BlackBerry KEY2 with QWERTY keyboard, dual rear cameras launched

BlackBerry KEY2 with QWERTY keyboard, dual rear cameras launched


Smartphone manufacturer TCL Communication has announced the launch of the new BlackBerry KEY2, which is set to begin shipping in the UAE later this month for 2,399 AED. BlackBerry claims this will make it easier to open new apps while one is already opened, rather than having to return to the launch screen.

The new smartphone is an upgrade to BlackBerry KEYOne which was launched past year.

BlackBerry Key2 is official, and this device continues to feature its USP of a physical keyboard, which makes the the phones stand-out from other Android devices in market. At $649, this is an overpriced phone, and if you care about specifications, $529 gets you a OnePlus 6 with nearly all the high-end specs you want in a premium phone.

Being a successor to the KEYOne, the BlackBerry KEY2 does look similar to its predecessor. The display is of 4.5-inch (Gorilla Glass protection) 1080 x 1620px IPS LCD, with a Snapdragon 660 chipset. The 3:2 aspect ratio is mainly because the smartphone will have a physical keyboard making it a large device to hold.

In terms of build, the BlackBerry KEY2 features a Series 7 aluminium frame for extra durability along with a textured "diamond grip" back that prevents the phone from slipping off your hands by providing a better grip. Speaking about the innards, the BlackBerry KEY2 is powered by Snapdragon 660 SoC which is mated to 6 GB RAM. The secondary camera is a 12MP (50°) sensor with f/2.6 aperture, 1.0um pixel size, and Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF).

The rear camera set-up consists of two 12MP lenses, coupled with a 8MP front-facing camera.

The new dual main camera (12 + 12 MP) supports recording video in 4K (30 fps). The storage can be expanded up to 2TB with a microSD card. BlackBerry's new smartphone will be the first phone in their portfolio to sport a dual camera setup. Providing juice is a huge 3,500 mAh battery which supports Quick Charge 3.0. A headphone jack serves for audio output alongside a loudspeaker.

In a year when most Android phones are hard to distinguish from each other, the BlackBerry Key2 does at least offer something different - its keyboard, security protections and impressive battery life will certainly appeal to a certain niche of users, but how big that niche is remains to be seen. The leys have also been arranged in a new fret pattern to optimise spacing. It can serve as a trackpad and has a fingerprint sensor embedded in the space bar. The keyboard also works like a trackpad, just like last year's KeyOne. It also has a USB Type-C port on the bottom. To try and tempt you in, BlackBerry has added a new "Speed" shortcut key for quickly launching apps and other phone features.

  • Terrell Bush