BlackBerry has officially announced the KEYone smartphone, previously codenamed Mercury. The phone doesn’t come with innovative specs, but rather brings back the QWERTY physical keyboard that made BlackBerry phones so popular over the years.
BlackBerry KEYone’s specs were previously revealed on the official product page a few hours ago, which the company quickly took down. The smartphone carries a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1620 x 1080 pixel resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. The display is impact resistant and the KEYone comes with a soft-grip textured back. Additionally, the phone features precision crafted aluminum frame for protection against scratches.
KEYone runs an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC clocked at 2.0GHz and a 64-bit Adreno 506 graphics processing unit. Moreover, it has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, expandable to 2TB using a microSD card.
Rear camera capacity reaches 12MP on its Sony IMX378 sensor, which also has 4k recording and f/2.0 aperture. The phone’s front camera is 8MP with 1080p video. BlackBerry KEYone draws power from a 3,505 battery with Quick Charge 3.0 and the company says that the battery should last for one full day or almost two for light users.
The Boost fast charging feature allows users to charge the device to 50% in just 36 minutes. During the event, company officials have said the battery is the biggest in BlackBerry phones.
BlackBerry KEYone runs Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and features BlackBerry Hub, with security and encryption features. The phone measures 149.3 x 72.5 x 9.4mm and weighs 180 grams. KEYone’s selling point is definitely the QWERTY keyboard and the feature that allows users to assign actions to each key. Users can set a certain key to open a specific app or contact, making it easier to customize commands and diversify the way they pull up information on their phones.
BlackBerry KEYone comes with a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s worth mentioning that the phone was designed and manufactured by TCL Communication; BlackBerry only licensed the brand name. The keyboard also works as a touch-sensitive control pad. KEYone comes with the DTEK app, which enhances security on the phone and allows people to add an extra layer of protection. BlackBerry says the KEYone is the “perfect device, with no compromises.”
BlackBerry KEYone will be available starting as early as April worldwide at retailers and on the company’s new website. The phone will carry a price tag of $549 or €599.