BlackBerry-brand licensing partner TCL Communication has launched its new BlackBerry KEY2 handset, with a focus on feature enhancements and privacy and security.
As expected from a BlackBerry, the KEY2 includes a physical keyboard, in addition to a touchscreen, and runs on Android 8.1 Oreo. The KEY2 is also the first BlackBerry smartphone with dual rear camera.
The handset also includes a Speed Key universal shortcut with up to 52 custom shortcuts, for instant access to apps, contacts and other functions.
The BlackBerry KEY2 will begin shipping globally this month with the suggested retail price starting at $649/ 2,399 AED / 2,399 SAR.
The KEY2 has a continuous Series 7 aluminum frame for added durability, with soft touch back.
The new BlackBerry KEY2 has a redesigned intelligent keyboard as well as a 4.5-inch touch display that includes 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass which offers increased scratch resistance and creates a more seamless design and edge-to-edge look.
Key height on the BlackBerry KEY2 has been increased by 20% for a more comfortable and accurate typing experience, and includes new matte key finish and fret design for optimized key spacing. It also includes in-keyboard fingerprint with updated mechanics for an improved tactile response and a more convenient user experience.
The handset offers up to two days battery life, 6GB of memory and in both 64GB and 128GB storage variants, and also includes Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. The KEY2 also has a new Smart Battery Experience, which is intended to learn from a users daily charging habits and recommend when they should charge the phone.
In security, the phone features a hardened operating system, along with BlackBerry's proprietary technique for establishing a hardware root of trust adding security keys to the processor. It comes preloaded with DTEK by BlackBerry application that removes the complexity of security by providing an ‘at a glance' security meter. This shows the overall security rating of your device, and provides a simple way to view how apps may be accessing your data and manage app permissions. DTEK also has a Proactive Health check feature, which enables users to scan the device and receive instant feedback on potential vulnerabilities and security optimizations.
Locker has also been improved to offer even greater personal privacy and control over content, with features like private folders for documents and photos so they don't get uploaded to the cloud and Firefox Focus, by Mozilla, a private browser. This pre-loaded privacy application can only be accessed with fingerprint or password, helping store and protect sensitive user data, apps and content such as photos and downloaded files.
"Although there are many different smartphones for consumers to choose from today, most tend to offer very similar experiences without much distinction from one to the next," said Alain Lejeune, Senior Vice President, TCL Communication & President, BlackBerry Mobile. "With the introduction of BlackBerry KEY2, we've created a distinct smartphone that captures all the traits that have made BlackBerry smartphones iconic, while introducing new innovations and experiences that not only make this one of the best devices for security and privacy, but also the most advanced BlackBerry smartphone ever."
"BlackBerry phones are the world's most secure Android smartphones. We design them for security from the inside out and we're proud to partner with TCL Communication on the launch of their all-new BlackBerry KEY2," said Alex Thurber, SVP and GM of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. "BlackBerry has been iterating and perfecting our approach to mobile security for decades, and we're excited to have this new genuine, modern BlackBerry smartphone available for our fans around the world to enjoy."