BlackBerry is a name which many people recognise as the epitome of the “business phone”. It wasn’t too long ago when the company commanded the palm of nearly all executives with its powerful devices and secure operating system. However, the company has since stopped their investment in developing their own devices and software. Instead, the company has since licensed their brand to hardware manufacturer TCL and focused on fortifying the already widespread Android operating system. Last year, we saw the brand truly return with release of the KeyONE which, not only brought the qwerty keyboard back into style, it made it feel natural and almost like second nature.
While the KeyONE brought middling specifications with a camera which was neither bad nor amazing, it did bring a much needed breath of fresh air into a market which was getting stale with a single form factor and nearly ubiquitous design. The unique design of the BlackBerry KeyONE allowed the phone to stand out with its odd aspect ratio, qwerty keyboard and touch capable display. It also brought back the signature BlackBerry design language which made the phone feel like an evolution of the BlackBerry Bold. This year, the BlackBerry Key2 improves on an already proven formula and enhances the formula with
new features that brings more utility and functionality to an already powerful formula.
This year’s version of the BlackBerry Key Series, the Key2, brings an even more power efficient processor with larger RAM capacity and internal storage. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 powering the BlackBerry Key2 promises commendable performance with better power efficiency. In fact, TCL claims that the Key2 is able to last for 2 days on it’s 3,500mAh battery. If you need to top up the battery, the QuickCharge 3.0 feature allows you to get 50% of charge in about 40 minutes. In addition to the power packed processor, the BlackBerry Key2 comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. This can be expanded by an additional 256GB of memory with the use of a microSD card.
The display of the Key2 is a 4.5-inch IPS display with the same 3:2 aspect ratio from the KeyONE. It comes with a higher 1620×1080 pixel resolution. This gives it a higher 434ppi (pixels per inch) pixel density. The phone will be equipped with a full qwerty keyboard, a defining feature of any Blackberry phone. The keyboard also acts as a touchpad which allows you to browse webpages and the software interface with a simple swipe of the finger. The Blackberry Key2 also comes with the programmable convenience key. This allows you to map functions to a single click. In addition the new speed key brings a new level of convenience with the ability to pop in and out of apps with a simple key combination. Like the KeyONE before, the fingerprint sensor is once again built into the space bar of the keyboard.
On the camera front, the BlackBerry Key2 comes with a dual 12-megapixel sensor. The setup consists of a 1/2.3-inch sensor with f/1.8 aperture, 1.28μm pixel size and dual pixel phase detection autofocus (PDAF); and a second sensory with f/2.6 aperture and 1.0 μm pixel size with PDAF. The main setup is capable of video capture at 2160p resolution at 30fps and 1080p resolution at 30fps. The front facing camera is an 8-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and 1.12μm pixel size.
The BlackBerry Key2 will be able to connect to WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac on both the 2.4GHz band and the 5GHz band. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0 LE, A-GPS, GLONASS and BDS2. The version retailing in Malaysia will take support dual SIMs with dual 4G standby. It also sports a USB 3.0 Type-C connection with Quick Charge Support.
Availability & Pricing
The BlackBerry Key2 will be available starting July 12th for RM2,599 (USD$646.51). It will be available in retail outlets as well as online from Shopee.
For the launch of the Key2, Shopee will be offering the device for RM2,449 (USD$609.27) with a free bluetooth headset worth RM109 (USD$27.12).
Also published on Medium.