TCL announced its first BlackBerry smartphone with the BlackBerry KEYone during MWC 2017. The handset features the trademark QWERTY keypad as the Chinese manufacturer seeks to revive the BlackBerry brand. TCL now has the official rights to sell BlackBerry-branded handsets. The Chinese company struck a brand-licensing deal with the Canadian manufacturer back in December 2016. And the partnership unveiled its first phone in the form of BlackBerry KEYone, earlier codenamed BlackBerry Mercury.
BlackBerry KEYone: Specs and Release Date
The smartphone packs a 4.5-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1620×1080 pixels and a pixel density of 433 ppi.
Under the hood, the BlackBerry KEYone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor bundled with 3GB of RAM. The phone comes with 32GB of built-in storage which is further expandable up to 2TB via microSD slot.
As far as cameras go, the handset features a 12MP primary camera along with an 8MP front-facing shooter for selfies. While juicing up the smartphone is a 3505mAh non-removable battery. The device runs Android 7.1 out-of-the-box.
Connectivity options on the phone include a single SIM, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, FM, 3G, and 4G. The handset also packs a slew of sensors such as Compass, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient Light sensor, and Gyroscope. In terms of dimensions, the BlackBerry KEYone weighs 180 grams and measures 149.30 x 72.50 x 9.40 (height x width x thickness).
It’s also worth noting that the phone’s keyboard can be used for more than just typing. The spacebar on the physical keyboard also doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. Also, individual alphabets can be assigned as shortcuts to open apps. Not to forget, the smartphones comes with the DTEK app, which offers an added layer of security on the phone. According to BlackBerry, the KEYone is the “perfect device, with no compromises”.
The BlackBerry KEYone releases worldwide in April and will cost $549. TCL also promised to launch more BlackBerry smartphones in 2017.