BlackBerry is back: But sorry, it's atrocious
MILLENNIALS across the globe lost their minds when it was announced the iconic, nostalgia-evoking Nokia 3310 was getting a 'modern day' overhaul.
In what could only be described as a ploy to create a similar hype for middle-aged white men, a 2017 version of the BlackBerry has been released on the crowded smartphone market.
Once the leading manufacturer in the world, BlackBerry sold more than 15 million smartphones every three months.
Then came the rise of Apple, Samsung, Huawei and other smartphone brands, which forced one the most iconic products of the internet era to fade off into obscurity.
Poor old BlackBerry saw the writing on the wall and announced it would be shifting its focus to software, with development outsourced to partners.
Feeling there was still a lust for a keyboard-toting smartphone in the modern world, Chinese TV manufacturer TCL stepped up to the plate and created the BlackBerry-branded KEYone.
The KEYone features BlackBerry's iconic 35-button backlit Qwerty keyboard, a 4.5-inch touchscreen, Google Android software and a 12-megapixel camera.
If this doesn't sound like the most appealing design for a smartphone you are obviously not one of my dad's suit-wearing, golf-playing buddies. You are also correct.
While atrocity might seem like a harsh noun to use, its definition of a "highly unpleasant or distasteful object" could not fit device more perfectly.
The KEYone blends the old with the new and has a physical keyboard and 4.5-inch touchscreen, which is outlined in a silver anodised aluminium frame and backed with a dimpled, soft-touch plastic rear.
Gorilla Glass covers the front of the device, while a thick, industrial designed top bezel is home to a pill-shaped ambient light sensor and front camera.
One of the few features I do love about the design is the fact the fingerprint scanner has been cleverly combined with space bar of the keyboard.
However impressive, the novelty of this feature is not enough to justify sacrificing a big screen for the purpose of a physical keyboard.
From my perspective, I find the concept of a physical keyboard to be outdated and highly impractical given touchscreens offer a faster, easier to navigate and more versatile experience.
Sure, the BlackBerry allows any of the buttons to be programmed as a shortcut, but this comes at the expense of the entertainment value that comes with owning a smartphone.
As mentioned earlier, the phone has resized the display to 4.5-inches to make room for the keyboard, which is the opposite to the bezeless displays companies now work toward.
Unfortunately, the square, small screen doesn't always adjust to a 1620 x 1080 resolution, which means some apps act as if the keyboard isn't there and cut off.
As an example of this butchered display is the big black bars around that 16:9 videos played on the 3:2 ratio screen - something not seen since Apple's 2011, iPhone 4S.
Snapchats and Instagram stories are also cut off by the screen, while Twitter will only show one or two tweets at a time - it all makes for a very uncomfortable experience.
For someone who fell in love with the screen size and quality of the Samsung S8, the BlackBerry doesn't even come close to hitting the mark.
The USB-C chairing port is a welcomed feature, while the 3505mAh battery is more than enough for a whole day of moderate usage.
With only 32GB of storage, it is likely users will need to expand with a MicroSD.
The phone runs on 7.1.1 Nougat and offers access to all of the Google Play Store apps, while also maintaining a BlackBerry twist.
BlackBerry Hub combines notifications into one streamlined location, with the option for deep customisation.
One thing the BlackBerry has managed to nail is the security features it has long been known for.
The DTEK security app frequently monitors your device's security status level, offers a rating and keep track of vulnerabilities.
I will admit I was too young to ever be the target market for the original BlackBerry and even though I am now an older-professional, I still can't see the appeal of this device.
I like the optimism behind this play, but ultimately feel, just like So Fresh: The Hits of Summer 2007, some things are better left in the past.