It’s been leaking steadily this past week, but today it’s official with the Blackberry KEY2 announced at an event in New York.
Produced by TCL Communication, the hardware manufacturer behind Blackberry phones as well as a number of other well known brands, the KEY2 is a refined design of the KEYone from last year with updated specs. For Blackberry fans the highlight is of course the hardware keyboard which returns as a touch sensitive keyboard that includes a fingerprint sensor and supports ‘flick’ typing.
In terms of hardware, the Blackberry KEY2 includes a 4.5″ 1620×1080 IPS LCD display above that hardware keyboard with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, 6GB of RAM and will be available in either 64GB or 128GB storage options that can be expanded with a microSD card up to 256GB.
The major change to the rear of the phone is the inclusion of dual rear-facing 12MP camera sensors, with the secondary sensor supporting a 2x telephoto zoom. The KEY2 includes what Blackberry are calling ‘Optical Superzoom’ which they say uses a mutli-frame capture to reduce noise on zoomed in photos.
The handset includes a USB-C port, with a 3,500mAh battery that Blackberry says gives up to 25+ hours of mixed use and you can recharge it swiftly with support for Quick Charge 3.0 built-in.
|Key Specifications:||Blackberry KEY2|
|Screen technology||IPS LCD|
|Resolution||2,160 x 1,080|
|Rear camera||12MP+12MP (2x optical zoom)|
|Core config||4x 2.2GHz + 4x 1.8GHz|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 256GB|
|Android OS||Android 8.1 (Oreo)|
The phone runs Android 8.1 which they say is ‘hardened’ with Blackberry Launcher and of course this wouldn’t be a Blackberry if the phone didn’t include a suite of Blackberry apps, which includes their DTEK privacy suite, Blackberry Password Keeper, Blackberry Hub, Tasks, Calendar, and Notes just to name a few.
There’s no Australian launch details aside from saying the launch today is ‘ahead of Australian release’. The phone will be arriving in the US for $649 later this month though and includes support for all our LTE bands, so there’s no problem if you want to import one. We’re keeping an eye out for more local launch details and we’ll update if we hear anything.