KEY2: The iconic BlackBerry gets a new keyboard and dual cameras

Alfred Osborne
June 10, 2018

BlackBerry has launched BlackBerry KEY2 smartphone with Snapdragon 660 processor and dual cameras on the rear. Now, if the original KEYone from a year ago moved you with its one-of-its-kind nostalgic physical QWERTY and BlackBerry's push for a safe and secure software ecosystem, the KEY2 will quite literally blow your minds with everything that it's bringing to the table.

"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. The keys are arranged in a free pattern with a matte finish.

On the design front, the device sports Series 7 aluminum alloy frame with textured diamond grip non-slip back. 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. The powerful mid-range chipset will be coupled with 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of onboard storage. The company claims that the Speed Key can be pressed along with any of the customizable 52 shortcuts to access frequently used apps instantly, call a contact marked as favorite, and more. Both the versions will be expandable by up to 256GB via a micro-SD card slot. The brand new handset features the same physical QWERTY keyboard, but with a slightly improved design. BlackBerry KEY2 is priced at $690 (Rs 43,800 approximately).

New on the KEY2 is a speed key which works like a Function key. It will also be the company's first smartphone to feature a dual-camera setup on the front. Android Central noted that one of the exciting details about the upcoming BlackBerry KEY2 is the fact that it will not join the "notch" bandwagon.

As had been discussed through leaks, the BlackBerry KEY² looks a lot like its predecessor and is a continuation of the KEYone in many aspects if not all.

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The Key2 packs in a respectable 3,500 mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support.

On the Blackberry KeyOne, there was an option to configure any key to launch any app.

The BlackBerry Key2 will retail in the United Kingdom for £579, with U.S. prices yet to be announced.

In terms of connectivity, the BlackBerry Key2 will support Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band, Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, USB Type-C, USB OTG, DP through Type-C port, FM radio, NFC, and 4G VoLTE.

The KEY² as expected runs on Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box and will be seeded with monthly security updates by Google since the device comes under the Android Enterprise Recommended initiative.

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