BlackBerry Key2 Specification and Review

BlackBerry has launched the KEY2, an old-school BlackBerry QWERTY phone with modern Android software. Now, if the original KEYone from last year moved you with its one-of-its-kind nostalgic physical QWERTY and BlackBerry’s push for a safe and secure software ecosystem, the KEY2 will quite literally blow your minds with everything that it’s bringing to the table. That’s also why the BlackBerry KEY2 is more expensive than last year’s KEYone.

Although the KEY2 will be available for buying in the West this month, in global markets (including in India), the phone will be available for buying in July. Here’s a closer look at the BlackBerry KEY2.

The BlackBerry KEY2 looks exactly like the KEYone, although a few changes that have been brought in, this year, should help improve ergonomics and hand-hold feel. This includes a more compact chassis and a re-positioned convenience key, that’s now located on the right along with the power and volume rocker. It features an all-plastic body with a series 7 Aluminium frame.

 The USP of the KEY2, still remains to be, its full-scale physical QWERTY that lies in continuation with the touch screen. The QWERTY still supports touch-gestures like scrolling and Flick Typing for predictive texting, as also 52 app shortcuts via short and long press. The space bar still doubles as a fingerprint scanner. Only this time, the keys are up to 20 per cent larger so they should feel less cramped than the ones on-board the KEYone. BlackBerry is also introducing a new Speed Key that lets you use custom shortcuts from anywhere on the screen. On the KEYone, you could use them only from the home screen.

The KEY2 uses the same display panel as last year down to the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection up-top.

The KEY2 runs Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box with BlackBerry’s usual suite of security and productivity applications: meaning that it’s also being pitched as the most secure Android smartphone in the world. The phone has “device security built in from the start,” according to the company, with tools like hardware root of trust and a secure bootloader, quite literally encrypting the phone to the T. The DTEK app stays put, but this year, BlackBerry is introducing a new locker that lets you password/fingerprint protect your apps and content from others.

 The KEY2 is BlackBerry’s first phone to ship with dual rear cameras. The secondary camera is telephoto for up to 2X optical zoom similar to how things are in the Samsung Galaxy S9+. Also, the dual camera setup can take bokeh shots or photos with shallow depth of field.

The KEY2 available in the West (and even in China), will be made by TCL. The model that would come to India, in July, will be made by Optiemus Infracom. Optiemus Infracom is the home-grown telecom enterprise, responsible for manufacturing BlackBerry Android handsets in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. This is similar to the exclusive, long-term licensing agreement that BlackBerry has signed with TCL Communication for global and PT BlackBerry Merah Putih for the Indonesian markets.

Network Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
Launch Announced 2018, June
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2018, June
Body Dimensions 151.4 x 71.8 x 8.5 mm (5.96 x 2.83 x 0.33 in)
Weight 168 g (5.93 oz)
Keyboard QWERTY
Build Aluminum frame (7000 series), plastic back
SIM Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) – BBF100-6 only
– Capacitive touch 4-row BlackBerry keyboard
Display Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 4.5 inches, 60.0 cm2 (~55.2% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 1620 pixels, 3:2 ratio (~434 ppi density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Platform OS Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Chipset Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660
CPU Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260)
GPU Adreno 512
Memory Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB
Internal 64/128 GB, 6 GB RAM
Camera Primary Dual: 12 MP (f/1.8, 1/2.3″, 1.55µm, DP PDAF) + 12 MP (f/2.6, 1.0µm, PDAF), phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
Video 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps
Secondary 8 MP (f/2.0, 1.12µm), 1080p
Sound Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
Comms WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, EDR
Radio FM radio
USB 3.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
Features Sensors Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM, BBM
Browser HTML5
– Fast battery charging: 50% in 36 min (Quick Charge 3.0)
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FlAC player
– DivX/Xvid/MP4/H.265 player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery
Misc Colors Black, Silver
SAR EU 0.72 W/kg (head)     1.68 W/kg (body)
Price About Rs 43,726

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