Published: Tue, February 28, 2017
Industry | By Faith Ward

Blackberry KEYone QWERTY Smartphone with Android 7.1 Nougat Launched at MWC 2017


The BlackBerry KeyOne.Business Insider/Jeff DunnWhile BlackBerry proper is no longer making its own hardware, BlackBerry phones aren't dead for good. To recall, Blackberry in September announced to end its design and production unit, and license the brand to partners.

With BlackBerry the company focused tightly on the enterprise since CEO John Chen took over, TCL is hoping to use the KEYone to reposition the smartphone brand as something not just for the enterprise, but also enterprising consumers. "In addition, KEYone is the first smartphone to build a fingerprint sensor directly into the keyboard spacebar for added functionality and security", BlackBerry said in a blog note. Blackberry and TCL have launched the Blackberry KEYone Android flagship phone.

In terms of specifications, the device sports a 4.5-inch full-HD IPS display, with a 1620x1080 pixels resolution and an aspect ratio of 3:2. Under the hood the smartphone is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, which provides up tp 2 times more processing power and 4X times faster charging as it supports Quick Charge 3.0. The BlackBerry KEYone packs in 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable internal storage (expandable up to 2TB).

At the bottom of the device, there's a USB-C port for charging.

Blackberry says that the KEYone offers more screen space when typing a message, as compared to an all touch screen in which nearly half of the screen estate is taken over by the virtual keyboard. Up front is an 8 MP shooter. The KeyOne's physical keyboard won't be for everyone, but for those folks that miss the days of pounding away on real buttons, the KeyOne's keyboard and form factor could make it a must-buy.

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BLACKBERRYWhen will the BlackBerry KEYOne be available in the UK?

Blackberry may have stopped producing phones but its name lives on. At least the KeyOne has an aluminum frame, which gets exposed on the sides of the device, while the back is a plastic soft touch material.

The BlackBerry KEYone runs on Android 7.1 Nougat software with the company's proprietary productivity and security optimisations such as the BlackBerry Hub and DETK security monitoring app. Further the smartphone comes with DTEK application that will allow users to fine tune and customize the phones security settings.

As for the availability of the device, BlackBerry has said it will be available across the globe starting from April.

These features were available on the Priv - the last BlackBerry phone that was made by BlackBerry - but they're worth bringing back here.

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