BlackBerry, TCL Collaboration: BlackBerry Unveiled KEYOne Phone With QWERTY Keyboard, Snapdragon 625 SoC, Longer Battery Life


TCL and BlackBerry has finally revealed its highly-anticipated Android phone, which will be called KEYOne, during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. The said smartphone retains BlackBerry's traditional QWERTY keyboard, but armed with Android features and security suite.

After BlackBerry announced its voluntary exit from smartphone development in order to focus on its licensing and software brand, TCL took the wheel in producing BlackBerry-branded devices. Now, the BlackBerry KEYone smartphone is expected to offer faster connectivity, longer battery life and high-end performance, while retaining some BlackBerry's heritage like the QWERTY keyboard hardware and its security suite.

According to Tech Radar, the KEYOne features an aluminum chassis while covered in Gorilla Glass 4 on the front panel. The 4.5-inch LCD will cover 3:2 aspect ratio it its 1620 x 1080 resolution, which should result to sharper and clearer images.

One of the key selling points of the BlackBerry KEYOne will be its QWERTY keyboard that is not included on most phones in the tech market. The said keyboard uses stainless-steel strips between the rows for touch-type assistance and for better look.

As an added feature, the physical keyboard also serves as an extension to the display by supporting programmable shortcuts and swiping, AnandTech reported. Users can scroll through pages by lightly gliding their fingers over the keys. Certain keys can also be associated with special apps or contacts, like B for the browser and I for Instagram. In addition, the space bar key is integrated with a fingerprint sensor.

In its optics department, the BlackBerry KEYone uses Sony's Exmor IMX378 and dual-tone flash in its 12-megapixel primary sensor. Its front camera will be equipped with an 8-megapixel camera with selfie flash through its LCD.

As for its processor, TCL picked up the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC with Adreno 506 GPU, and 3GB of RAM alongside a 32GB of internal storage. It houses a 3505mAh battery with Qualcomm's 3.0 Fast Charging technology. On the software front, the BlackBerry KEYOne runs Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box.

Other connectivity options include supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and USB-C type port. It also integrates Qualcomm's X9 LTE modem (Cat 7 LTE, up to 300 Mbit/s downlink and up to 150 Mb/s uplink).

As for pricing and availability, the BlackBerry KEYOne will be sale on April in multiple countries at $549/€599/£499 prices.


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