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BlackBerry KeyOne screen pops right off during bend test

According to tests by CNET and others, the new phone's screen doesn't seem as durable as it could be.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

After about a week on the market, BlackBerry's big comeback phone, the KeyOne, faces a stiffer challenge than just convincing people physical keys are cool again. 

It might have trouble simply holding together, according to some user reports, a YouTube bend test and now CNET's own tests.

A durability test from YouTube channel JerryRigEverything first reported the apparent issue:

Unlike most phones, says the video, the screen on the KeyOne seems to be held to the phone without adhesives. An aggressive bending of the phone popped it right off. Users on a BlackBerry forum also report the screen becoming detached after minor drops. 

Update: CNET's extreme tests pop the screen too

Blackberry KeyOne drop test screen fail

Rigorous tests by CNET popped the KeyOne's screen.

Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

CNET's review of the KeyOne is still in progress, but once we heard about this issue we tried to replicate it with our review sample. 

After some pretty extreme tests -- dropping the phone ten different times on carpet and then on wood, and bending it forcibly four times -- the screen did finally pop off (right).

A representative from Alcatel, which manufactures the phone, has not responded to a request for comment. Alcatel is owned by China's TCL, best known for making televisions. 

Once one of the world's top two phone makers, the BlackBerry name has dwindled in the past decade. Its last few devices failed to make a positive impression, and BlackBerry itself got out of the phone business, licensing the name to partners like Alcatel. The KeyOne promises something unique: a premium Android phone with a QWERTY keyboard bolted to the bottom part of the phone.

The KeyOne faces steep competition against more established players, such as Samsung's Galaxy S8LG's G6 and Google's Pixel, but in this case, the keyboard will be the deciding factor for most.

Updated 12:08 PM PT with CNET testing.