Blackberry Key2 announced by TCL, with improved physical keyboard experience

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Blackberry Key2

In a world dominated by smartphones with edge-to-edge displays, notches and virtual typing keyboards, in 2018 Blackberry continues its tradition on delivering devices that offer a tad different user experience.

This week, TCL Group introduced the Blackberry Key2, an upgraded version of KEYOne from last year, but this time around the Blackberry handset with a physical QWERTY keyboard gets a bit better at everything. First off, Blackberry Key2 comes with a diamond grip non-slippery textured back and durable Aluminium alloy frame, it is slightly taller not because of its 4.5″ screen (which by the way is the same one from last year), but because the QWERTY keyboard height has been increased by 20% for comfort and typing accuracy. Oh, and the keyboard has a matte finish now (glossy keyboard on the previous Blackberry KEYOne). The keyboard is also touch responsive and it has a dedicated ‘Speed’ key to be able to switch between apps by pressing it and a designated button. This is used as a shortcut for fast switching from one app to another (say – switching from Chrome browser to Gmail app with the press of two buttons).

Inside the Blackberry Key2 sits Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 mid-range processor, it has 6GB of RAM and 64 / 128 GB internal storage (optional). The battery capacity remains the same as on KEYone – 3,500 mAh offering up to two days of usage. The phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo, and it has all the Blackberry tight DTEK security enhancements, and of course the Blackberry Hub.

Another improvement over the KEYone that Blackberry Key2 has, is a better performing main camera. Actually it is a 4K shooting dual camera equipped with 12 MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 12 MP sensor with f/2.6 and dual LED Flash in dual tone. The front-facing camera remains the same 8MP, however, the aperture is f/2.0 now.

The Blackberry Key2 will receive timely security updates and major OS upgrades. This means it will at least jump to Android P in the next 6 to 8 months.

As for pricing and availability, the Blackberry Key2 goes on sale this month starting at €650 about £580.