BlackBerry Key2 Launch Event

TCL launches the BlackBerry Key2 for $649

BlackBerry Key2 specs, photos leak ahead of June 7 reveal

Phone manufacturer TCL Communication, which licenses the BlackBerry brand, unveiled the KEY2 at an event in New York City on Thursday.

It is also the first BlackBerry device to feature dual rear camera which is consisted of a 12MP f/1.8 dual PDAF camera and another 12MP f/2.6 PDAF camera.

The Android-powered KEY2 also boasts a new Speed Key functionality that allows users quicker access to apps as well as a stronger aluminum frame and a tougher, more scratch-resistant glass screen.

Alain Lejeune, Senior Vice President at BlackBerry Mobile calls this "a distinct smartphone that captures all the traits that have made BlackBerry smartphones iconic", no doubt referring to the BlackBerry KEY2's new touch-enabled, 35 key backlit version of BlackBerry's unique physical keyboard.

The BlackBerry KEY2 will go on sale later this month for a reasonable $649 - an exact date is not yet known, though.

Based on leaks, BlackBerry Key2 is not going to look too different from the original KeyOne which was launched in 2017.

The KEY2 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and carries a 3,500mAh battery.

According to Blass, the BlackBerry KEY2 will cost £579 at launch, an increase of £70 over the KEYone. Unlike the BlackBerry deal, TCL controls the software on Alcatel devices, TCL said. There's a 4.5-inch 1620×1080 display with a 3:2 aspect ratio up top, and below that is a physical keyboard with a key height that's been raised 20 percent and a new matte key finish for a better typing experience. It's used for shortcuts and you can program up to 52 combinations including long pressing an alphabet together with the speed key. Other specifications include a 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card support, Wi-Fi, and 4G LTE. There are about 15 BlackBerry apps preloaded in total. There's 4K HDR video recording at 30fps, and Google Lens integration. On the front, the KEY2 comes with an 8-megapixel camera. The promise is up to two days of battery life; the KEY2 charges via USB-C.

Additionally, the device comes with Firefox Focus, a privacy browser by Mozilla that prevents web browsing sessions from being tracked. This should offer some pretty decent portrait performance, but I don't expect anything groundbreaking, considering that photography has never been a core concern of BlackBerry's userbase.

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