Which smartphone with a keyboard can you buy right now in 2023?

I recently told you that with great regret I sold my Blackberry Key2 on Android 8.1. Decided to make a small

a selection of smartphones with a keyboard that you can buy right now. Well, suddenly someone wants it!

Table of Contents

  • BlackBerry Key2
  • BlackBerry KEY2LE
  • Unihertz Titan, Unihertz Titan Pocket and Unihertz Titan Slim (New 2022)</ p>
    • Unihertz Titan
    • Unihertz Titan Pocket and Unihertz Titan Slim
  • Should I buy old BlackBerry models on BlackBerry OS
  • Conclusion: is there something on the horizon?

BlackBerry Key2

Several hours of searching the Internet confirmed my suspicion. This is truly the best Android smartphone with a full keyboard right now.

The good news is that smartphones have been produced in abundance. And you can still find sealed boxes.

A few tips and thoughts:

  1. As with any keyboard, you can get used to itblind printing, so, on the one hand, engraving is not required. On the other hand, it’s more difficult to get used to, since two letters in the Russian layout are tied to several keys at once.

  1. Be sure to download the LayTray app to auto-switch the language. Works like Punto Switcher.
  2. The smartphone runs on Android 8.1. There are suspicious sites on the Internet offering to upgrade to Android 10. I rummaged through a couple. This is a fake that fills the smartphone with viruses. Better not get involved.
  3. Before buying, please make sure that all the apps you need work on Android 8.1. Most likely, they will work, today, by default, everyone supports even Android 6.
  4. I'll be a little paranoid and say I shouldn'tuse Key2 as your main smartphone. Well, or, at least, you should not put banking applications there. The smartphone has not received a security patch for a long time.


  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260), Adreno 512 graphics
  • operating system: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
  • Memory: 6 GB / 64/128 GB microSD combo up to 256 GB
  • Screen: 4.5 inches, IPS LCD, 1080 x 1620 dots, 3:2 ratio, 434 ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, brightness 450 - 550 nits (Auto)
  • Battery: Li-Ion 3500 mAh, Quick Charge 3.0
  • Main camera: 12 MP (f/1.8, 1/2.3″, 1.28µm, dual-pixel PDAF) + 12 MP (f/2.6, 1.0µm, PDAF), phase detection autofocus, dual LED dual-tone flash, video recording [email protected], [email protected]
  • Camera frontal: 8 MP (f/2.0, 1.12µm), 1080p
  • SIM card: 2 Nano SIM
  • Network and data transfer: GSM 900/1800/1900, 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, EDR, A-GPS , GLONASS, BDS2, NFC, USB 3.0 Type-C 1.0
  • Sensors: fingerprint scanner (front), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass
  • Other: 3.5 mm jack, FM radio
  • Colour: black, silver
  • materials: glass, 7000 series aluminum, plastic back
  • Dimensions: 151.4 x 71.8 x 8.5 mm, 168 grams


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BlackBerry KEY2LE

Light version of BlackBerry KEY2. There is less RAM (4 GB), a 32 or 64 GB drive, a weaker chipset (Snapdragon 636).

If you need a smartphone primarily as a dialer and a typewriter, then you can safely take it.

It should be understood that BlackBerry has relativelylow screen resolution, and the screen itself is small. Such a screen does not imply that you will be cut into complex games on it. So, in general, you can ignore the chipset. Its capacity will be enough even in 2023.

The main disadvantage of the BlackBerry KEY2 LE isplastic case. The downside is that plastic still rubs faster than metal. And you should not put BlackBerry KEY2 LE into the case, as ergonomics are lost.

Unihertz Titan, Unihertz Titan Pocket and Unihertz Titan Slim (New 2022)

Unihertz Titan

We have a review of this smartphone.And it got into the selection, as it is still sold on the official website of Unihertz. They ask for 42 thousand rubles for it. Obviously, the manufacturer is trying to capitalize on a unique form factor. However, frankly, it looks like an overly brazen attempt to make money.

Main technical characteristics:

  • OS: Android 10
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio P60 quad-core Cortex A73 up to 2GHz, 4-core Cortex A53 up to 2GHz, Mali G72 MP3
  • Screen: 4.6 inches, 1430x1438 pixels, IPS LCD, 480 ppi, automatic brightness control, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM, 128 GB ROM, microSD card up to 512 GB
  • Connection: WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery: 6000 mAh
  • Main camera: 16 MP
  • Front-camera: 8 MP
  • Other: IP67 protection
  • Dimensions: 92.5 x 153.6 x 16.65 mm, weight 303 g

My claims are thatthe manufacturer, although it sells a smartphone, does not even deal with cosmetic updates. So, the smartphone has a 2018 chipset, Bluetooth 4.1 is used, for some reason a 6000 mAh battery is installed. Add a protective body kit here, and the smartphone already weighs more than 300 grams.

But the main disadvantage is the ergonomics and the keyboard.

Start by holding a 300 gram deviceonly for the lower part - this is a rather non-trivial task. And it's easy to drop, and your hands get tired quickly. The issue could be solved by making the lower part of the case heavier.

Another point is ergonomics.The Unihertz team should have measured the Blackberry Passport with a ruler, which, obviously, was taken as an ideological model. Firstly, the Unihertz keys are too close to the edges. The Passport has a bold padding. Secondly, the fourth row of keys is too low for the current weight balance of the smartphone.

The third minus is, again, incompletecopying. The keyboard on the Blackberry has a touch layer that allows you to use it as a touchpad for scrolling through Internet pages. This is useful for operating the smartphone with one hand. This, of course, is not here.

In no case do I dissuade you from buying a smartphone, but I strongly recommend holding the device in your hands for at least half an hour.


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Unihertz Titan Pocket and Unihertz Titan Slim

This device is also sold on the official website, but for 39,990 rubles.

Main technical characteristics:

  • OS: Android 11
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio P70 Octa Core 2.1GHz.
  • Pocket screen: 3.1 inches, IPS LCD, 716×720 dots, GORILLA GLASS 5.0
  • Slim's screen: 4.2 inches, IPS LCD, 768 x 1280 resolution
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM, 128 GB ROM, microSD card up to 512 GB
  • Connection: WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery: 4000 mAh (SLIM has 4100 mAh)
  • Pocket main camera: 16 MP
  • Main camera Slim: 48 MP
  • Front-camera: 8 MP
  • Dimensions: 73.2 x 132.5 x 16.8 mm, weight 216 g (Slim - 67.4 x 146.4 x 12.35 mm, weight 204 g)

First, a few words about the Titan Pocket.

I had a chance to hold a smartphone in my hands. And I rarely allow myself such categorical statements, but I strongly recommend that you bypass the smartphone.

From the smartphone there is a feeling that it was madean enthusiast, and he did it on his knee according to the principle "and so it will do." Probably inspired by the Blackberry Bold or Classic series. But at the same time, they never held a smartphone in their hands. Yes, they didn’t even see a video with him, a maximum gif in the format of 128 by 128 pixels. So there is no question of ergonomics.

The second mistake is a 720x720 screen.Yes, the screen size is only 3 inches, which already makes it impossible even for ... yes, for everything! But even with such a miniature screen, HD resolution is inappropriate. A high resolution would give the picture the proper level of clarity and sharpness...

Despite the name Pocket, that is, “pocket”, the smartphone is still big and thick, so I, for example, have no place for it in my pocket.

It is strange that the phone does not have water protection. Only protection against falls, which, in fact, he does not need, since the form factor of the smartphone even BlackBerry Key2 makes it quite resistant to falls.

Now let's talk about TitanSlim.

This smartphone is very similar to the BlackBerry Key2.And this is the 2022 model. However, it works on Android 11. And, frankly, I’m not sure what Android 12 will receive. Although in theory I would like to, given that the smartphone costs 45 thousand rubles.

An interesting point is that the back panel is made of glass, but the kit includes a case that imitates Key2.

I didn’t hold a smartphone in my hands, so I can’t say anything about ergonomics. But when viewing photos, questions arise about the thickness of the device.

And I emphasize that, despite the similarity with the Blackberry Key2, the screen in Titan Slim is smaller (4.1 inches versus 4.5) and the resolution is only HD, not Full HD.

Should I buy old BlackBerry models on BlackBerry OS

On "Avito" you can easily find older BlackBerry,some are even in excellent condition. And when you look at the price of the same Unihertz, you may even want to buy an elderly BlackBerry Passport for 8-10 rubles.

However, one must be careful here, becauseBlackBerry OS is a legacy system and is not supported. For example, Microsoft Office no longer works, WhatsApp seems to work, Telegram has not been updated since 2018 either. Judging by the owners forum, many (even the simplest) tasks become a difficult quest on the BlackBerry Passport. And the phone turns from a means of communication into a tricky toy that you can buy just to pamper yourself, but certainly not as a work device.

Conclusion: is there something on the horizon?

I do not want to bring sad news, but, unfortunately, no new interesting devices are planned. Yes, and those for which the whole world collected money (such as Astro Slide 5G Transformer) have sunk into oblivion.

Also in unclear status is the FXTEC Pro1 X, which was supposed to hit the market at the end of this month (February 2023). The website is blank and there is no information.

The device promises a choice of 3 operating systems -Ubuntu Touch, Android or LineageOS. But a couple of years have passed since the announcement, and the claimed Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chipset raises doubts about its professional suitability ...

Probably, indeed, in the modern world there is noplaces for smartphones with keyboards. Yes, and virtual keyboards are a thing of the past. For example, lately I have been using voice input more and more, and the same keyboard from Yandex quite successfully guesses intonations and places punctuation marks ...