TCL launches the BlackBerry Key2 for $649

Here’s the sequel to the surprisingly nice Black Berry KeyOne		
	Brian Heater

   	7 hours

Here’s the sequel to the surprisingly nice Black Berry KeyOne Brian Heater @ 7 hours

Gareth Hurn, global head of device portfolio for BlackBerry Mobile at TCL, introduces the new BlackBerry Key2 smartphone during a product launch event in NY on June 7, 2018.

On the back is the first dual rear camera on a BlackBerry, with two 12-megapixel sensors.

"Security has never been so relevant and so important as today", Alain Lejeune, president of BlackBerry Mobile and senior vice-president, TCL communication, said in introducing the KEY2, the flagship smartphone replacing the KEYone. Unveiled in NY today, the TCL-made smartphone delivers what we've come to expect from the BlackBerry brand of late: the combination of a touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard in a minimalistically-handsome design, along with the latest version of Google's OS. "Upfront, they have kept the same 4.5" 3:2 display that pushes 1620×1080 pixels resolution.

Now, BlackBerry is readying a successor, appropriately named the Key2, which will be available later this summer for $649. For the most part, the BlackBerry KEY2 remains the same as KEYone, but BlackBerry has taken the feedback it received for the KEYone and implemented the same on the KEY2.

The keyboard on the BlackBerry Key2, right, sports a very different design from the KeyOne's, left. A new Proactive Health check feature promises to make that scanning process even easier. There's also a new button called the Speed Key, which acts as a shortcut button to quickly switch between apps. You can record video in 4K at 30 FPS, dual-tone flash helps to brighten dark scenes, and there's Phase Detection Autofocus. It may not have the power of a Snapdragon 845, but it should make better use of the 3,500 mAh battery, which also supports Quick Charge 3.0. If you need additional storage, you can pop a microSD card into the KEY2.

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Other features of the BlackBerry KEY² include a 3500mAh battery which BlackBerry claims should last for two days, a USB-C port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and NFC. It comes preloaded with DTEK by BlackBerry application that removes the complexity of security by providing an "at a glance" security meter.

Additionally, the device comes with Firefox Focus, a privacy browser by Mozilla that prevents web browsing sessions from being tracked.

What do you think of the BlackBerry KEY2?

Elsewhere, the KEY2 will cost €649 European Union, £579 GB, and $829 CDN.

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