Blackberry is all the time on the high of its recreation when it sticks to what it is aware of finest — security-focused telephones with QWERTY keyboards. The Blackberry KeyOne was a return to kind for the corporate, and its successor has improved upon it in each approach. Right here’s every thing you want to know in regards to the BlackBerry Key2.
The BlackBerry Key2 Purple Version is now out there
TCL introduced a crimson model of the Key2 at MWC 2019, which has been out there in Europe for a while now, however the telephone is lastly arriving on U.S. shores. The crimson BlackBerry Key2 is on the market now from Amazon and Finest Purchase, and prices $700. That’s costlier than the unique retail value of the Key2, however you get a pair of BlackBerry-branded headphones thrown in.
The machine options an aluminum body and crimson accents, which is a dramatically totally different strategy to the modern and business-like commonplace Key2. The Purple Version will comes with 128GB of space for storing — making it the primary time this storage possibility has been formally provided within the U.S.
At first look, the Key2 appears to be like similar to the KeyOne, however look slightly nearer and it’s clear that BlackBerry has taken the prospect to tighten up the design. The Key2 is lighter than its predecessor, because of the aluminum used within the physique. It’s taller, too, and does away with the ugly silver bezel on the high of the telephone, changing it with a slimmer, black bezel that doesn’t take as a lot consideration away from the four.5-inch IPS LCD show. The soft-touch textured again stays a lot the identical, however the inclusion of BlackBerry’s first ever dual-lens digital camera system actually units the telephone other than its predecessors.
The keyboard has been prolonged barely up the telephone’s physique, and that has allowed BlackBerry to make the keys 20 p.c taller than the KeyOne, which ought to make typing simpler. The keyboard additionally now incorporates a key that BlackBerry is asking the “Velocity Key” — maintain this key and faucet one other, and also you’ll be transported from one app to a different immediately. It’s an fascinating concept, and we’ll let you understand how it holds up throughout our exams.
The fingerprint-sensing area bar is again, and the keyboard nonetheless features as a trackpad. There’s a USB-C port alongside the underside of the telephone, whereas a headphone jack sits proudly — if slightly off-center — on the high.
Blackberry’s telephones have historically been lower-powered than many of the competitors, and the Key2 gained’t be altering that custom.
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
Storage: 64GB (U.S.)/128GB (worldwide)
MicroSD storage: Sure, as much as 256GB
Display measurement: four.5-inches
Decision: 1620 x 1080
Dimension: 151.four x 71.eight x eight.5 mm
Weight: 168g (5.92 oz)
Working system: Android eight.1 Oreo
Whereas most flagship telephones on the time used the highly effective Snapdragon 845, BlackBerry has caught to its weapons with the Snapdragon 660. The lower-powered processor gained’t have the ability to present the identical uncooked energy as a stronger one, however we think about it would nonetheless present sturdy efficiency for the telephone, particularly when paired with 6GB of RAM — which ought to make multi-tasking straightforward. Whereas the next powered processor is best for working flashy video games and the like, choosing extra multi-tasking energy with extra RAM reveals BlackBerry’s enterprise roots.
That sturdy multi-tasking capability ought to be bolstered by a hefty three,500mAh battery. The KeyOne managed nice battery efficiency, boasting effectively over a day’s value of battery, and we anticipate the Key2 will proceed this custom. When it does run out, there’s assist for QuickCharge three.zero as effectively, so customers gained’t be ready by charging ports for too lengthy. Sadly, there’s no wi-fi charging.
There’s loads of area on the telephone, too, with 64GB (128GB is on the market in sure markets) of onboard storage, and the choice of utilizing a MicroSD card to spice up that. Regardless of a scarcity of different Blackberry telephones on Android eight.zero Oreo, the Key2 will ship with Android eight.1 Oreo. BlackBerry promised an replace to Android Q, however it nonetheless must replace the telephone to Android 9 Pie. It has been greater than six months since Google launched the software program, and we nonetheless haven’t seen the replace.
A robust digital camera isn’t precisely the largest draw among the many BlackBerry crowd, so it’s forgivable that BlackBerry waited to leap on the dual-lens bandwagon. Nevertheless it has lastly caught up and the Key2 sports activities the BlackBerry model’s first ever dual-lens setup on the rear. There are two 12-megapixel lenses on the again of the Key2 — one with an f/1.eight aperture, the opposite with an f/2.6 aperture. This could give the BlackBerry a powerful sufficient digital camera suite, and with the addition of a Portrait Mode and a 2x zoom, we’re anticipating to see a fairly first rate pair of snappers right here.
Software program and particular options
Whereas the software program loaded onto the telephone is usually inventory Android eight.1 Oreo, there are an entire swathe of extra BlackBerry-branded apps that ought to be acquainted to any seasoned BlackBerry veteran. There’s additionally some significantly fascinating security measures loaded on by default, from the DTEK software program that watches what apps are accessing– and provides you the prospect to nip numerous unauthorized accesses within the bud — in addition to giving an general safety ranking. Locker permits customers to maintain numerous apps and recordsdata non-public, and the security-focused Firefox Focus internet browser put in by default.
Pricing, launch, and availability
The BlackBerry Key2 was priced at $650 when it first launched, however you will discover it for much less now. It’s out there now on the Blackberry web site. Will probably be an unlocked variant that’s solely suitable with GSM networks, that means AT&T and T-Cell. It is not going to work on Dash and Verizon. Each the silver and black colour choices can be found at Amazon, in addition to Finest Purchase retail shops and on-line.
Within the U.Ok., the telephone is on the market by Selfridges and Carphone Warehouse, amongst different retailers. The silver and black Key2 fashions can be offered, and the worth was set at 580 British kilos (about $767), however it may be discovered for much less. The newer crimson BlackBerry Key2 goes for $750.
Up to date on April 19, 2019: The BlackBerry Key2 Purple Version is now out there.