After several teasers and leaks, the BlackBerry KEY2 has finally been launched by TLC and it seems that the company has taken everything that was not ‘that right’ with the KeyOne and have refined it for the BlackBerry KEY2. That said, while rumors were suggesting that the QWERTY-keypad smartphone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC under the hood, the BlackBerry KEY2 comes with a Snapdragon 660 processor, which seems a little underpowered for a smartphone at this range, however, you should know that this not just any ordinary mid-range flagship as the said SoC can work wonders for the BlackBerry KEY2.
On the other hand, when it comes to the design, this is where Blackberry KEY2 comes with the major updates including a dual rear camera setup and the ‘Speed Key’ which lets users launch apps by just pressing the key. For instance, you can set it up the in a manner that “F” opens up the Facebook app. Then when you press ‘F’, while holding onto the speed key, the Facebook app opens. This can be done for any app and with any of the 52 keys on the physical keyboard.
The QWERTY keyboard means the BlackBerry Key2 isn’t just a typical flagship, however, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t endow the feel premium. The smartphone features a metal frame which feels about as solid as any Apple or Samsung handset, while the rear has a grippy soft touch finish. All in all, this feels more luxurious as well as less fragile in comparison to the trendy glass backs. The Blackberry Key2 looks a lot like its predecessor, however, the company has slimmed down the top bezel while making space for slightly wider keys. On the other hand, the navigation buttons present on top of the keyboard are now backlit, so they disappear when not in use, which makes the screen look even bigger.
The spacebar, on the other hand, still doubles up as a camera shutter key as well as the fingerprint sensor. The Key2 also lets users use the entire keyboard as a touchpad that can be used for scrolling web pages. With the new smartphone, users also get gesture support on the keyboard in order to scroll through pages.
Some of the BlackBerry Key2’s major and interesting updates are found in its security apps, a department, where Blackberry has always been unbeatable. While three new security apps have been launched namely, Dtek, Locker, and Power Center, they will also be rolled out to the KeyOne. The Dtek feature, apart from being able to offer information related to your operating system as well as security, can now tell you about the permissions each app has received while also detecting if an app is acting strangely.
The Locker mode, on the other hand, came to the KeyOne last December, and now it will come with the BlackBerry Key2 preinstalled. In addition to being a one-stop solution for users to store all fingerprint-protected private photos as well as files, it’s also a hub for users to store private apps along with options to access Firefox Focus, which is Mozilla’s private browser.
Last but not the least, there is the Power Center which will learn your charging habits and if it figures out that you usually charge your smartphone at 10 PM every night and if you skip a night, it will automatically warn you and tell you how much time is left for you before your smartphone is low on battery backup.
Coming to the cameras, the Blackberry Key2 features dual 12-megapixel cameras, where one sensor comes with an aperture of f/1.8 and the other with a f/2.6, offering features such as Portrait Mode and faster autofocus. At the front, there is an 8-megapixel camera which supports slow-motion and panorama modes along with the ability to record 1080p video at 30 fps. While these camera specs rival way more expensive flagships such as the iPhone 8 Plus, they fall slightly short as compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the S9-duo’s lower aperture lenses.
BlackBerry KEY2 Specifications
- 4.5-inch full-HD IPS LCD (1620 x 1080 pixels) display with 3:2 aspect ratio, 433 PPI, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
- 64-bit Octa Core Snapdragon 660 SoC clocked at 1.8GHz and coupled with Adreno 512 GPU for graphics
- 6GB of RAM and 64GB / 128GB of internal storage, expandable up to 2TB via microSD card
- 4-row Physical QWERTY backlit keypad with capacitive touch
- Android 8.1 (Oreo) out of the box
- Hybrid dual SIM support (nano + nano / microSD)
- 12-megapixel primary rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, dual-tone LED Flash, 1.14µm pixel size, Dual PDAF, 79.3-degree wide-angle lens and a 12-megapixel secondary rear camera with 1.0µm pixel size, f/2.6 aperture, and 50-degree lens
- 8-megapixel front-facing camera with slow-motion, panorama modes and 1080p video support at 30 fps
- Fingerprint sensor embedded in the space bar and a ‘Speed Key’ to launch apps
- 3.5mm audio jack, Dual microphones, HD audio and FM Radio
- 3360mAh non-removable battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 offering 25 hours worth of juice with mixed usage.
- Dimensions: 151.4×71.8×8.5mm and Weight: 168 grams
- 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5 LE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4 & 5 GHz), GPS / GLONASS, USB 3.0 Type-C Support and NFC.
BlackBerry KEY2 Price And Availability
The BlackBerry KEY2 will be available in Black and Silver colour options and its price starts at $649 (Rs. 43,520 roughly) in the U.S, €649 (Rs. 51,200 roughly) in Europe, £579 (Rs. 52,122 roughly) in the UK and $829 (Rs. 42,920 roughly) in Canada. The BlackBerry KEY2 will begin to be shipped globally starting from this month.