BlackBerry Key2 launched with Snapdragon 660, dual-camera and QWERTY keyboard from $649

BlackBerry has just announced its latest flagship smartphone called the Key2 will go on sale at a starting price of $649 (approximately Rs 40,000) and will be available this month in Europe and US. The phone is the successor to the previously launched BlackBerry KeyONE and it is also one of the only Android smartphones to be launched with a QWERTY physical keyboard in 2018.

In terms of design, the BlackBerry Key2 looks more or less the same as the KeyONE. The device is said to measure 151.4 mm x 71.8 mm x 8.5 mm and has a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display sporting the odd 3:2 display aspect ratio and a resolution of 1,620 x 1,080 pixels.

Black Key2’s keys are nearly 20 percent larger than the KeyONE says BlackBerry. A new key called the Speed Key has been added to the BlackBerry Key2 which can help you navigate to any app on the phone faster. Assign an app to a shortcut key on the keyboard and press the Speed Key along with the assigned key to instantly open the assigned app.

Below the screen are the three capacitive navigation buttons and below that is the QWERTY keyboard which is kind of a signature for BlackBerry. The frame is made out of series 7 aluminum and the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4.

Under the hood, there is the high-powered mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC along with 6 GB RAM. The smartphone will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB storage variants. The internal storage is further expandable to 256 GB via a micro-SD card slot.

The fingerprint reader still resides inside the Spacebar and the keyboard also retains its capacitive touch capabilities to scroll through the browser.  In terms of software the phone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo.

However, if you prefer to use a virtual keyboard, then the button beside the symbol key will let you do so. The entire device is powered by a 3,500 mAh battery which supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0.

In the camera department, we see that the Key2 has a dual-camera setup which is an improvement over the single camera in the KeyONE. The phone has a 12 MP (f/1.8, dual PDAF) + 12 MP (f/2.6, PDAF) cameras along with a dual tone LED flash. The front camera comes with an 8 MP sensor.

In terms of connectivity, the phone has a single SIM slot with 4G VoLTE capabilities.  However, for India the phone will come in a dual-SIM variant. Apart from that the phone also has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz), 802.11 a/n and ac (5 GHz), Bluetooth v5.0, NFC, a USB 3.0 Type-C port and an FM Radio. The phone will come in two colours silver and black. For India, the phone will most likely start shipping in July.

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