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BlackBerry Motion vs KeyOne: Which 2017 BlackBerry phone is best for me?

BlackBerry has just launched the new Motion smartphone here in the UK, to sit alongside the other mobile release of 2017; namely, the KeyOne. However, unlike the KeyOne, the BlackBerry Motion sports a full-sized display and no physical keyboard. That’s just two of many differences of course, as you’ll see in our Motion vs Keyone comparison.

BlackBerry’s current mobile strategy involves offering two different handsets, to appeal to different user groups. The first is a traditional BB handset with a physical keyboard, to appease long-standing fans who shun touchscreen keyboards. However, for those who’d rather type on a virtual board, and enjoy a bigger screen, the alternative BlackBerry device is the best option.

Hence in 2017 we’ve seen a pair of new smartphones launch under the brand. The first device to emerge was the KeyOne, back at the beginning of the year, rocking a dinky physical board beneath a 4.5-inch screen. Now the year’s almost done, we have BlackBerry’s second smartphone: the Motion, which shuns physical keys for a front-filling 5.2-inch display.

So which of these most recent BB phones is most likely to appease? Here’s our comparison review to help you decide.

BlackBerry KeyOne vs Motion: Specs

Phone BlackBerry KeyOne BlackBerry Motion
Screen size 4.5-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 1620×1080 1920×1080
Water resistant? No Yes
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
OS Android Nougat Android Nougat
Processor Snapdragon 625 Snapdragon 625
Memory 3GB 4GB
Storage 32GB 32GB
MicroSD? Yes (2TB) Yes (2TB)
Battery 3505mAh 4000mAh
Rear camera 12MP 12MP
Front camera 8MP 8MP

BlackBerry KeyOne vs Motion: Video comparison

Check out our side-by-side analysis of these two BB handsets in the below video.

BlackBerry KeyOne vs Motion: Design and features

The actual construction of these two handsets is one of the most significant differences between the pair. Although they’re more or less the same height and width (although the KeyOne is definitely chunkier), the Motion sports a much larger display – which the KeyOne sacrifices to fit a QWERTY keyboard on its front.

That keyboard even doubles as a touchpad, to scroll through your desktops, web browser and so on.

The Motion has the advantage of full water resistance however, something the KeyOne lacks. If you want to check Facebook in the bath or rock your handset around the pool, you’ll be best off with the newer smartphone.

Besides that, both blowers sport a soft-touch back and fingerprint sensor. In the KeyOne’s case, that scanner is housed inside of the space bar, while the Motion has it inside of the home button. Both sensors are perfectly responsive and accurate, however.

As for the software, these BlackBerry mobiles sport the same brilliant blend of Android Nougat OS and the best features from BB10. This includes strong security tools, the excellent BlackBerry Hub, BBM support and so on. Check out our in-depth BlackBerry Motion tips and tricks guide to see our run-down of the best features packed in there.

BlackBerry KeyOne vs Motion: Display and media

The Motion is best suited to enjoying movies and shows on the go, thanks to its standard smartphone aspect ratio and more spacious 5.5-inch panel. Both screens offer a decent viewing experience however, although neither IPS display is particularly bright or vibrant. Each screen does deliver a sharp resolution however, so photos and video are packed with detail.

You get 32GB of storage built into the KeyOne, which can be expanded up to a further 2TB by a microSD memory card. The Motion is exactly the same, once again offering expandable storage.

BlackBerry KeyOne vs Motion: Performance and battery life

Both of these phones rock a mid-range chipset, which proves fine for everyday use. You can blast through some of the latest games, even quite demanding titles, with a playable frame rate. However, you will see the occasional stutter and stumble here and there, and we can’t vouch for how gracefully these phones will age.

If either is likely to show slowdown first, it’s the KeyOne. The older handset delivers just 3GB of RAM, compared with the 4GB of the Motion.

As for battery life, we have to point to the BlackBerry Motion again. This handset boasts a whopping 4000mAh cell, which offers over two full days of use between charges. The KeyOne performs solidly enough too, however, often lasting close to two days as long as you don’t go crazy. That’s helped by the smaller screen, which saps less power.

Both BlackBerry phones support quick charging, for when you finally run low on juice.

BlackBerry KeyOne vs Motion: Cameras

When it comes to the optics, the KeyOne and Motion are like two peas in a pod. Or berries in a bushel or something.

In both cases you get a 12-megapixel f/2.0 aperture rear camera, complete with Phase Detection Autofocus. You can shoot up to 4K resolution video, with some basic digital image stabilisation on board. There’s also a selection of special features, including manual controls, slow motion video and a scanner mode that can read business cards.

Around the front you have an 8-megapixel snapper in each case also. Handy for those selfie shots, complete with a screen flash feature for low light snaps.

To see photo and video samples from both of these phones, check out our BlackBerry KeyOne camera review and BlackBerry Motion camera review.

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