Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Tech | By Anita Cain

BlackBerry launches latest phone with appeal to the security-conscious

BlackBerry launches latest phone with appeal to the security-conscious

BlackBerry stripped away the KeyOne's gaudy metallic accents, frets between the key rows and overly rounded edges for a sharper, more minimalist vibe that really lets the 7000-series aluminum frame stand on its own. As well as in the U.S., it'll ship globally, priced from €649 Euro, £579 GBP, and $829 CAD.

The handset also features a 4.5-inch, 1620 x 1080 IPS LCD screen with a 3.2 aspect ratio, with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass providing protection against scratches and knocks.

The brief 25-second teaser doesn't reveal much about the phone, but it does give us a few key talking points.

It features a classic QWERTY keyboard for those smartphone users who still aren't used to typing on a touchscreen. A year later the KEY2 has arrived packing a similar design with plenty of refinements, on the surface and under the hood.

For more information about the BlackBerry KEY2 then head on over to the official website.

All the improvements haven't been saved for the exterior, either.

The battery is ever-so-slightly smaller at 3,500 mAh compared to the KEYone's 3,505 mAh unit, but thanks to the power-sipping nature of the 660, the KEY2 should still be a battery champ.

While the KeyOne and Key2 certainly look like they're related, there are plenty of differences between them.

The new device, which includes a physical keyboard under a 4.5 inch screen and runs the Android operating system updates the first BlackBerry Key released past year. There's a dual rear camera setup on the KEY2, up from the single rear camera on the KEYone. Stabilisation has been improved in the Key2 as well, but there's still no OIS (Optical Image Stabilsation) on either of the lenses. In fact, the company says it is "the most secure Android smartphone". It comes preloaded with DTEK by BlackBerry application that removes the complexity of security by providing an "at a glance" security meter.

Last year the KEYone debuted with just one design choice, only to add the KEYone Black variant later in the year. The smartphone boots Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with BlackBerry Launcher running on top and proprietary apps like BlackBerry Hub and more.

Privacy controls were touted among the top features of TCL Communications' BlackBerry KEY2 unveiled today in NY, reflecting a growing demand by consumers and regulators for the protection of personal data.

On the BlackBerry KeyOne, each key was customizable, meaning you could set it up as a shortcut to access from your home screen. It might also help explain why the price is a bit higher than the KeyOne at launch. BlackBerry's latest is priced the same as the iPhone 8 and many other premium Android handsets, despite lacking a flagship-level processor.

With the KEY2, that theme is present once again.

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