The BlackBerry KEYone was off to a great start. The company’s flagship handset, equipped with a Snapdragon 625 chipset and Octa-core CPU, would have given any other Android smartphone a run for its money. It’s 4.5″ screen boasts of 1080 x 1620 pixels with a camera that shoots at 12MP. Another amazing feature is its QWERTY physical keyboard, which responds to your fingers’ movements like how a laptop’s track pad does. The fingerprint sensor is also cleverly hidden in its tiny spacebar.
Just recently, professional phone destroyer, Zack Nelson—more popularly known for his YouTube username, JerryRigEverything—put the KEYone to the test. Anyone familiar with this YouTuber would know how he puts new handsets to rigorous tests—ones that would make you cringe, but would also make you thankful that you would know what you’re getting into when you purchase a newly-released smartphone.
Zack left no stone unturned and set about with his nasty scratch test on the KEYone. He kicked off with using a box cutter to test the screen’s durability, proving that it was made of glass, along with the cameras. He did a burn test on the KEYone’s screen, just to see if there would be a repeat of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. Impressively, the screen only momentarily showed a burnt mark but it disappeared once the flame was removed and still continued to work with no obvious damage.
— Harold (@simpletechman) June 9, 2017
Next followed more brutal scratching on the KEYone’s keypad proving its resilience. Nelson delivered more scraping on the handset’s spacebar, which serves as the fingerprint scanner, but it carried on working even after it was almost ripped to shreds.
Saving the most brutal test for last, the KEYone was then subjected to the dreaded bend test. Using only his hands and gently applied pressure, the handset’s display popped out of its frame fairly easily. Upon closer inspection, Nelson discovered that there was no adhesive holding the display in place, thereby making the chances of the screen to pop out with a short drop to the floor quite possible.
As it turns out, Zack Nelson revealed that a few BlackBerry fans have also complained about the same issue with the screen. Hoping to calm its customers down, TCL released a statement to address the issue.
“TCL Communication has a long-standing track record of delivering high-quality devices to our customers around the world, and the BlackBerry KEYone is no different. To ensure the highest quality in the BlackBerry KEYone, we used strong, durable premium materials and conducted rigorous stress tests on the device throughout the product development cycle to meet the real life use standards our customers demand.”
“While the BlackBerry KEYone is being met with great enthusiasm, we are aware of the concerns around potential display separation on the device. Out of the thousands of BlackBerry KEYone smartphones that have been shipped and sold globally, only a very small handful of customers have reported this kind of issue.”
“Our teams are actively examining additional adhesive measures that might further strengthen and eliminate any possibility of display separation occurring. If a customer does experience this however, they’re encouraged to contact us for a device warranty replacement,” the statement assured customers.
As TCL Communication admits that the problem does exist, it assures its customers that they will try their best to fix the problem. Meanwhile, customers are advised to contact the company for a device replacement.
According to Digital Trends’ in-depth review, the KEYone has a great battery life, impressive keyboard customization options, capable camera and reliable security. The downside includes occasional performance stutters, subpar navigation icons, and a bulky build. Android Authority says, however, that for its price, the KEYone screen fail shouldn’t even happen at all and seems like a rookie mistake. However, aside from this issue, the BlackBerry KEYone has been received well so far and it sold out quickly after being released in the U.S.
Watch the rigorous tests that JerryRigEverything performed on the BlackBerry KEYone below.
[Featured Image by Manu Fernandez/AP Images]