Once upon a time, a BlackBerry was the only smartphone to be seen with. Nowadays, Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices line the pockets of most in the western world.
Hardware keyboards, push email and that blinking red LED bring back doe-eyed memories of the mid-2000s, but these days you’d be hard pressed to find an old-style BlackBerry on sale anywhere, let alone in the hands of someone on the bus.
BlackBerry’s slow decline was largely down to the brand’s inability to adapt to the launch of the iPhone in 2007, so consequently developers left the platform to build apps for the touchscreens of iOS and then Android – which is where BlackBerry itself eventually ended up, with all of the recent BlackBerry devices running Android.
BlackBerry on Android
BlackBerry the hardware manufacturer is no more, and all the devices in this chart were made by TCL, a Chinese company that manufactured phones using the BlackBerry brand and running Android.
These phones take the top positions in the chart, as they are more suited to the modern smartphone era. Security updates are still excellently frequent, and the KEYone and Key2 even have physical keyboards still.
In early 2020 TCL announced that it would no longer manufacture new BlackBerry phones, though said that it will continue to provide support, including customer service and warranties, for existing phones until 31 August 2022 – so if you buy any of these phones you can trust that there will still be some degree of support.
BlackBerry isn’t dead though – a Texas-based startup called OnwardMobility has now licensed the BlackBerry brand, and will be launching at least one new BlackBerry phone – with a physical keyboard – some time in 2021.
Until then, these are the Android BlackBerry phones you can buy right now. Click through for full reviews and to find a good deal on each. And happy BlackBerry picking.
The best BlackBerry phones for 2020
1. BlackBerry Key2
The Key2 has excellent build quality, thoughtful software additions and a keyboard that purists will adore. But in the smartphone market, that doesn’t make it a viable choice for most people.
Typing on a physical keyboard this small is difficult no matter what any enthusiast says, and the form factor is harder to hold than the smaller BlackBerry Bolds of a decade ago.
Battery life is above average and it runs much faster than the KeyOne, but the BlackBerry Key2 is very much a phone for a select few people who still must have a keyboard – and no one else.
Read our BlackBerry Key2 review.
2. BlackBerry Key2 LE
The Key LE is, predictably, not as good as the Key2. It is noticeably slower and we missed the capacitive keyboard more than we thought we might.
But it’s a lot less, at £349 / $399. And it ran better when we disabled the BlackBerry Hub. If you’re a light phone user and must have a physical keyboard on your phone then it’s the cheapest way to get into the game.
BlackBerry’s software is also secure and useful. You should view the Key2 LE as an acceptable mid-range phone.
Read our BlackBerry Key2 LE review.
3. BlackBerry KEYone
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.
If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.
Read our BlackBerry KEYone review.
4. BlacKBerry DTEK60
For the first time in a while, this is a BlackBerry we can recommend to the individual consumer. It is also a business device, but the flexibility of Android means it is versatile enough to be moulded to the needs of both. It marries the Android operating system with robust, easy to use security features and slick design, all for under £500.
It doesn’t have the brand clout of an iPhone or the curved edges of a Samsung Galaxy, but with its admittedly quite straight-faced take on the modern smartphone BlackBerry has just – just – turned a corner. This is an excellent smartphone.
Read our BlacKBerry DTEK60 review.
5. BlackBerry Motion
The BlackBerry Motion proves a difficult device to rate. It’s too big, and there’s not much to tempt a casual smartphone buyer here aside from outstanding battery life. It is too austere and clunky even in comparison to the KeyOne, and won’t stand out in the £400 price bracket – a price hangover from the premium leanings of the BlackBerry name.
BlackBerry isn’t a cool brand, but the Motion has a huge battery, a headphone jack and a CPU that will just about cope with what you want it to do besides high level gaming. If the KeyOne was a comeback, the Motion is just about a solid sequel but there are phones like the Moto G5 Plus with similar specs for half the price.
Read our BlackBerry Motion review.