After several leaks and teasers, the BlackBerry KEY2 was made officially official today.
The BlackBerry KEY2 may look similar to its predecessor, but it’s got some upgrades that are worth taking notice of. One of the biggest upgrades that the KEY2 has from the KEYone is the move to a dual rear camera setup: the KEY2 is packing two 12MP rear cameras, with one sensor packing an f/1.8 aperture and the second sensor offering an f/2.6 aperture. Also included are 2x Optical Superzoom and Portrait Mode features.
Another major feature of the KEY2 is its physical keyboard. BlackBerry says that the key height on the KEY2 has been increased 20 percent from the KEYone and that the keyboard has a new matte finish to help improve the typing experience. The keyboard still acts as a trackpad to let you scroll through emails, and there’s a new Speed Key that’ll give you access to your programmable keyboard shortcuts without having to return to the home screen.
The BlackBerry KEY2 boasts an upgraded processor, an octa-core Snapdragon 660 to be specific, and double the RAM and storage compared the KEYone. The KEY2 has 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage plus a microSD card slot if the built-in storage isn’t enough for you.
Other notable features of the BlackBerry KEY2 include a 4.5-inch 1620×1080 display with 3:2 aspect ratio, 3500mAh battery, USB-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, all packed into a device with a Series 7 aluminum frame. On the software side, the KEY2 is running Android 8.1 with several BlackBerry apps preinstalled.
The BlackBerry KEY2 will begin shipping globally this month at a price of $649, which is $100 more than the price the KEYone launched with last year. International pricing for the KEY2 will be set at €649 EUR/£579 GBP/$829 CAD.
While the design of the KEY2 hasn’t changed much, that’s also not all that surprising since the whole point of the phone is to offer a smartphone with a physical keyboard that’s reminiscent of old-school BlackBerry devices. There have been some nice upgrades made with the KEY2, though, and while its price and physical keyboard may not be for everyone, the improved keyboard and better specs should please those who demand a hardware QWERTY on their phone.