BlackBerry KEYone First Look

Posted February 28, 2017

One of the main reasons being BlackBerry KeyOne is one of the initial models to be manufactured by TCL Communication, and the brand is looking at making a comeback in the market. Blackberry is yet to announce the launch date of the phone for the Indian market.

Unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2017 today, the smartphone previously known as the BlackBerry Mercury has a QWERTY keyboard underneath a 4.5-inch capacitive touchscreen. Blackberry and TCL have launched the Blackberry KEYone Android flagship phone. This smartphone is fueled by the Snapdragon 625 64-bit octa-core SoC clocked at 2.0GHz, along with the Adreno 506 GPU which is running at 650MHz. Moreover, it has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, expandable to 2TB using a microSD card. The charging port is a USB C type port.

The device runs on Android 7.1, giving users access to the entire Google Play store and apps. The BlackBerry KeyOne is the first device to feature the firm's new "Boost" charging tech, which will get you to 50 per cent charge in precisely 36 minutes.

As for the rest of the specs, there's a 12-megapixel camera on the back equipped with PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), video and image stabilisation, 4K video recording and an f/2.0 lens.

The gesture-responsive keyboard also doubles as a trackpad. BlackBerry came up with different mobile devices but has not made much-needed noise to self-promote and it may be entirely different with the KeyOne.

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TCL and BlackBerry have tweaked the stock Android code to make it more secure, and added a special security dashboard, DTEK, which allows users to check what security permissions each app has requested, said Alex Thurber, a BlackBerry Senior Vice President and General Manager of BlackBerry Mobility Solutions.

Blackberry itself is now sticking purely with developing its software, largely focused on security and which is incorporated in the KeyOne.

The metal frets between each row is a classic BlackBerry move, while the combination of a solid metal frame with its curved edges and soft-touch plastic back panel is a welcome design choice. The fingerprint sensor is located on the spacebar. The availability of the phone in India is not yet clear. It will be priced at $549 in the United States, £499 in the UK & €599 in the rest of the Europe.

The BlackBerry KEYone is priced at $549 and will go on sale in April.

As has been the case with previous devices, the KEYone runs a relatively untouched version of Android Nougat 7.1, complimented by BlackBerry's security and productivity software, like the BlackBerry Hub and DTEK.