BlackBerry KeyOne Hands On-BlackBerry wants $549 for mid-range device

BlackBerry KeyOne Hands On-BlackBerry wants $549 for mid-range device

"Impressively created to be distinctly different, the BlackBerry KEYone reimagines how we communicate by offering unmatched productivity and the world's most secure Android smartphone experience", said Nicolas Zibell, CEO for TCL Communication in unveiling the device.

BlackBerry and TCL just finished officially announcing the new BlackBerry KeyOne. We've already seen the beginnings of this with the DTEK line, but the KeyOne looks like the last "BlackBerry" BlackBerry phone.

On the plus side, web pages and apps look great when you're typing in them - the KeyOne's physical keyboard takes up less room than the pop-up ones you get on exclusively touchscreen phones, meaning less of the page gets obscured by the keys. As expected, there's a 4.5-inch touchscreen with a 1620 x 1080-pixel resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio. It sports an 8-megapixel front facing camera featuring f2.2, 1.125um pixel size and 84-degree wide angle/field of view lens. There is also a decent sized 3,505 mAh battery along with Quick Charge 3.0 support; additionally, BlackBerry touts a "Boost mode" for charging speeds, although this merely consists of turning on Power Saving mode when the device is charging. 3GB of RAM is included, along with 32GB of storage; there's also a microSD slot to expand that. As for the BlackBerry KEYone, we'll have a full review of the phone once it becomes available in a couple months.

The keyboard found on the KEYone also comes with a few tricks up its sleeve. The haptic feedback that a physical keyboard produces is impossible to achieve with a virtual one.

Earlier today, TCL unveiled its new premium Android handset, the BlackBerry KEYone.

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The new KeyOne comes with a textured black plastic back and the frame is rounded, giving it a comfortable in-hand feel, and the volume rocker and Convenience Key are low down, and easy to reach.

Surprise! BlackBerry is still at it, coming out with smartphone after smartphone, despite being overshadowed by everyone.

BlackBerry KEYone runs Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and features BlackBerry Hub, with security and encryption features.

In addition to entering text, the KEYone's physical keyboard can be used for shortcuts to your favorites contacts and apps, and you flick predictive text up onto the KEYone's screen. Apart from Blackberry smartphones, the company also manufactures and sells the TCL and Alcatel branded smartphones. But this is a modernized version, with programmable keys that can provide up to 52 shortcuts. With all these decent specifications, the device is said to cost around €599 / £499 / $549 (approx Rs. 40,000). What they don't mention as frequently is that this is within the context of doing these things well as a BlackBerry, which really does limit the KeyOne's marketability, yet simultaneously constitutes its biggest strength.

BlackBerry worked closely with TCL to build security into the new device, said Alex Thurber, the general manager of BlackBerry's mobility solutions unit.