In this new device, the QWERTY keyboard gets a revamp, there are dual cameras at the back for the first time, while privacy and security features are enhanced.
The KEY2 featuers a thin aluminium chassis (8.5mm) and weighs in 168g. Control keys are all on the right side -- volume rocker, textured power button and convenience key; combined with a new soft-touch diamond-pattern back and a Gorilla Glass-protected 4.5-inch touch-screen, the KEY2 looks as modern as any smartphone with a keyboard can. As well as traditional black, the new BlackBerry handset is available in silver.
The smartphone runs Android 8.1 Oreo on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660 chipset, with 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. It also offers storage expansion via MicroSD card and has a 3.5mm audio jack. In addition, microphone placement has been optimised, with active noise cancelling for better call quality, and HD audio support for enhanced speakerphone playback.
The KEY2 also packs a 3,500mAh battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 support. BlackBerry is also introducing a Smart Battery Experience that learns from your usage pattern and notifies you when it thinks you'll need a recharge to get through your upcoming schedule.
|BlackBerry KEYone||BlackBerry KEY2|
|Dimensions||149.3mm x 72.5mm x 9.4 mm||151.4mm x 71.8mm x 8.5mm|
|Display||4.5-inch IPS LCD, 1620 x 1080, 3:2 aspect ratio, 433ppi||4.5-inch IPS LCD, 1620 x 1080, 3:2 aspect ratio, 433ppi|
|Keyboard||touch-enabled 35 key backlit QWERTY keyboard with
integrated fingerprint sensor
|touch-enabled 35 key backlit QWERTY keyboard with integrated fingerprint sensor|
|Operating system||Android 7.1 (Nougat)||Android 8.1 (Oreo)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 625||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660|
|GPU||Adreno 506||Adreno 512|
|Rear camera(s)||12MP f/2.0||12MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.6|
|Sensors||GPS/A-GPS, fingerprint (spacebar), accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity, ambient light||GPS/A-GPS, fingerprint (spacebar), accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity, ambient light|
|GSM, HSPA, LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC, FM radio||GSM, HSPA, LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, FM radio|
|USB-C, 3.5mm audio||USB-C, 3.5mm audio|
|Battery||3,505mAh with QuickCharge 3.0||3,500mAh with QuickCharge 3.0|
The KEY2 is the first BlackBerry smartphone with dual rear cameras -- 12MP sensors with f/1.8 (wide angle) and f/2.6 (telephoto) lenses. There are improvements to auto white balance, auto focus and image stabilisation, plus support for the now-obligatory portrait mode. The new Optical Superzoom feature translates to support for 2x optical and 4x digital zoom. The front camera is an 8MP unit, as on the KEYone.
The keyboard has received a number of improvements, including 20 percent more key height, a more comfortable matte finish and enhanced fret design for better key spacing. The new Speed Key lets you invoke customisable shortcuts from within any app, rather than having to return to the home screen. As before, the keypad works as a trackpad, supports flick typing with predictive text, and embeds a fingerprint reader in the spacebar.
The BlackBerry KEY2 will begin shipping worldwide in June, with prices starting at $649 in the US, £579 in the UK, €649 in Europe, and $829 in Canada.