What is your life worth to you? How about the lives of your spouse, kids or significant other? Before there was an iPhone, smartphones were largely defined by three things: 1. A focus on business and communications, 2. Battery life measured in days and not hours, and 3. A keyboard which you could blind type on. This last turned out to be extremely important because, with the keyboard and some practice, you could do things like drive and text and generally not kill yourself. But screen phones like the iPhone require far more attention and now a whopping 3,000 kids die, and 300,000 are injured each year because they can’t put the damn phone down when they drive.
Your kid is now more likely to get killed by texting than by drinking, and – just like with drunk drivers – they may be killed even if they aren’t the one behaving badly as a passenger in a car being driven by someone texting or because they were hit by one of those distracted drivers. Where I live, a guy took out an entire bus of folks while texting.
Now I’m not saying that anyone should text while driving even with a BlackBerry, but apparently folks can’t seem to resist. Short of taking away their phones and breaking their fingers, the best path would seem to be to go back to a design that was safer to use.
Let’s lead with safety but talk about why the KEYone BlackBerry phone is better than the coming iPhone 8.
The new iPhone is rumored to be priced at a whopping $1,200. For that kind of money I’d expect it to do house chores. As amazing as it is likely to be, I doubt it will do that. The US Version of the KEYone is priced at $550 unlocked on Amazon. If you have two kids you could buy them both new phones for the price of the new Apple and still have money to take your spouse out to a nice dinner with a couple drinks. It uses Qualcomm’s 625 solution for connectivity which, thanks to Apple’s suing Qualcomm, Apple likely won’t be able to use or will cripple it if they follow past practices so connectivity (kind of important on a smartphone) will be better.
Unlike an iPhone where everyone and their brother has one, there aren’t a ton of KEYone phones in the market. In fact, one of the leading complaints is that they sold out fast – making it likely you’ll be the only person in the room using one. If you value being unique and not being one of the crowd, the KEYone will remain far more unique and exclusive than the iPhone.
While we don’t know how long the new iPhone batteries will last, typically an iPhone is lucky to make it a full day. The KEYone will go two days and it has the Qualcomm fast charge 3.0 technology, meaning if you just have a few minutes with power you can very rapidly recharge it. In addition, the physical keyboard isn’t just safer to use, it is massively faster than a screen keyboard. While I wouldn’t type the great American novel on it, if you tend to be wordy it’ll save you a ton of time and missed typing aggravation.
Typically, iOS is more secure than the Android OS that runs on the KEYone, but Android on the KEYone is wrapped with DTEK which is BlackBerry’s proprietary technology for securing the phone and protecting against root kits. This exposure exists for iPhones as well, and once a phone has been compromised – be it iOS or Android – you are basically screwed because root kits are very hard to find and typically can only be removed by imaging the phone since they reside under the OS. BlackBerry resides under Android which means the KEYone is uniquely secure (which is why BlackBerry’s are preferred by governments).
Now I have no issue texting while driving, I can put the phone down and not pick it up again until I’m parked. But a lot of folks, and kids are easily distracted and for them the choice likely should be the KEYone or no smartphone (and, given the number of deaths, were I a parent, I’d seriously consider the latter.
But to me safety, value, exclusivity, productivity, and security trump a stunning screen, attractive case, and maybe a few better features tied to entertainment. I can’t enjoy any smartphone if I’m dead or crippled so I chose the KEYone, and maybe you should as well.