Choosing the best mobile phone
Which BlackBerry mobile phone should I buy?
By Callum Tennent
Article 5 of 5
Few brands suffered as greatly as BlackBerry when mobile phones turned smart. The old favourite is far from gone, though, with a variety of handsets still available for you to choose from – but should you? Our guide can help.
You probably fall into one of two camps when it comes to BlackBerry: a loyalist who would never dream of leaving the iconic brand behind, or someone surprised to hear that it still even exists. Either way, there are plenty of models for you to consider. Read on to find out which BlackBerry is best for you.
A ubiquitous, dominant force in the mobile phone market 15 years ago, BlackBerry fell way, way behind with the advent of the smartphone. Its two main selling points, BlackBerry Messenger (or BBM) and a physical Qwerty keyboard, were quickly forgotten thanks to apps such as WhatsApp and the transition to virtual on-screen keyboards.
It never lost hope, though, and has continued to produce a surprisingly wide range of handsets on a regular basis in the years since. If you're still keen for a physical keyboard, then there are options for you. Alternatively, if you want a more traditional Android handset with some signature BlackBerry touches, then you're also catered to. Unbeknown to many, BlackBerry may actually be the most varied brand on the market right now.
Below we reveal the most popular BlackBerry mobile phones and how they scored in our test lab. Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Want to see what else is on test? Follow the link for all our mobile phone reviews.
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The BlackBerry Key2 mobile phone aims to form a bridge between worlds, combining fan-favourite BlackBerry design with Android accessibility and features. With some big specs, and a big price tag to match, is the Key2 the handset fans have been waiting for? We sent it to our mobile phone test lab to find out.
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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of November 2018.
How much do BlackBerry mobile phones cost?
Unlike most manufacturers, whose smartphones go off sale within two or three years, BlackBerry still has some handsets available that were originally released from as far back as 2012.
Brand new, top-of-the-line BlackBerry devices are undoubtedly expensive, but compared with the absolute priciest on the market, they're much more reasonable. You'll be spending between £500 and £600 rather than £1,000.
If you're happy to go for an older handset, then you'll be rewarded with some substantial savings. There's a number of models now available for less than £100 – a figure former flagships from other brands can rarely hit.
Models containing BlackBerry's famous mechanical keyboard tend to be a little bit more expensive when newly released. Bear in mind that every new model now has either a touchscreen or a combination of touchscreen and mechanical keyboard. There's no recent option for anyone wanting a truly old-school experience.
BlackBerry seems to be moving away from BBOS and fully embracing Android, too. Your choices will be limited if you want a newer BBOS handset, but there are still some distinct BlackBerry touches on the Android models, including the popular BlackBerry Hub.
Want to save even more money? Take a look at our guide to buying a refurbished or used mobile phone.
What to look for when choosing a BlackBerry mobile phone
There are a few things to think about when deciding which BlackBerry to opt for. Here’s our shortlist of what to consider:
- Shape and size BlackBerry handsets are uniquely shaped thanks to the keyboard located underneath the screen. This naturally means they're often a fair bit wider than most other smartphones. Alternatively, you could go for a model without a keyboard for a more compact, familiar experience. You won't find a display any larger than 5.5 inches, and some square-screened handsets have displays as small as 4.5 inches.
- Storage space In a refreshing change from most other manufacturers' handsets, every single BlackBerry has a micro-SD card slot, so you needn't worry about storage.
- Speed Power has never been the brand's focus, but it's learning to catch up to the competition. The latest releases have an abundance of Ram to ensure that you can multitask efficiently, although if you're after the biggest and best processors, then you'll probably want to look elsewhere. Even the best BlackBerry handsets use more mid-range chips.
- Cameras Once again, with the company's focus on capturing the business end of the market, it's never put as much effort into its cameras as its rivals. Pleasingly, there are signs of that changing, though – the Key2 even has a dual rear-facing camera.
Do any BlackBerry mobile phones make our favourites list? Find out in our top five best smartphones guide.