Blackberry is at all times on the high of its sport when it sticks to what it is aware of greatest — security-focused telephones with QWERTY keyboards. The Blackberry KeyOne was a return to kind for the corporate, and it appears to be like like its successor goes to catapult BlackBerry again to the highest. Simply don’t name it the “KeyTwo.” Right here’s all the things you must know in regards to the BlackBerry Key2.
TCL launches BlackBerry Key2 Crimson Version at MWC 2019
Whereas there’s no information of a Key3 successor but, TCL took to MWC 2019 to announce a brand new, daring purple model of the BlackBerry Key2. That includes a purple aluminum body and black accents, the BlackBerry Key2 Crimson Version provides a dramatically completely different strategy to the smooth and business-like Key2. The Crimson Version can even include 128GB of cupboard space — making it the primary time this storage choice has been formally supplied within the U.S.
In case you’re trying to get your fingers on the Key2 Crimson Version, you don’t have to attend lengthy. Readers in Europe will be capable to pre-order it from February 24, however it’ll quickly be out there for buy within the U.S. for $749. That’s $100 greater than the usual Key2 — however you get a pair of purple BlackBerry-branded headphones thrown in as nicely.
At first look, the Key2 appears to be like similar to the KeyOne, however look a bit of nearer and it’s clear that BlackBerry has taken the possibility to tighten up the design. The Key2 is lighter than its predecessor, due to the aluminum used within the physique. It’s taller, too, and does away with the ugly silver bezel on the high of the cellphone, changing it with a slimmer, black bezel that doesn’t take as a lot consideration away from the four.5-inch IPS LCD show. The soft-touch textured again stays a lot the identical, however the inclusion of BlackBerry’s first ever dual-lens digicam system actually units the cellphone other than its predecessors.
The keyboard has been prolonged barely up the cellphone’s physique, and that has allowed BlackBerry to make the keys 20 p.c taller than the KeyOne, which ought to make typing simpler. The keyboard additionally now incorporates a key that BlackBerry is looking the “Pace Key” — maintain this key and faucet one other, and also you’ll be transported from one app to a different immediately. It’s an attention-grabbing thought, and we’ll let you understand how it holds up throughout our assessments.
The fingerprint-sensing house bar is again, and the keyboard nonetheless capabilities as a trackpad. There’s a USB-C port alongside the underside of the cellphone, whereas a headphone jack sits proudly — if a bit of off-center — on the high.
Blackberry’s telephones have historically been lower-powered than many of the competitors, and the Key2 received’t be altering that custom.
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
Storage: 64GB (U.S.)/128GB (worldwide)
MicroSD storage: Sure, as much as 256GB
Display measurement: four.5-inches
Decision: 1620 x 1080
Dimension: 151.four x 71.eight x eight.5 mm
Weight: 168g (5.92 oz)
Working system: Android eight.1 Oreo
Whereas most corporations’ flagship telephones are operating the hyper-powerful Snapdragon 845, BlackBerry has caught to its weapons with the Snapdragon 660. The lower-powered processor received’t be capable to present the identical uncooked energy as a stronger one, however we think about it’ll nonetheless present sturdy efficiency for the cellphone, particularly when paired with 6GB of RAM — which ought to make multi-tasking simple. Whereas the next powered processor is healthier for operating flashy video games and the like, choosing extra multi-tasking energy with further RAM reveals BlackBerry’s enterprise roots.
That sturdy multi-tasking means must be bolstered by a hefty three,500mAh battery. The KeyOne managed nice battery efficiency, boasting nicely over a day’s price of battery, and we anticipate the Key2 will proceed this custom. When it does run out, there’s help for QuickCharge three.zero as nicely, so customers received’t be ready by charging ports for too lengthy. Sadly, there’s no wi-fi charging.
There’s loads of house on the cellphone, too, with 64GB (128GB is offered in sure markets) of onboard storage, and the choice of utilizing a MicroSD card to spice up that. Regardless of a scarcity of different Blackberry telephones on Android eight.zero Oreo, the Key2 will ship with Android eight.1 Oreo. Anticipate to see Android 9.zero Pie on there finally, and BlackBerry has promised Android Q as nicely.
A robust digicam isn’t precisely the most important draw among the many BlackBerry crowd, so it’s forgivable that BlackBerry waited to leap on the dual-lens bandwagon. However it has lastly caught up and the Key2 sports activities the BlackBerry model’s first ever dual-lens setup on the rear. There are two 12-megapixel lenses on the again of the Key2 — one with an f/1.eight aperture, the opposite with an f/2.6 aperture. This could give the BlackBerry a powerful sufficient digicam suite, and with the addition of a Portrait Mode and a 2x zoom, we’re anticipating to see a fairly first rate pair of snappers right here.
Software program and particular options
Whereas the software program loaded onto the cellphone is generally inventory Android eight.1 Oreo, there are a complete swathe of further BlackBerry-branded apps that must be acquainted to any seasoned BlackBerry veteran. There’s additionally some significantly attention-grabbing security measures loaded on by default, from the DTEK software program that watches what apps are accessing– and provides you the possibility to nip varied unauthorized accesses within the bud — in addition to giving an total safety ranking. Locker permits customers to maintain varied apps and information non-public, and the security-focused Firefox Focus internet browser put in by default.
We’ll be delving into these options in additional depth in our Key2 overview, however on paper this might nicely be probably the most security-focused Android cellphone we’ve ever seen.
Pricing, launch, and availability
The BlackBerry Key2 prices $650, and it’s out there now on the Blackberry web site. It is going to be an unlocked variant that’s solely suitable with GSM networks, that means AT&T and T-Cell. It is not going to work on Dash and Verizon. Each the silver and black colour choices might be out there at Amazon, in addition to Greatest Purchase retail shops and on-line. Final yr’s BlackBerry KeyOne was bought on Dash’s community, so there’s an opportunity a CDMA Key2 variant with Verizon and Dash help will arrive later this yr.
Within the U.Ok., the cellphone is offered by way of Selfridges and Carphone Warehouse, amongst different retailers. The silver and black Key2 fashions might be bought, and the value is ready at 580 British kilos (about $767).
Up to date on February 24, 2019: Added the small print of the brand new BlackBerry Key2 Crimson Version.