Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

BlackBerry KEY2 promises to be "the most secure Android smartphone"

BlackBerry KEY2 promises to be

Licensing partner, TCL Communications, has unveiled its "most advanced" BlackBerry yet - the new KEY2 (US$649). The height of the keys has been increased by 20 percent making them easier to press and the entire keyboard now comes with a matte finish making it less slippery, according to Android Police.

The Speed Key works with any of the other 52 keys to launch customisable shortcuts calling up an app, a contact or another feature.

The BlackBerry Key2 will go on sale globally in June itself starting at $649 in the United States, £579 in the UK, €649 in Europe, and $829 in Canada. BlackBerry KEY2 has a redesigned intelligent keyboard along with a 4.5-inch touch display with 1620 x 1080 IPS LCD protected by 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass.

In a similar manner as the original, BlackBerry has opted to not use the most powerful processor possible, but use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 combined with 6GB of RAM.

TCL has continued where it left off on the KEYone a year ago with the KEY2 which comes with a familiar design tweaked at places where it matters, dual cameras, an improved chipset with the right kind of specifications and the traditional keyboard with keys that are 20-percent larger than the ones on its predecessor. This dual camera system offers the usual portrait depth mode as well as the ability to enable a 2x optical zoom without losing any detail.

Having said that, the physical QWERTY keyboard on the BlackBerry KEY2 comes with some improvements over the KEYOne. The KEY2 is a direct successor to last year's KEYone and retains the same general design while offering upgraded specs across the board.

While the BlackBerry KEYOne sported a single camera at the back, the BlackBerry KEY2 boasts a dual camera setup on its back.

Under the hood, there is the high-powered mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC along with 6 GB RAM. There's 4K HDR video recording at 30fps, and Google Lens integration.

The fingerprint reader is also embedded in the keyboard's space bar, there's an included 3.5mm headphone jack up top, and a 3500mAh battery. This new button functions as a shortcut key for a number of functions on the handset.

BlackBerry said the KEY2's keyboard will make typing on the go "more immediate and effortless". While this is more costly than last year's KeyOne, you are getting a lot of phone for the money. Quick Charge 3.0 can get the battery from zero to 50 per cent in 36 minutes. The KEY2 also runs Android 8.1 Oreo and comes with BlackBerry's DTEK security suite. It'll be interesting to see BlackBerry's pricing strategy in India if and when it launches the KEY2 here.

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