Best BlackBerry phones in 2021

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Best BlackBerry phones in 2021
Remember BlackBerry? The brand once ruled the US smartphone industry, and it wasn’t until the iPhone 4 came along that BlackBerry’s real demise began. Well, the brand had a really hard time around 2010 and nearly met its maker but the boxy, business phones were far from done.

Back in 2015, RIM (Research in Motion) - the company behind the BlackBerry brand - made a crucial decision that changed everything. The company launched the BlackBerry Priv - the first phone not to run an in-house built operating system, jumping ships for Android instead.

RIM’s mobile business was a constant struggle from then on, but eventually, the company found other ways to survive and kept the BlackBerry brand more or less alive.

Believe it or not, BlackBerry is still around today, with a brand new device in the pipeline for 2021. Even though BlackBerry phones are really, really rare nowadays, there are some choices for hardcore fans, who want to stay loyal to the brand.

BlackBerry phones might not be the most powerful or the best looking but they do possess a nostalgic appeal, and we decided to make a shortlist of the best BlackBerry devices you can get in 2021. It’s not a long list, mind you but there are some options.

Best BlackBerry phones 2021 at a glance:


BlackBerry KEY2 LE

BlackBerry KEY2 LE

BlackBerry KEY2 LE


View full specs
BlackBerry KEY2 LE is the latest model from the company but these words bear a slightly different meaning. The KEY2 LE was released back in late 2018, and this alone could be enough of a factor to keep even the most devoted BlackBerry fans at a safe distance. Nevertheless, the phone exists and can be bought if you fancy it all that much. Let's talk specs.

The BlackBerry KEY2 LE features the same 4.5-inch LCD display found on the KEY2, sporting a resolution of 1080 x 1620. Instead of the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform that powers the KEY2, the lower-priced model has the Snapdragon 636 chipset under the hood. The Lite version of the KEY2 carries 4GB of RAM and 32/64 gigs of internal storage.

Now, these specs are surely outdated by today's standards but they're not too bad. The Snapdragon 6xx series can produce enough power for a modern smartphone experience, and 4GB of RAM isn’t too bad either (the iPhone 12 mini sports the same amount). 64GB of internal storage also matches the base storage option of Apple phones in 2021, so you can (in theory) use the BlackBerry KEY2 LE in 2021. Is it the best BlackBerry phone you can buy? Not really...

BlackBerry KEY2

BlackBerry KEY2
7.5

BlackBerry KEY2


The Good

  • Exceptionally long-lasting battery
  • Useful security & privacy features
  • Sharp photos captured by the camera under ideal settings
  • Tactile keyboard
  • Really fast recharge time

The Bad

  • Choppy graphics processing performance
  • $650 cost makes it tough to compete as a mid-ranger
  • Muddy image/video capture under low light
The original KEY2 or the successor of the KEYone (however you want to look at it) is also an option for nostalgia-ridden smartphone enthusiasts. There's no denying that the KEY2 looks stylish and sleek, with the iconic BlackBerry keyboard below the square-ish screen. This one has even better specs than the LE version, on par with some low-mid range phones from 2021.

The BlackBerry KEY2 packs an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC coupled with 6GB of RAM and the Adreno 512 GPU, which is almost good by 2021 standards. The Snapdragon 660 is a fairly capable SoC, and 6GB of RAM should be more than enough even by today's standards.

The KEY2 also comes with a dual-camera combo on the back, and a surprisingly good one, too! The dual 12MP cameras break down to the main sensor with f/1.8 aperture lens, 1.28 μm pixels, and a wider, 79.2-degree field of view, while the secondary camera features an f/2.6 aperture with 1.0 μm pixels and 2x optical zoom. You can record 4K videos with this phone, and also shoot panoramas, slow-motion videos, you know - modern stuff. The BlackBerry KEY2 is the best BlackBerry phone you can get at the moment.

Read More:BlackBerry KEY2 review

BlackBerry Evolve X

BlackBerry Evolve X

BlackBerry Evolve X


View full specs
The BlackBerry Evolve X is a strange device - it's almost like a KEY2 but without the hardware keyboard. You know, for people who like big screens - people of 2021. This phone mirrors the hardware specs of the KEY2 (to some extent). The same octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC ticks inside the Evolve, and the same amount of RAM can be found inside - 6GB. The 64GB of storage also matches the base option of the KEY2. 

What's different is the display. It's a 1080p LCD panel with a modern resolution and a modern pixel density of 403ppi. At 5.99-inches it's also pretty spacious. Not large by 2021 standards but bigger than most "compact" phones out there. There's a dual camera setup on the back, also very similar to the one found on the KEY2, with the exception of an extra megapixel on the ultra-wide snapper. No 4K recording here but the selfie camera is 16MP and the battery is also bigger at 4,000mAh.

The biggest drawback of this phone is that it's not quite made for the US. It will work in GSM mode with some carriers like AT&T but it's generally not advisable to try and get it if you live in the States.

BlackBerry Motion

BlackBerry Motion
8.0

BlackBerry Motion


The Good

  • Top-notch battery life
  • Waterproofing is a welcome addition
  • Reasonably attractive design
  • Powerful BB software suite

The Bad

  • Camera can be hit-and-miss
  • Cheap-feeling home button
  • Unsatisfying speaker
If you don't need a hardware keyboard but still want to flash the BlackBerry badge around, the BlackBerry Motion is your best bet. It's another phone from the past, though - so don't expect miracles. First, the model is out of production, so buying it would require dealing with scalpers and sky-high prices, and second - 3+ years phones could potentially have battery issues. Still with us? Let's soldier on then to some specs.

The BlackBerry Motion comes with a 5.5-inch Premium Anti-Scratch screen with a 1080 x 1920 resolution (FHD), which is perfectly fine even by today's standards. The Snapdragon 625 SoC is under the hood which means the Motion is equipped with an octa-core CPU and the Adreno 506 GPU. Not the fastest processor even back then, and quiet on the backfoot in 2021.

There's 4GB of RAM onboard, and guess what - Quick Charge 3.0 tech is present too. The battery will charge to 50% in just 40-minutes. You also get a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button. Not to mention the overall classy carbon-fiber look of this handset.

Read More:BlackBerry Motion review

BONUS: BlackBerry 5G 2021

The best advice we can give BlackBerry fans right now is to wait. Instead of buying 3-year old phones from scalpers just to find your romantic memories/expectations don't match reality, wait a couple of months and get a modern BlackBerry phone.

The BlackBerry 5G 2021 has been officially announced and just like every BlackBerry phone of late will focus heavily on trust and security features. Don't worry - the iconic QWERTY hardware keyboard will be present as well.

As the name suggests, 5G network connectivity will be offered as standard, pulling BlackBerry out of the black-and-white past and bringing it to the present speedy/colorful days. The new BlackBerry might be equipped with flagship-style cameras, according to the latest rumors, which will bring the price up, for sure. There are also rumors about a possible delay and pushing back the device to 2022, but these are pure speculations at the moment.

Conclusion


Ranking the best BlackBerry phones in 2021 is a tall order, especially when your pool of models is 3 years old. We can't see normal people rushing to the web in search of a BlackBerry handset but there might be a small and loyal fanbase of the iconic brand. As we stated above, it's best to wait for the BlackBerry 5G 2021, but if you're keen to surprise everyone around you with a blast from the past, there are some options. We hope the BlackBerry moniker rises from its proverbial ashes and joins the smartphone bunch of today. You know - the more, the merrier.

Also Read:

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Related phones

KEY2 LE
  • Display 4.5 inches 1620 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Dual camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 8.1 Oreo
KEY2
  • Display 4.5 inches 1620 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh
  • OS Android 8.1 Oreo
Motion

PhoneArena Score:

8.0

User Score:

9.0
  • Display 5.5 inches 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo

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