BlackBerry Key2: the smartphone keyboard lives on in 2018

blackberry key2 back feature

There’s a brand new BlackBerry in town, and it’s called the Key2.

The successor to last year’s KeyOne, the latest device from Chinese manufacturer TCL with a BlackBerry logo still features that 35-key physical keyboard, chocolate slab design language, and a textured rear plate. But it’s also a step up from the previous model.

In fact, the Key2 is the first BlackBerry with a dual rear camera. Both feature 12MP sensors, but one receives a f/1.8 lens, and the other a f/2.6. The latter’s also features a 30-degree smaller field of view, suggesting that the Key2 will also possess some optical zoom trickery.

Up front an 8MP snapper handles selfies.

Powering the device is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, an octa-core processor mated to 6GB of RAM and support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology. There’s no wireless charging though.

blackberry key2 front

Storage is a choice between 64 and 128GB, while an SD card slot is also included.

But the similarities to higher end devices stop there. The Key2, like its predecessor, has a 3:2 aspect ratio screen, measuring 4.5-inches from corner to corner, and using 1620×1080 pixels.

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.

BlackBerry’s pricing however is not exactly mid-range. The phone will begin shipping globally this month, with the international retail price starting at US$649.

The phone will also be heading to South Africa, but there’s no confirmed date and recommended retail price just yet.

Feature image: BlackBerry/TCL Communications

Andy Walker, former editor


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