Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

BlackBerry KEY2 With Dual Cameras, QWERTY Keyboard Launched: Price, Specifications, Features

BlackBerry KEY2 With Dual Cameras, QWERTY Keyboard Launched: Price, Specifications, Features

The new device, which includes a physical keyboard under a 4.5 inch screen and runs the Android operating system updates the first BlackBerry Key released a year ago.

Depending on how you feel about the physical keyboard, you've been looking forward to this day for a while: TCL just officially announced the BlackBerry Key2.

There's a new BlackBerry smartphone, the latest effort to revive the once-dominant brand. The soft-touch back has a new diamond pattern, which is easier to grip.

BlackBerry says the KEY2 will arrive later this month for $649, making it $100 more expensive than last year's KeyOne at launch. The promise is more accuracy and fewer typos.

Also new on the KEY2 is the Speed Key.

The KEY2 also introduced the new Speed Key - a shortcut key that gives users instant access to the apps, contact and functions they use the most. TCL is using them for portrait mode photography along with a lossless zoom - here it's called the "Optical Superzoom" - but the claim is also better auto white balance and faster autofocus, along with improvements in image stabilization. The QWERTY still supports touch-gestures like scrolling and Flick Typing for predictive texting, as also 52 app shortcuts via short and long press. On the front, the smartphone gets an 8-megapixel fixed focus with screen flash and full-HD video recording. This flagship will keep the 3.5 mm audio jack and will have 3,500 mAh battery with QC 3.0.

Other notable details include support for Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 tech, a built-in microSD card slot for expandable storage, and a big focus on in-UI (the KEY2 runs a version of Android 8.1 Oreo) privacy features like private folders that prevent their contents from being backed up and uploaded to the cloud, and a private web browser that doesn't track browsing activity. The promise is up to two days of battery life; the KEY2 charges via USB-C.

What's different is a minimum of 64 GB of storage space. Anything saved in them won't be uploaded to the cloud, even if you have an app like Google Photos set to backup automatically, and you can only open the folders by scanning your fingerprint.

Chinese electronics maker TCL Corp. on Thursday launched a high-end smartphone in the United States that it developed with BlackBerry Ltd. of Waterloo, Ont., touting security and privacy features to distinguish it from other devices. From the listing below, we are getting the Dual-SIM version (BBF100-6) which is good news.

The BlackBerry KEY2 will cost about AED2,399 ($649). The Key2 will retail in silver and black, and while the fresh, simplified shape does the device a lot of favors, I expect the sleek and stealthy darker colorway to be a hit with the BlackBerry faithful.

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