Mobile World Congress 2017 (MWC 2017) is in full swing and one of the first ones to break the floor was BlackBerry. For a company that has been rumoured to be closing a few times, and that has been struggling to keep up with the competition in terms of market share, this is a big one. Not just for them, for us, fans too. Therefore, please welcome the new KEYone from BlackBerry.
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 @2.0GHz (octa-core)|
Micro SD up to 2TB
|Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)||Adreno 506 @650MHz|
1,620 x 1,080 (~433 ppi)
24-bit color depth
|Operating System||Android 7.1 Nougat|
Quick Charge 3.0
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac,|
Bluetooth 4.2 LE
4K Video @30fps
Dual Tone LED Flash
Phase Detection Auto Focus
1080p Full HD Video @30fps
|Miscelanous||Smart Keyboard (physical QWERTY keyboard)|
Corning Gorilla Glass 4
The BlackBerry KEYone
The BlackBerry KEYone is not the first Android device from the BlackBerry stable. It will certainly not be the last. Made to replace the PRIV as BlackBerry’s new flagship of 2017, the KEYone features a full QWERTY physical keyboard that is tucked beneath the 4.5-inch display. Unlike the PRIV, the KEYone’s keyboard is fully exposed on the same level of the Gorilla Glass protected display. This layout allowed BlackBerry to thin down the device to 9.4mm. It is not the thinnest of phones, but it is still thin.
The keyboard is also an improved keyboard from the PRIV. Called the Smart Keyboard, it features BlackBerry’s new algorithm to contextual auto-correct, and word prediction mechanism. The keyboard software learns your typing style, the words you use, and the sentences you form to always update its dictionaries and word prediction and auto-correct mechanism. It has Flick typing to make you type even faster, simply flick the words to life. If you need the precision of a trackpad, the whole keyboard is your giant trackpad. If you are not typing, the keyboard also doubles as programmable shortcut keys so that you can access your apps even faster.
The best of all is that it is powered by Android’s latest 7.1 Nougat for the latest of security patches. Obviously if you are a BlackBerry user, you do care about its security. The Android operating system has developed to become one of the most secured operating systems in the world. Add BlackBerry’s proprietary DTEK security monitoring app, it is impenetrable. But more than that you get access to one of the largest app store in the world too.
The BlackBerry KEYone will be available globally April onward. We are hoping that Malaysia included, though there has been no official word on that. The damage? They gave us prices in three currencies, but they did imply that price may be lower at actual launch. In April Europe will get it at EU€599 (MYR2,815*), the United Kingdom will get it at GB£499 (MYR2,755**), and the United States will get it at US$549 (MYR2,439***). If we do base our pricing on the US currency, we might get it somewhere between MYR2,449 to MYR2,499, the latter being the more likely. Press release after the break.
* Approximate value based on conversion rate of UE€ 1 = MYR 4.70
** Approximate value based on conversion rate of GB£ 1 = MYR 5.52
*** Approximate value based on conversion rate of US$ 1 = MYR 4.44
Distinctly Different. Distinctly BlackBerry. TCL Communication Launches All-new BlackBerry(R) KEYone to the World at MWC 2017
BARCELONA, Feb. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Today, TCL Communication, a leading global smartphone manufacturer, unveiled a new BlackBerry smartphone to the world — the BlackBerry KEYone. This launch represents the first BlackBerry smartphone released from TCL Communication under a new brand licensing agreement signed in December 2016 with BlackBerry Limited. Offering users all the great smartphone features you’d expect — like great camera, display and design — in a distinctly different experience, the KEYone pairs the best of BlackBerry Limited’s software and security with TCL Communication’s commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable smartphones to customers around the world. The BlackBerry KEYone will be available globally[i] beginning in April and will be priced at or under 599 EUR/ 499 GBP/ 549 USD.
“Impressively designed to be distinctly different, the BlackBerry KEYone reimagines how we communicate by offering unmatched productivity and the world’s most secure Android smartphone experience,” said Nicolas Zibell, CEO for TCL Communication. “We’re humbled to play such an important role in the future of BlackBerry smartphones, which have been so iconic in our industry, and we’re eager to prove to the BlackBerry community that their excitement around this new BlackBerry smartphone is something they can be proud of as well.”
“We want to congratulate TCL Communications on the launch of KEYone,” said Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobility Solutions for BlackBerry. “We have worked closely with TCL to build security and the BlackBerry experience into every layer of KEYone, so the BlackBerry DNA remains very much in place. We couldn’t be more excited to help bring it to market and introduce it to BlackBerry fans.”
Tucked into an anodized aluminum frame and soft touch textured back, this new BlackBerry smartphone is built to offer the best in durability while still remaining easy on the eyes. Featuring a 4.5-inch display (1620×1080 resolution / 434 PPI 3:2 aspect ratio) with Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 that offers greater impact and scratch resistance, the KEYone combines a touch display with a physical keyboard to give users more useable space for typing than a typical 5.5-inch all-touch smartphone.
With BlackBerry KEYone, you can forget what you knew about keyboards. The device’s Smart Keyboard responds to touch gestures mimicking the heritage of the BlackBerry trackpad making web browsing, reading emails and writing messages with flick typing a much smoother and intuitive experience. This Smart Keyboard can also be easily programmed to launch up to 52 customizable shortcuts, such as pressing “I” for your inbox or “M” to access maps; providing even greater ease of use. In addition, KEYone is the first smartphone to provide the security of a fingerprint sensor built directly into the keyboard spacebar, for added functionality and security.
Beyond the iconic BlackBerry design that’s been curated for the modern user, the BlackBerry KEYone comes with a number of features and security enhancements making this smartphone distinctly BlackBerry. Out of the box, the device runs Android 7.1 – giving users access to the entire Google Play store and apps – and will receive Google security patch updates. It comes loaded with BlackBerry Hub®, bringing all your messages into one consolidated place; including emails, texts and messages from any social media account. Another benefit of BlackBerry Hub, is the ability to manage multiple email accounts without switching between apps, with support for Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, Microsoft Exchange accounts, and many other IMAP and POP3 email providers.
What really sets a BlackBerry smartphone apart from any other Android device are the enhanced security features built into every device right from the start. From a hardened operating system to BlackBerry Limited’s proprietary technique for establishing a hardware root of trust adding security keys to the processor, the BlackBerry KEYone is intentionally designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible. This device comes pre-loaded with DTEK™ by BlackBerry, offering constant security monitoring and protection of your operating system and apps by letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it. A quick glimpse lets you see the overall security rating for your device and provides simple access allowing you to easily improve your security status. This BlackBerry security application monitors your other apps, alerting you if one is accessing your camera to take a picture or video, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, or accessing your contacts or location.
THE BLACKBERRY KEYONE EXPERIENCE
Beyond the design and security features making the BlackBerry KEYone so distinct, these additional features truly reinvent mobile communications for the business and enterprise user. At the core of this new BlackBerry smartphone is the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 625 mobile platform with the Qualcomm® Adreno™ 506 GPU. This means BlackBerry KEYone users will enjoy long battery life thanks to more efficient battery usage and fast LTE speeds for super-fast file sharing. It includes Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 technology, making it possible for the 3505 mAh battery on the KEYone — the largest ever in a BlackBerry device, to receive up to 50 percent charge in roughly 36 minutes. And for when you only have a few moments to grab a fast charge, BlackBerry’s Boost can turbo charge your battery to get you the most charge with the limited time you have.
“We are proud to be working with TCL on the BlackBerry KEYone,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm EMEA. “The Snapdragon 625 mobile platform with X9 LTE and the Adreno 506 GPU is purpose-built for users who demand superior performance and connectivity coupled with outstanding battery-life.”
The BlackBerry KEYone experience would not be complete though without a great camera. That’s why it includes a 12MP rear camera with the industry leading Sony IMX378 camera sensor. With a large pixel size(1.55um) and Phase Detect Auto Focus, moments captured on the BlackBerry KEYone will be ultra crisp and clear. And for when you have to take a video conference on the go, it includes an 8MP front camera with fixed focus and 84-degree wide angle lens.
For more information about the BlackBerry KEYone and to register for pre-order updates, please visit www.BlackBerryMobile.com.
Source: PR Newswire