TCL unveils the BlackBerry KEY2

TCL launches the BlackBerry Key2 for $649

BlackBerry Key2 specs, photos leak ahead of June 7 reveal

Smartphone manufacturer TCL Communication unveiled the new BlackBerry KEY2 on Thursday and brought back a long-standing favourite feature among BlackBerry devotees: The QWERTY keyboard.

The KEY2, which runs the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system, is also the first BlackBerry phone to have a dual-rear camera.

"Delivering power and performance for getting more done, the BlackBerry KEY2 offers up to two days battery life, 6GB of memory and in both 64GB and 128GB storage variants - with both offering expandable storage MicroSD support, making this the most advanced BlackBerry smartphone ever". Unveiled in NY today, the TCL-made smartphone delivers what we've come to expect from the BlackBerry brand of late: the combination of a touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard in a minimalistically-handsome design, along with the latest version of Google's OS. The display above it comes in at 4.5 inches, at 1620x1080 resolution. It will be available for pre-order in the US, UK, UAE, Canada, Germany, China and France this month while global availability will be in July. On the BlackBerry Key2, the Speed Key takes this to the next level by letting you access any shortcut from anywhere on the device, without having to go to the home screen first.

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In the case of the KEY2 specifically, it's a clear evolution over the last BlackBerry. Now, if the original KEYone wowed you with its one-of-a-kind nostalgic physical QWERTY and BlackBerry's push for a safe and secure software ecosystem, the KEY2 will literally blow your minds with everything that's in store.

A security meter on the KEY2, DTEK, gives users a snapshot of what's going on with their apps - how they are accessing data and what they have permission to use, such as a camera or microphone.

According to Blass, the BlackBerry KEY2 will cost £579 at launch, an increase of £70 over the KEYone. Though the mystery behind a new button right at the bottom right of the keyboard still remains, and we expect it to be solved at the launch event itself.

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The KEY2 has dual 12MP rear cameras, better image stabilization and faster autofocus. The phone is backed by a 3,500mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 3.0 over USB Type-C. Firefox Focus, Mozilla's privacy browser, is present too.

Elsewhere, the KEY2 will cost €649 European Union, £579 GB, and $829 CDN.

What do you think of the BlackBerry KEY2?

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