I’ve been excited for the BlackBerry Keyone since its announcement. For the most part, the BlackBerry Keyone has been received with positive reviews online. The nostalgic keyboard and outstanding battery life have most reviewers enjoying the phone. Unfortunately, there also seems to be a growing amount of users who are having fundamental notifications issues since the latest updates to the phone. And that’s if you’ve gotten an update at all.
The biggest issue is that push/background notifications seem to be broken for many 3rd party apps. I’ve counted at least 8 different threads on Crackberry and Android Central’s forum pages dedicated to users not getting apps to implement notifications as they should on any other Android device. There seems to be an overall consensus that the issue is possibly related to some part of the BlackBerry Hub and started after the first July system update. I’ve listed the top 3 below if you’d like to follow this more closely:
The other issue is the lack of updates for the CDMA Verizon model BBB100-3 of the BlackBerry Keyone. It is at least 3 months behind on general security updates. In my testing, I see much more lag/system freeze than other GSM users while using the phone and I tend to contribute this to the fact that the initial July security update also came with some bug fixes that many original reviewers contributed to the much better performance of the device. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a viable solution for either problem from BlackBerry Mobile.
The community, however, is all over it for the lack of updates on the Verizon model…but it requires installing an Autoloader script. For those unfamiliar with the BlackBerry world, this is essentially a custom ROM built from official test builds of BlackBerry software. They have provided an Autoloader that offers the latest July update installable on the BBB100-3 variant. But there’s a catch! Installing this is will most likely also install the aforementioned bugs related to notifications.
Either scenario is not a good way to introduce a consumer to the BlackBerry ethos. The average user shouldn’t be expected to immediately be searching for ways to fix their brand new “flagship” Android phone. Honestly, these are the types of bugs you’d expect from the Priv launch 2 years ago, but not from the Keyone. BlackBerry Mobile has had two other phones in between to work out the kinks. I will still be rooting for BlackBerry. I think the Keyone offers a truly unique option to a sometimes bland market, but TCL and BlackBerry Mobile need to prove they can play with the big boys to stay relevant.