the hood from the KEYone units I have experienced to date - the Optiemus KEYone is shipping with 4GB of ram and 64GB of storage, the ability to run dual SIM cards and it is also available in a version labeled "Limited Edition Black." I love the look - I'd love to see TCL bring this blacked-out color scheme to their markets as well.

When it comes to the marketing, sales, distribution and support of the KEYone in India, this all being driven by Optiemus (not TCL Communication). Optiemus' marketing is aimed at the local Indian market, and if you buy an Optiemus KEYone, any/all customer support for this phone will be handled by Optiemus (bbcare@optiemus.com). You can also find them on twitter at @bbmobileindia and on Facebook.

When it comes to the marketing, sales, distribution and support of the KEYone in India, this all being driven by Optiemus (not TCL Communication)

I think it's also important to note that while Optiemus is launching the KEYone, I don't think this means we can nor should expect all of the BlackBerry hardware licensees to always work together in this fashion. Just as BB Merah Putih launched the BlackBerry Aurora all-touch phone in Indonesia, I'd expect to see Optiemus to launch some BlackBerry phones of their own design. And I wouldn't expect all future TCL-built BlackBerry models to be available from Optiemus.

I think reception to the KEYone globally has been so fantastic that for this particular phone both parties wanted to make the roll out of KEYone in India happen.

Bottomline, the KEYone is coming to India and if you live there and buy a BlackBerry KEYone from Optiemus, you should expect the same awesome device experience that so many other KEYone owners have been enjoying.


Confirmed: Additional measures are now in place to further strengthen BlackBerry KEYone displays

Following up on their previous statement, a member of BlackBerry Mobile Support team posted in CrackBerry's KEYone forums over the weekend informing users that additional measures are already in place and rolling out now:

"As we've all seen by now in Kevin's real world durability test, the BlackBerry KEYone has been purpose built to offer a distinctly different, highly durable smartphone experience that can live up to normal everyday use. In a further effort to ensure all our BlackBerry Mobile customers and fans have an outstanding experience, we're implementing additional measures that add even greater strength and adhesive to the BlackBerry KEYone display. These new measures are already being implemented on new KEYone's and are beginning to hit our retailer and carrier inventories – and will continue to come in stock throughout the summer. If you've already purchased the BlackBerry KEYone, you're fully covered by our manufacturer's warranty, so if any issue arises, please contact us, and we can help you with a warranty replacement if needed."

While many users have picked up a KEYone and had no display separation issues, I'm happy to see that BlackBerry Mobile has taken steps to further strengthen the display further as it rolls off the assembly and ships out to retailers around the globe. I think we can all agree that rock solid hardware build quality is one of those aspects we believe makes a BlackBerry a BlackBerry, so I'm glad to see this get nipped in the bud (I'd prefer to never see another forum thread or tweet about screen separation again!).

At this point in time, I'm not exactly sure what specific changes were made to strengthen the display adhesion and if there's a way to tell if a KEYone unit is manufactured before or after this change. I don't expect there will be any physical indications on device packaging to note the reinforced units as in reality this has been a pretty limited issue (not a Galaxy Note 7 blowing up type of thing) early in the rollout of the KEYone which will likely have a long retail shelf life. If you're one of the unlucky few who have suffered an issue with their KEYone related to the display, BlackBerry Mobile has your back. After all, that's why manufacturer warranties exist - if and when problems arise they'll stand behind their warranty. Case closed.

Want to learn more about your KEYone or need some help? Visit our KEYone Support Forum where you can access additional resources, including our BlackBerry Mobile Support Directory which will point you in the right direction in case you need to contact BlackBerry Mobile directly.


Winners to the BlackBerry KEYone Durability Giveaway Announced!

Two weeks back I put the BlackBerry KEYone through a series of "real world" drop tests and experiments to see how much of a beating the device could take. I started with four brand new retail units purchased from Rogers in Canada. If you didn't watch the video yet, you can see it above (over 400k views!). At the end of the day I only needed to destroy two KEYone units to get to a point where myself and I think everyone was satisfied that the KEYone could take a drop or two or three or four and keep on ticking.

In true CrackBerry fashion, I decided to give the two leftover (and unscathed!) devices to give away! Here are the winners. One was chosen at random from comments left on the original CrackBerry article and the other was chosen at random from comments left on the YouTube video.

kpmiller18

See! BlackBerry outlasts them all! Keep this brand strong! I'd gladly take a KEYone to upgrade my Z10! I've been waiting for the right Android phone, and I think this is it! My pocket is screaming for the KEYone!

Claudia C.

A lot of people (including my kids) make fun of me because ever since my first BlackBerry phone, I have been addicted and have never bought anything else. My kids switched to apple and subsequently Samsung, but I stuck it out with BlackBerry and now it's like we're being rewarded!! I've always had a great experience with my BlackBerry and have never felt deprived. Thank you for making these videos. BlackBerry and CrackBerry rocks!!

Big congrats go to the winners and thanks to everyone for entering and helping spread the word. This is CrackBerry so you know we're never too far away from our next giveaway - so be sure to keep it locked to CrackBerry for your next chance to win.


From the Editor's Desk: USA A-OK

After a fun weekend in NYC, the CrackBerry World Tour continues in the USA this week with Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago about to feel some KEYone love!

Hey CrackBerry!

As I type this it's just after midnight and I'm lying in bed in my hotel room in NYC about to go to sleep. I need to catch some quality ZZzz's because tomorrow kicks off a world wind tour of CrackBerry craziness! We'll be hitting up 5 cities in 5 days as we continue to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry with our CrackBerry KEYone World Tour!

I also have some other quick updates to share, so keep reading for more. Keep in mind I'll probably be a little quiet on the CrackBerry article front this week, so be sure to follow @crackberrykevin on Twitter and Instagram (you can find me on BBM Channels still too), so you don't miss out on any of the action this week - we'll be sharing a lot as we meet more BlackBerry fans IRL! At the end of this week we'll be at over 15 CrackBerry meetups in 2017 with a total attendance between them of nearly 2,000 people. Amazing!

CrackBerry Meetups This Week

If you live in/near one of the cities we're visiting, hit the links below to jump over to official Meetup Page for full details and to RSVP.

Boston - Monday, June 19th

Washington, D.C. - Tuesday, June 20th

Atlanta - Wednesday, June 21st

Dallas - Thursday, June 22nd

Chicago - Friday, June 23rd

All attendees will have a chance to go hands on with the BlackBerry KEYone and we'll be giving one away at each event!

Monday's Boston meetup is sure to be a blast. Boston is the hometown of Michael Fisher aka MrMobile, so we'll be doubling up on the meetup fun. Bla1ze will be there from CrackBerry too, as well James Nieves who will be overseeing the KEYone demo area. James will also be at our Washington DC and Atlanta meetups too!

A Memorable Saturday in NYC at Yankee Stadium

If you follow the CrackBerry team on social, you may have noticed a reunion of sorts was taking place this weekend in NYC. BlackBerry Mobile sponsorship took over Yankee stadium for the NYCFC vs. Seattle Sounders match up and as part of the activities BlackBerry Mobile hosted 40 CrackBerry fans in a sweet suite to take in the game.

Awesome time at Yankee Stadium today watching the NYCFC beat the Seattle Sounders 2-1 in a very wet and entertaining match. Huge thx to @blackberrymobile for hosting an awesome event. 40 BlackBerry fans in the VIP Suite made for a truly memorable afternoon! Swipe left for more photos! #NYCSC #blackberry #BlackBerryKEYone

A post shared by CrackBerry Kevin (@crackberrykevin) on Jun 17, 2017 at 2:12pm PDT

It was an awesome event and nice to see BlackBerry KEYone advertising come to life. Huge thanks to BlackBerry Mobile for hosting and inviting so many passionate fans. I know everyone in attendance had a blast!

BlackBerry KEYone Durability Test Giveaway Deadline!

If you're reading this you've likely already watched the BlackBerry KEYone Durabilty Test video I posted to Youtube a few days ago. The reaction to the video has been fantastic. I don't like destroying phones, but in this case it had to be done and I'm glad the video turned out to be entertaining as well as informative. It's now at over 300k views! If you didn't watch it yet, you can watch it below (and if you did watch it, watch it again!):

At the end of video I make note that if you leave a comment on the YouTube video or this article that you'll be entered for a chance to win a KEYone. For those who have been asking, the deadline on this giveaway will be Midnight on Sunday, June 25th and we'll announce the winner early the following week. Good luck!

Will Android Nougat come to the DTEK 50/60 and Priv?!

This question continues to pop up daily in CrackBerry land.. in the forums, on article comments, in my inbox and on my social feeds. For the most part, the answer I tell people is "don't get your hopes up - don't think these devices will get updated and you should probably just buy a KEYone." Given that BlackBerry is out of the hardware business and it's leaving that now to its licensee partners, to me this makes sense (they'd want to minimize their investment in supporting hardware if that's no longer their primary focus).

Of course, given BlackBerry's commitment on security updates, it could make sense for an update to be issued as it may prove easier to keep these devices up to date if they're all on the latest/same versions of Android.

For the record, I sent John Chen's Office an email asking for an update to this question so we can (hopefully) finally get a definitive answer on it. Fingers are crossed we'll have an official statement on this soon. My hunch is still that my current answer probably is the most accurate one.

USA A-OK!

In case you were wondering on the title of this Editor's Desk post, it's a bit of a throw back to a 1991 episode of The Simpsons titled Mr. Lisa goes to Washington. Lisa won a school essay writing contest and was invited along with her family to Washington DC to compete against other students. USA A-OK was the title of the essay that ultimately won the contest. For some reason it popped into my head while writing this. :)

Finally, a big Happy Father's day goes to all the dads out there reading this. Hope you made it a great day!

Kevin Out!


Become a KEYone Delta Tester for BlackBerry Mobile Europe (UK/Germany/France)

Update: The KEYone Delta Tester application period is now closed. We had a GREAT response with hundreds of individuals applying. BlackBerry Mobile will be reaching to all those selected to participate in the program. Thanks for applying!

The European Quality team for BlackBerry Mobile is looking for a total of 30 Delta Testers -- 10 each from the United Kingdom, Germany, and France -- to take part in this program. If you meet the requirements, apply and it could be you!

Exciting opportunity here for some passionate BlackBerry owners who want to test the new BlackBerry KEYone and be part of BlackBerry Mobile's ongoing goal to deliver an exceptional user experience to their customers. I dropped word of this in CrackBerry's forums last week and we've had a pretty great response so far, but I wanted to spread the word on the CrackBerry blogs to give those who may have missed seeing the announcement a chance to apply.

The Delta Tester program kicks in once the device goes on sale, and select end users are invited to participate. Delta Testers will provide detailed qualitative feedback to the BlackBerry Mobile QA team about their experiences.

The European Quality team for BlackBerry Mobile is looking for a total of 30 Delta Testers -- 10 each from the United Kingdom, Germany, and France -- to take part in this program. The phone is provided by BlackBerry Mobile Quality team.

If you want to apply for your chance to be a Delta Tester for the KEYone, hit the link at the bottom of this post.

Application Requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • Living in the UK, Germany or France
  • You must be able to communicate in English

Note, if you are selected for the program, you will have to sign an NDA.

That's it. Please only apply if you meet all of the requirements. CrackBerry members are the most knowledgeable and passionate smartphone owners out there, so looking for awesome people to apply. Make us proud!

APPLICATION PERIOD NOW OVER - THANKS FOR APPLYING


RSVP Now for CrackBerry Meetups in Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago!

The KEYone fun continues as our CrackBerry Meetup Tour turns south to the USA with our Eastern tour, kicking off in Boston on Monday, June 19th and following up with Washington, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago!

Update: Friday, June 16th - If you haven't RSVP'd yet for our US CrackBerry Meetups, get on it! We'll be in Boston on Monday and then fun continues from there!

As we continue to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry, we're getting set for our next round up CrackBerry Meetups. We've already hit up ten cities, including Barcelona, New York, Miami, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Kitchener/Waterloo.

Next, the CrackBerry KEYone tour heads to the eastern part of the USA, starting with Boston on Monday, June 19th followed by Washington, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago. It'll be Five Cities in Five Days!

Our Boston meetup is going to be extra special. Boston is the home of Michael Fisher AKA MrMobile, and since he's been such a fan of the BlackBerry KEYone we decided to make it a joint CrackBerry/MrMobile meetup, which should be a blast! And since CrackBerry members all love Bla1ze, I'm working hard on getting him to attend this round of meetups as well (fingers crossed!).

I'm really looking forward to this five city tour, knowing that some of the attendees will already have their hands on the KEYone, while many of you will still be eagerly waiting for yours to arrive. Good times guaranteed!


BlackBerry KEYone shows it can take a beating in this "real world" durability test video!

As promised, here's CrackBerry Kevin's first attempt at a BlackBerry KEYone durability test video. Drop tests, stomp tests and more! Watch to the end of the video for a chance to win a KEYone!!

Recording a BlackBerry KEYone Drop Test video was one of the many ideas on my to videos to do list. After JerryRigEverything posted a video last week and the KEYone failed his bend test with the display popping out a little too easily, I prioritized this video to the front of the line and recorded it on Friday afternoon. I also went a little more all out crazy in the testing than I normally would have done otherwise, putting the KEYone through some "real world" durability tests to help prove it can take a beating.

I've been using the KEYone for over three months now and overall have been impressed with the KEYone -- be sure to read my BlackBerry KEYone review if you haven't yet -- and have found it to be a rugged and durable device based on my experiences to date. I've dropped it, sat on it, stepped on it, etc. without any issues at all.

For this video I purchased four brand new KEYones from Rogers in Canada to conduct the drop tests with. I only needed to make use of two of them in the video, so I'm giving the other two away (watch to the end for instructions on how to enter). After I eventually break the KEYone I dismantle it to get a better look at the adhesive that's holding the KEYone's display in. As you'll see, there is adhesive around the display (you can go re-watch the JerryRig video and see that unit has similar adhesive in place). I then break another KEYone (with great difficulty!) and take a look under the display of that one too.

Take note, I recorded this video before BlackBerry Mobile released their statement saying they're taking measures to strengthen the KEYone's display and will cover under warranty any display popping issues customers may have (overall this has been a small number of people). That said, based on my experiences to date and through the testing in this video, KEYone durability isn't something I'm personally worried about. It's a tough phone and as demonstrated in this video was tough enough to outlast the iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy S8 in my Tesla Launch Mode drop test!

I hope you enjoy the video. I wanted to make sure it was fun and also representative of some real world testing. I hate destroying phones, but if necessary I can always conduct more of these test videos.

Where to Buy the BlackBerry KEYone

Update: Winner's announced here!


JerryRigEverything's KEYone Durability Test has CBK recording a Real World one tomorrow

Ouch. The BlackBerry KEYone made it into JerryRigEverything's test chambers, where it was passing the scratch and burn test with ease. It didn't fare well in the bend test though...

Update - August 17th: JerryRigEverything has posted a second durability test video. This time the KEYone has passed with flying colors. Zack has removed it from his Shelf of Shave and now gives the KEYone a thumbs up declaring it a phone that will stand up to the test of time.

Update - 2:30pm, Saturday, June 10th: So the KEYone Drop Test and Durability video is coming soon, but in the meantime BB Mobile has released a statement about the limited number of defective KEYones with display issues, which you can read about right here.

Update - 5pm, Friday, June 9th: Just finished recording a CBK KEYone Drop Test Video. My editor is going to try and work on the video over the weekend (she has some prior commitments to attend to, but she's going to try and turn around on it as fast as she can - so hopefully ready for early in the week. If you're ok with spoilers, you can read my debrief on this post in the forums. Overall, KEYone held up pretty well - and we did pry a couple apart to take a look at what's under the hood.

I'm a big fan of JerryRigEverything's YouTube channel, where he puts gadgets, including smartphones, through plenty of torture tests to see just how tough they are. For phones, that includes scratching and burning and bending them. The BlackBerry KEYone did well on the scratch tests, and recovered from the burn test in satisfactory time, but when it came to the bend test it didn't fare as well, with the screen popping out of the chassis quite easily. A further tear down revealed a lack of adhesive holding the display firmly in place. I'm pretty sure the folks at BlackBerry Mobile must be aware of this, so I expect we should hear something from them addressing this in the near future.

We've seen a handful of reports in CrackBerry's KEYone forums where KEYone owners have relayed their devices suffering a similar fate - where drops have popped up the display up. On the other hand, I've also seen the KEYone take a helluva beating and keep on ticking without issue. It's really been a solid device in everyday use. After months of using and abusing my KEYone, I've dropped it and sat on it and beat it up now a LOT without any issues (it even saved my face one night when I tripped in a hotel room and I smashed it into the bedside table with the momentum of 200lbs of drunk CBK behind it). Beyond my main KEYone, I've also had many more come through my hands as we've held the CrackBerry Meetup Tours which have held up well and are still pristine.

BlackBerry KEYone's have been precious to come by, so I haven't been in a rush to do the classic BlackBerry drop test yet, but given the attention and questions users are having around the KEYone's durability, tomorrow I'm going to put the KEYone through some real world durability testing (since that's where use the phones). I have a brand new KEYone to use for it (Rogers retail unit) and for good measure I'll put the real world testing side by side to a Galaxy S8+ and iPhone 7 Plus to see how they measure up.

If you have any ideas for real world abuse you'd like to see the KEYone take in the video, let me know and I'll see if I can make it happen.


CrackBerry Podcast: Covfefe

There's only one word that describes that can accurately describe the last week here on CrackBerrry... Covfefe! On this episode we talk about the North American launch of the BlackBerry KEYone (the good and the bad) and answer many questions!

Traveling to Taipei last week for Computex was on my travel agenda for the better part of a year, long before I knew May 31st would be the date the BlackBerry KEYone would become "available" for purchase in Canada and the USA. What a week in turned out to be overseas and on 12 hour difference in time zone. I woke up every morning to sooo many passionate threads in the CrackBerry forums to catch up on! :)

It also turned out to be a perfect week for El Presidente Trump to an invent a new word for me to use for this podcast - as it would prove difficult otherwise to find a single word that could encapsulate all of the thoughts and emotions running among many in the CrackBerry community. The North American market launch has been a mixed bag - we've seen a LOT of excitement from consumers in North America finally getting their hands on the KEYone and absolutely loving it. We've also witnessed some frustration over limited inventory at launch, especially in the US on Amazon and Best Buy, that's made the KEYone a rather exclusive phone to get a hold of thus far (while the GSM version of the KEYone started shipping, CDMA units on Amazon never moved out of backorder status). We talk about all of that and MUCH more on this CrackBerry podcast.

The first half of the show we casually jump around many topics, and Bla1ze -- who everybody always loves -- finally gives us one reason to hate him (pictured below). The back half of the show we jump to answering reader questions, which keeps us pretty on track.

Enjoy the show!

Double Tap if this is the most KEYone boxes you have ever seen in a single photo. Getting ready to send them out to our CrackBerry IOU winners! Swipe Left for more box fun! #KEYone #BlackBerry #BlackBerryKEYone #android

A post shared by CrackBerry Kevin (@crackberrykevin) on Jun 7, 2017 at 9:24pm PDT


The Perfect Amount of Swank... the BlackBerry KEYone launch event in Toronto [Video]

BlackBerry Mobile hosted a swanky KEYone launch party last week in Toronto. The Hazelton Hotel venue was transformed from restaurant/lounge into a proper modern event space complete with thoughtful engagement areas where guests could explore demo devices, partake in bourbon tasting, have KEYone notebooks and luggage tags monogrammed and even take home hand-rolled cigars as a memento. An area was setup with skeleton keys where partygoers could pull a key with #KEYone engraved on the back for a chance to win one of the devices. Nice details made everything feel very cohesive.


From the Editor's Desk: The Final Countdown to KEYone in North America

Hello, CrackBerry Nation!

For those of you in North America, we're into the FINAL COUNTDOWN leading up to the May 31st availability of the BlackBerry KEYone. I've been having some fun on Instagram this week drawing the countdown out using KEYones. That number 8 is a work of art, don't you think? And no, those are not all my personal KEYones - they're the demo units I use at for our CrackBerry Meetups!

Unfortunately, I'm not going to be on US or Canadian soil for the BIG day -- I'll actually be in Taipei, Taiwan attending Computex 2017 -- but I thought I'd pop in to the blogs and say hello before I make the long trip and am living in the future. It's been a crazy few weeks for me - I went from two weeks of being sick to two weeks of insanely busy and fun travel as we completed our Canadian CrackBerry KEYone Meetup tour.

I had a few days to play catch up this week, and now as I type this, I'm actually sitting in the Air Canada lounge at the Vancouver airport, an hour away from making the almost 13-hour hop over to Hong Kong where I'll connect for Taipei.

I haven't had a chance to do much CrackBerry blogging since my BlackBerry KEYone Review went live, so I'll make the most of this airport waiting time. I have lots of little updates and quick thoughts to share, so keep reading!

Lots of Updates:

CrackBerry Meetup Tour

So. Much. Fun. Between our Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Kitchener/Waterloo meetups and the Toronto KEYone launch party, I literally met nearly ONE THOUSAND CrackBerry fans over the past two weeks. As much fun as it is to chat with each other online and on social, there's nothing better than meeting and talking in real life. CrackBerry fans are so passionate, so knowledgeable and so nice! Every meetup had a slightly different vibe, but everyone was awesome in its own unique way. The only negatives? I wish I had more time to spend with each person individually and I wish my liver was stronger. :)

Update on BlackBerry KEYone IOUs

As you know, we've been giving away a LOT of IOUs for BlackBerry KEYones this year, both here on the CrackBerry website but also at our various meetup events. Over the next few days Michelle Haag, our Events & Giveaways Coordinator, will be reaching out to all of the IOU winners with a link to a form they can fill out to provide their shipping address. We're working to get all the units acquired and sent out as fast as we possibly can. If you're one of these lucky individuals, congrats again on winning and thanks for the patience!

Save the Date for East Coast US CrackBerry Meetup Tour!

Once I'm back from Taipei, I'll have a little bit of time to recover and then we're going to take the CrackBerry Meetup tour on the road again. We'll be launching proper Meetup Pages soon for each event where you'll be able to RSVP (blog post with full details to come), but in the meantime, I wanted to share our next destinations:

  • June 19th, Boston
  • June 20th, Washington DC
  • June 21st, Atlanta
  • June 22nd, Houston
  • June 23rd, Dallas
  • June 24th, Chicago

These events should be pretty fun as I'll expect many in attendance to also be rocking KEYones. I'm also planning to visit some cities on the West Coast (LA for sure) - dates will get announced later. And Minneapolis, don't you worry, you will get a meetup this year for sure… I'll maybe plan a road trip for that one.

At these meetups I won't have to give out an IOU for a KEYone - somebody will get to take one home with them at the end of the night!

Where to Buy the KEYone on May 31st?

I know there's still some confusion around this. Am pretty sure we'll see more info on this soon clearing up what retail channels it'll be available in, etc. My big recommendation if you want to make sure you get your KEYone asap is to make sure you're watching for the when the links go live and buy asap. It seems pretty clear from what we've seen in the UK so far that the KEYones are moving quick when they get in stock.

If you're not following @crackberrykevin on Instagram & Twitter, you're missing out!

Realization - When I used to be really active on CrackBerry, BlackBerry phones didn't really support social apps like Instagram that well, so the audience for our content on those platforms was almost non-existent. Fast forward to 2017, and so much has changed. People are consuming a lot more content on social, and I'm definitely posting way more there. So if you don't see an article from me on CrackBerry, that doesn't mean I'm not doing something somewhere else worth checking out! So be sure to look for @crackberrykevin on Instagram and Twitter and YouTube and subscribe, so you don't miss out (yes, I'm on BBM Channels too!).

MrMobile Loves the BlackBerry KEYone

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a huge fan of Michael Fisher aka MrMobile. In the past year since he launched his new YouTube channel, he's grown leaps and bounds and become one of the top tech reviewers on the scene. His videos are amazing to watch (so much production value) and his opinions are always spot on - he's so unbiased it's almost maddening.

That said, MrMobile LOVES the BlackBerry KEYone, and he's now made it his daily driver, which he hasn't really done in 2017 yet with any phone. For a guy who's constantly swapping phones, to me, this is a BIG deal. It's a huge stamp of approval for the KEYone. Be sure to watch the casual podcast we recorded last night to hear some of Michael's thoughts.

Beyond MrMobile, we're starting to see a bit of a cult following emerge for the KEYone, which I love. Photos like this one from Google I/O last week make me smile!

Until Next Time!

Lots more to chat on, but I'll wind this down for now.

As you know, I've been very lucky to have been rocking the KEYone for months now, since I helped BlackBerry Mobile unveil it at Mobile World Congress.

I'm really excited that we're now starting to move past the waiting for the KEYone phase and into the I have a KEYone, and I'm loving it phase! It's more fun. And it's a great phone. So I'm excited for you to get your hands on one to call your own sooner, rather than later.

Kevin Out!


CrackBerry Podcast: Making Memories w/ MrMobile & More!

MrMobile joins Bla1ze and CrackBerry Kevin for a casual chat and to confess his crush for the BlackBerry KEYone.

It's been a crazy few weeks and the craziness isn't about to slow down. After two weeks on the road for our Canadian CrackBerry KEYone Meetup Tour, I've barely unpacked and I'm off again to the airport, this time for the long flight to Taipei, Taiwan, for Computex 2017. Before leaving though we just had to get a CrackBerry podcast recorded as there's been so much happening and we've been slacking.

In this episode we talk about the final countdown to May 31st when the BlackBerry KEYone will officially become available for purchase on North American soil. I also give a play-by-play of our meetup tour and even drop the cities and dates we'll be visiting next in our upcoming US tour.

Most importantly though, on this show we had MrMobile join us to confess his crush for the new KEYone. For a guy who switches phones as often as most of our change up our underwear, it's been truly awesome to see the KEYone become his daily driver. BlackBerry By Choice For Real. Hmm.. maybe it's time to do another run of those shirts?

Enjoy the show!


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