First look at BlackBerry Key2 smartphone - All Hands on Tech

Sheri Evans
June 10, 2018

According to reports, the BlackBerry KEY2 will cost $649 in the United States, which is $100 more expensive than the KEYone.

"BlackBerry KEY2 is both slimmer and lighter than the BlackBerry KEYOne, has a larger 4.5-inch display that's almost edge-to-edge and has a larger physical keyboard", the Business Insider reported on Thursday. Also, there is a new feature called Speed Key, which lets you set customisable shortcuts to instantly access apps, contacts, and functions.

BlackBerry Key2 will be available for pre-order in select markets like US, China, UAE in June, while its global launch will begin in early July.

The KEY2 is packing a newer Snapdragon 660 CPU with 6GB of RAM, which should offer some significant performance improvements over the previous iteration.

BlackBerry KEY2 is wrapped in Corning's Gorilla Glass with the textured back panel in two colour options of black and silver.

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Running the latest Android 8.1 Oreo operating system, the BlackBerry KEY2 is the first ever BlackBerry smartphone to feature a dual-rear camera, it added. On the front, the smartphone gets an 8-megapixel fixed focus with screen flash and full-HD video recording. BlackBerry also teased it'll be available on carriers and sim-free.

The BlackBerry KEY2 is powered by the Snapdragon 660 processor with 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage.

And now, as promised earlier, BlackBerry at an event in NY has announced successor to the KEYOne - dubbed BlackBerry KEY2.

BlackBerry partner TCL Communication, which bought the rights to manufacture and distribute BlackBerry smartphones in 2016, is trying to reignite the once popular brand and wants to corner the market of people that still find a physical keyboard useful. The phone has a 12 MP (f/1.8, dual PDAF) + 12 MP (f/2.6, PDAF) cameras along with a dual tone LED flash. Sensors onboard the handset include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, hall effect sensor, fingerprint sensor (on spacebar key), magnetometer, and proximity sensor. This storage can be expanded upon by pairing it with a microSD card of up to 256GB. The handset shares a lot of similarities with the handset it is replacing, last year's BlackBerry KeyOne, but with a few key changes that BlackBerry hopes will justify a higher price tag. There's a 3500 mAh battery inside that supports Quick Charge through the USB-C port.

Sitting above the keyboard is a good-looking, 4.5-inch LCD screen and this has been pushed further up to make room for the larger keys. While it may be challenging for BlackBerry to convince buyers to buy the KEY2 when OnePlus 6 offers a much greater worth, it is banking on the uniqueness of KEY2 to succeed.

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