Back at MWC 2017, TCL in collaboration with BlackBerry had unveiled the KEYone Android smartphone that features its own built-in keyboard. The BlackBerry KEYone is now available for pre-orders in Axiom Telecom for AED 1999 and will be available in the UAE by 25th May 2017.
The new smartphone is recognized as the last model to be designed in-house by BlackBerry as the company had given their manufacturing rights to TCL last year after BlackBerry had officially withdrawn themselves from manufacturing anymore Blackberry smartphones. Unlike the Priv, the BlackBerry KEYone features a candy-bar style form factor with a built-in keyboard. Among all the physical keys that can be programmed as shortcuts for different applications, the spacebar houses a fingerprint scanner and the keys are capable of allowing users to perform swipe gestures as seen on the Blackberry Passport.
While the KEYone comes with a 4.5-inch IPS display with 3:2 aspect ratio, TCL says that the keyboard will allow users to have more screen estate while typing a message or text. This is true because when users type a message on an all-screen smartphone, the software-based keyboard takes over almost half of the display area.
The smartphone features the Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor with 3GB of onboard RAM and 32GB internal storage. The processor is touted to offer good battery life efficiency for users. The smartphone also packs a large 3505 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 capability via the USB Type-C port.
The device also comes with a 12MP Sony IMX378 camera sensor (the same found on Google Pixel) on the rear side with the support of phase detection, HDR, and a 6-element F2.0 lens. The front camera is 8MP with an aperture of F2.2. There is also an “impact-resistant, soft-touch” back panel and an aluminum frame that helps the smartphone to be rigid. The BlackBerry KEYone will also feature the BlackBerry Hub that’s capable of storing and syncing with all your emails and messages and the DTEK application that determines the security and privacy of your data and applications.