CLEO Tries Out The Blackberry Key2 And Mi A2 And Here Are The Honest Reviews

Here's a look at some Android underdogs that might fit your needs and/or your budget.

Living in a world that’s flooded by Androids, I do have to admit that I do enjoy staying in my iOs “bubble”. As someone who’s only familiar with one phone, navigating the world of the Androids does get a little overwhelming. “You’re a noob, that’s why,” you may say. It’s true. There are just too many types, phones, variations, updates.

Call it decision fatigue — too much choice and my mind bends in upon itself. So when the team came across these two particular new releases in the Android market, I figured, let’s give them a whirl. There’s always a first time for everything!

There were two of them: The Mi A2, and the Blackberry Key2.

Why these two, you ask? As a person who does have overchoice issues, I wanted to see how the underdogs fared. Because obviously, the super-famous Huaweis and Samsungs are market leaders and will surely promise performance. People associate themselves with the underdog because sometimes it is difficult to identify with the winner since people generally don’t win all of the time.

Surely, there’s always a phone to fit any person or their needs and/or budget. Off the bat? We were impressed by them in certain respects, and wished there were some improvements in others. Here are simple breakdowns of the phones for you to consider if you ever needed a new purchase or a back-up.

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blackberry key2

The comeback king: Blackberry just realised their Key2 earlier this year

Release Date: July 2018

Price at Nov 2018: RM2,599

When you tote this around, you’ll get comments about how people didn’t realise Blackberry still made phones. While they’re not making phones for the Instagrammy world that we live in, a great deal of corporate people (business people and entrepreneurs included) can benefit from a Blackberry. It’s meant to be a powerhouse for work on the go.

An alternate view.

What you will like:
– This phone can perform functions just like your PC (eg download files from WeTransfer) and the tactile QWERTY keyboard means you can do emails and long messages on-the-go. I for one liked that.

– Its fingerprint detector on the space bar is quick and efficient, and encrypting and redacting functions keep important content away from prying eyes.

– We did like the changing backgrounds so every time you look at your phone, it’s another eye-catching image.

What you won’t like:
– The camera quality is OK, but not fantastic. It did help me and worked great in a pinch.

– Because of the screen dimensions that’s smaller than regular smartphones which are edge-to-edge and 9:16, watching and taking Insta-Stories are affected. Whatever you post will be cropped/garbled

– We also noticed some ads within its own  apps which is strange — because you’ve already paid for the phone and shouldn’t be a target for their advertisers.

– Navigating certain parts of the phone (such as the photo? gallery?) was not so straightforward. We found two different gallery apps and one wasn’t linked to the other.

Hit play to see what we think worked/didn’t work:


The Blackberry Key2 while a powerhouse for work and emails on-the-go (making remote and travel-work entirely seamless), it lacks points for picture quality. But then again, you would never buy a Blackberry for updating your ‘Gram. It’s for you to level up at work and make you great again. Another thing to consider is its relatively high price so we would reserve this for a more corporate arena.

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