The BlackBerry Key2 will soon be available in a new Red Edition, which comes standard with 128 GB of storage (a step-up option on the standard Key2). The Key2 Red Edition also comes with an exclusive red BlackBerry-branded earbuds. This new edition is otherwise similar to the existing Key2, not to be confused with the lower-end Key2 LE. The Key2 has a metal body, Snapdragon 660 processor, 6 GB of RAM, 3,500 mAh battery, and both standard and telephoto cameras on the back. Naturally it has the signature QWERTY physical keyboard and BlackBerry messaging and security software.
TCL today announced the BlackBerry KEY2 LE, a mass-market smartphone with a keyboard. The phone is a scaled back variant of the KEY2 with a new exterior. Gone is the rigid metal build and in its place is a polycarbonate frame with a soft-touch material on the rear surface. The KEY2 LE comes in three color combos: slate, champagne, and atomic red. The latter two have contrasting shades to give them more personality. The LE is less buttoned-down than the standard KEY2. The screen is the same size and resolution (4.5 inches, full HD) as the original. One area where TCL moved to cut costs was the keyboard. The keys are the same shape as those on the pricier KEY2, but the keyboard loses capacitive touch support. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm 636 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 32 or 64 GB of storage. A dual-camera system graces the rear of the phone and a selfie camera is on front. The main shooter is a 13-megapixel job at f/2.2 and the secondary sensor is a 5-megapixel job at f/2.4. Other hardware features include 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C, and the dedicated speed key on the keyboard. The phone has a 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0. Of note, TCL says the KEY2 LE will be compatible with more networks. It will be able to operate on Verizon's network as an LTE-only phone. It is also compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile. TCL has lined up a wide number of retail and carrier distribution points for the phone, which goes on sale for $399 / 32 GB and $449 / 64 GB at the end of September.
BlackBerry today announced updates to many of its productivity apps for Android devices. For example, the BlackBerry calendar now offers a month view with a refined picker for selecting times/dates when creating appointments. The contacts app is streamlined with automatic field population to speed up the process of creating new contacts. BlackBerry’s DTEK security software sees a significant number of updates. For example, the app’s home screen has been overhauled with a new dashboard to better show the phone’s stauts. Notifications and applications can be more finely tuned via new permissions settings. Further, DTEK will scan the phone at least once per week to make sure the device is up to date. The privacy shade should be easier to turn on thanks to new home screen controls, and the power management center should be more efficient and offer more useful alerts. All these apps are free to download individually from the Google Play Store.
TCL today said the BlackBerry KEY2 will be available to preorder starting June 29 with an expected retail date of July 13. The phone will be sold unlocked from Amazon and Best Buy for $649. The KEY2, announced earlier this month, has a redesigned chassis, taller keyboard with better keys, and dual rear cameras. Other features include a Snapdragon 660 processor, 6 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage. The phone runs Android 8 Oreo with BlackBerry's hardened security and business communication software. The KEY2 has a 4.5-inch screen and 3,500mAh battery.
TCL gave its BlackBerry phone a total makeover and hit all the right spots. The phone is easier on the eyes, easier to hold and use, and more powerful than ever thanks to improved specs. With two rear cameras and portrait shooting, Android 8.1 Oreo with BlackBerry Hub+ and DTEK, and a retooled keyboard that's more responsive, there's lots to like about the latest 'Berry. Here are Phone Scoop's first impressions.
TCL today announced the KEY2, a second-generation BlackBerry phone that combines a large screen, full QWERTY keyboard, and hardened Android software in an aluminum body. The company made a number of changes to the chassis in order to resolve consumer pain points. It has a sleek metal body that has fewer sharp edges. TCL reworked the soft touch rear panel and gave it a new diamond pattern. The KEY2 carries over the 4.5-inch full HD screen of the original with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass. TCL reduced the forehead and chin in order to accommodate a taller keyboard, which has been completely redesigned. The physical keyboard supports trackpad functionality and includes a new fingerprint reader in the space bar. The KEY2 introduces what TCL calls the Speed Key, which is a universal shortcut key that is user programmable. Internal specs include a Snapdragon 660 processor with 6 GB of RAM, 64 GB or 128 GB of storage, and space for a microSD card up to 1 TB. The battery measures 3,500mAh and TCL claims it delivers two days of use. The battery charges rapidly thanks to support for Quick Charge 3.0. The rear includes two 12-megapixel cameras. The main lens has a 79.3-degree field of view and aperture of f/1.8, while the second has a 50-degree field of view and an aperture of f/2.6. The second sensor is meant to help with depth information for portrait-style shots. Other camera features include PDAF, 4K video capture, and two-tone LED flash. The front camera boasts an 8-megapixel sensor with an display-based selfie flash and full HD video capture. The phone runs Android 8.1 with BlackBerry Hub+ and the company's DTEK security software. The KEY2 will be sold in several variants around the world. TCL says one version will work well in the U.S., including on the networks operated by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. The BlackBerry KEY2 costs $649 and goes on sale globally this month.
BlackBerry today provided another speak peak at the forthcoming Key2 smartphone. Like the original, the phone will include a touch screen and physical QWERTY keyboard. The teaser video released today shows that the phone will include two cameras on the rear along with a dual-LED flash. The device is scheduled to be unveiled at an event on June 7.