Mobile Reviews

Blackberry Key2: for those who can’t resist having a physical keyboard, price starts at $615

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The most intelligent keyboard ever, the first Blackberry to feature a dual primary camera, a whopping 6GB RAM, the latest Oreo 8.1 operating system and a battery that lasts up to 2 days – here’s to Blackberry Key2.

Any of you have fond memories of a Blackberry phone back then? It was the most widely used phone for business users during the time when it was costly to own a mobile phone.

With that in mind, that’s where Blackberry is taking a trip down memory lane by re-introducing the physical keyboard with the Keyone smartphone last year:

  • 4.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1620 pixels or ~434 ppi pixel density
  • Capacitive touch 4-row BlackBerry keyboard
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Gorilla Glass 4 protection
  • Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 chipset, Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 processor, Adreno 506 graphics and 3GB RAM
  • 12MP primary camera with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus and dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • 8MP secondary camera with 1.12 µm pixel size
  • 32GB internal storage + microSD expansion slot up to maximum 256GB
  • Android Nougat 7.1
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3505 mAh battery with Fast battery charging (50% in 30 minutes)
  • 4G LTE
  • April 2017 release date
  • USD 549 price tag

Blackberry Keyone seems to be targeting at a very small group of users who insists on getting themselves a physical keyboard or for those loyal brand users, as the price tag was prohibitive for the kind of specs that it dishes out.

Today, we have Blackberry Key2 as a refresher for last year’s model. Will it be any better? Check it out yourself as per below:

  • 4.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1620 pixels, 3:2 ratio or ~434 ppi pixel density
  • Capacitive touch 4-row BlackBerry keyboard
  • Aluminum frame (7000 series) with a plastic back
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660 chipset, Octa-core (4x2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260) processor, Adreno 512 graphics and 6GB RAM
  • Dual 12MP primary camera with (f/1.8 aperture, 1/2.3", 1.55µm, DP PDAF) + 12MP (f/2.6 aperture, 1.0µm, PDAF), phase detection autofocus and dual-LED dual-tone flash
  • 8MP secondary camera with (f/2.0 aperture, 1.12µm)
  • 64GB/128GB internal storage + microSD expansion slot up to maximum 256GB
  • Android Oreo 8.1
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery with Fast battery charging (50% in 36 minutes)
  • Dual-sim and 4G LTE
  • June 2018 release date
  • 3,999 Chinese Yuan or ~ USD 615 for 64GB internal storage and 4,499 Chinese Yuan or ~ USD 695 for 128GB internal storage

The Key2 shares a similar 4.5-inch screen size and physical keyboard as its predecessor. Guess that is the optimal setup for everyone to get comfortable with this smartphone. But that is where the similarities end, as it is deliberately crafted to offer a thinner and lighter design, without sacrificing durability. The look and feel department is further enhanced with the Series 7 aluminum alloy frame and textured diamond grip non-slip back found on it.

It is also touted to be the most intelligent keyboard ever, by featuring the all-new Speed Key that makes it possible to activate shortcuts to apps and initiate actions from anywhere without returning to the home screen or swiping endlessly.

Moving on to the hardware, we can find the Key2 lingering in the mid-range department with its Snapdragon 660 chipset paired with a fast Kryo octa-core processor, good Adreno 512 graphics and a whopping 6GB RAM. It is quick enough to run most of the apps and games that most will be installing.

Key2 is also the first Blackberry smartphone to be featuring a dual primary camera setup. The dual 12MP-12MP primary camera is also equipped with all the bells and whistles that you expect out of a great camera smartphone. It even has portrait mode and optical superzoom for greater control and image quality. Then there’s the 8MP selfie camera to make the package complete.

Storage-wise, two options are available that depends on your budget. You can either go for 64GB or 128GB internal storage, and even then; you can add up to a maximum of 256GB via the microSD expansion slot.

Blessed with the 3500 mAh battery with the right kind of optimizations, you can expect it to last for up to two days in between charging. 

Running on top of the latest Android Oreo 8.1, the Key2 takes it up further by making it the most secure Android smartphone with enhanced security and privacy features built-in. We have DTEK® by BlackBerry, Locker Private Zone App + Firefox Focus Private Browser and Privacy Shade so that you can have the smartphone as your trusted business phone as well.

Finally, with dual-sim capability, convenience is on the mind for most users. Choose the best plan according to your usage, at the right time.

Conclusion:

Blackberry Key2 will certainly appeal to those who are looking for a very secure smartphone while still having all the features and functions of a mid-range device. Not forgetting those who still insists on getting a physical keyboard. But be prepared to pay top dollar for it though.

Blackberry Key2 had just been released for 3,999 Chinese Yuan or ~ USD 615 for the 64GB internal storage variant and 4,499 Chinese Yuan or ~695 USD for the 128GB internal storage model. Instead of the traditional Black color often associated with Blackberry smartphones, there’s one more additional Silver colour for those looking for some change.

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Eza EzamieEza Ezamie
Category: Team WhaTechCompany about: Tech junkie by profession and passionate about anything from the digital world, movies, games and reading. He loves writing and hopes you enjoy his writing as much as he does. Eza, is also known as Don in the virtual world, but don’t him me wrong, he's not a mafia type he's really a nice chap and a devout family guy.
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