Published: Mon, February 27, 2017
Technology | By Timothy Carter

MWC 2017: Blackberry returns with KEYone Android smartphone

MWC 2017: Blackberry returns with KEYone Android smartphone

The new BlackBerry KeyOne is the latest and the most powerful BlackBerry with a full-on QWERTY keyboard and the largest battery to ever grace a BlackBerry smartphone.

TCL, the Chinese company best known for making affordable televisions and budget Alcatel-branded phones, has launched KEYone, the much awaited BlackBerry flagship for 2017, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The KeyOne is manufactured by BlackBerry in partnership with TCL.

The KeyOne gets a 4.5-inch display when measured diagonally and a resolution of 1620 x 1080.

As for the processor, the KeyOne will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, as previously rumored. The phone comes with 32GB of built-in storage which is further expandable up to 2TB via microSD slot. The photographic section is headed by a main camera of 12MP with f/2.0 lens and it will make use of the Sony IMX378 sensor.

Other headline specs include a Sony 12-megapixel camera and a hefty 3505 mAh battery created to ensure the KEYone lasts longer than a day on a single charge. The company noted that thanks to Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 you can charge the 3505 mAh battery up to 50% in just 36 minutes. The tech giant also boasts in the fact that the BlackBerry KEYone has its security suite and other software, including the Hub. Like other recent BlackBerry devices, it runs Android rather than RIM's OS, though with some primarily security and productivity-minded tweaks. Both smartphones do come with fingerprint sensors, found on the back of the G6, and in the case of the KEYone, the scanner has been cleverly embedded into the physical space bar on the keyboard. You can also use the KeyOne keyboard to flick predictive text onto your screen and to scroll through webpages and emails like a trackpad. You can also assign up to 52 shortcuts to the various keys, which is insane, and set up a variety of functions.

The KEYone also boasts a textured back cover, which TCL promises will improve your grip on the device.

What are your thoughts on the BlackBerry KEYone? That said, the BlackBerry KeyOne could turn out to be a hit if it comes at an attractive price point, but if it's too expensive it may not attract many fans. With all these decent specifications, the device is said to cost around €599 / £499 / $549 (approx Rs. 40,000).

On the connectivity front, it includes 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and a USB Type-C port.

Blackberry has released their second smartphone in the last two years that has a fully functional QWERTY keyboard.

Blackberry itself is now sticking purely with developing its software, largely focused on security and which is incorporated in the KeyOne.

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