When it comes to smartphones, it seems as though the downfall of the [mobile] physical keyboard was inevitable with the arrival of the original iPhone in 2007. However, 11 years later, BlackBerry is still producing smartphones with a physical keyboard, the latest of which is the Key2.
The Key2 is the successor to the KEYone, and features a slimmer top bezel and keys that are marginally larger for an improved typing experience. The overall physical dimensions are smaller than the KEYone and it takes on a more refined, svelte appearance. Given that the keyboard is not moveable (like the Priv) you won’t find a massive screen on the Key2. Instead, you’ll have to make do with a 4.5-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio (1620×1080).
On the hardware front, the TCL-manufactured Key2 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor with 6GB of RAM. 64GB of internal storage comes standard (128GB optional) and a microSD slot can expand that figure to 2TB. There are dual 12MP cameras out back that are complimented by a Dual Tone LED dash. Selfie camera cuties are handled by an 8MP sensor. As for the fingerprint sensor — it’s built into the spacebar (which also doubles as a shutter button for the cameras).
The Key2 packs in a respectable 3,500 mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support. BlackBerry says that the smartphone is capable of lasting up to two days on a charge, which is good news for road warriors that aren’t often near an accessible power outlet.
As is the case with all of BlackBerry’s latest smartphones, the Key2 is running Android (in this case Android 8.0 Oreo) and comes preloaded with a full suite of security apps/features to appeal to both consumers and business users.
The Key2 will begin shipping later this month with a starting price of $649 for a configuration with 64GB of storage.