BlackBerry KeyOne brings the keyboard back at Mobile World Congress

Posted February 28, 2017

Made in partnership with Chinese handset-maker TCL, the phone hits shelves in April and will be available globally. Blackberry is yet to announce the launch date of the phone for the Indian market.

The TCL-produced smartphone, running Android 7.1, is the first under a new licensing strategy by BlackBerry.

The space bar of the physical keyboard on the BlackBerry KEYone comes with a fingerprint scanner. Unlike the DTEK50 and DTEK60 smartphones launched previous year, the KEYone is not an ODM device manufactured by TCL. The 4.3-inch AMOLED display has an aspect ratio of 3:2 and a resolution of 1620×1080 pixels.

Powering it is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core chip, backed up with 3GB of RAM, and a huge 3,505mAh battery. The phone comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, plus you can expand for more storage with a microSD card. The phone is all set to launch into the markets running the Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS with light customizations from BlackBerry - expect it to be a almost stock experience. With Quick Charge 3.0 juicing up the device through its Type C port, the company claims you can get 50 per cent charge in 36 minutes. Up front is an 8 MP shooter. Users will also be able to swap between different screens while moving their fingers across the keyboard. between the screen and the keyboard, are the three keys found at the bottom of Android smartphones? With a large pixel size (1.55um) and Phase Detect Auto Focus, moments captured on the BlackBerry KEYone will be ultra-crisp and clear.

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The KEYone also combines a touch display with a physical keyboard to provide users with that iconic typing experience of a BlackBerry device.

One of the major highlights of the new Blackberry KEYone is that the phone comes with the same camera setup that has been used in Google Pixel phones. Apart from that, BlackBerry is touting the security features it has embedded as always and calls it the "most secure Android phone". BlackBerry's latest smartphone will hit the markets from April 2017 and will be priced at Dollars 549 in the USA, £499 in the United Kingdom, and Euro 599 in Europe. It will be priced at $549 (approx Rs 38,600) in the US, GBP 499 (roughly Rs 41,400) in the United Kingdom, and Euro 599 (roughly Rs 42,100) in Europe.

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.

You can not actually purchase this phone yet, but it will be available for pre-order for $549.