Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Blackberry releases its ‘most advanced’ smartphone ever. Here’s a look

Blackberry releases its ‘most advanced’ smartphone ever. Here’s a look

Still, the phone proved fairly popular, and today, we're getting its successor, the BlackBerry Key2.

Unveiled in NY today, the TCL-made smartphone delivers what we've come to expect from the BlackBerry brand of late: the combination of a touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard in a minimalistically-handsome design, along with the latest version of Google's OS. 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 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor with 6GB RAM. There's also 64GB or 128GB of storage and a 3,500 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 over USB-C. BlackBerry has also added in portrait mode so that you can add a blurry background to your photos if you'd like. There's also an 8MP front-facing camera. It comes with Android 8.1 Oreo and BlackBerry's DTEK security features.

What do you think of the BlackBerry KEY2? TCL is promising up to two days battery life (unchanged) and a new Smart Battery Experience feature that learns from your daily charging habits to make recommendations for when you should charge your phone to make it through the day.

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You've got access to 35 backlit keys on the physical keyboard, and similar to the KEYone, the spacebar doubles as an integrated fingerprint sensor. There's 4K HDR video recording at 30fps, and Google Lens integration. No longer do you have to return to the home screen of your smartphone or search in an app folder to access the apps, contacts, and functions you use and communicate with most. The design uses Series 7 aluminum for a continuous frame, which the company says both looks cleaner and is stronger.

As for pricing and availability, the BlackBerry Key2 will be available starting this month, but a specific launch date is unknown. The phone has "device security built in from the start", according to the company, with tools like hardware root of trust and a secure bootloader, quite literally encrypting the phone to the T. That's called the "Speed Key", and can be used in conjunction with an app or task shortcut assigned to any of the alphabetical keys.

The BlackBerry KEY² will be available in Black and Silver.

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