After staying away from the leading smartphones league for quite a long period, BlackBerry has made a comeback at MWC 2017. Yes, BlackBerry Keyone is the first smartphone from the company after being taken over by TCL Communications, which also owns Alcatel. According to the manufacturer, Keyone is the safest Android smartphone.
Keyone has introduced the physical keyboard once again accompanying a 4.5-inch screen, combining the best of both worlds. We still cannot say how the users will respond to this when almost most of the die-hard fans of keyboard have adopted iOS or Android touchscreens.
BlackBerry Keyone Specifications
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BlackBerry Keyone Photo Gallery
The first Android smartphone with a typical BlackBerry design might interest some.
The 4.5-inch display and QWERTY keyboard make the front. All the keys on the QWERTY keyboard can be programmed as customizable shortcuts with fingerprint scanner integrated into the space bar. The keys are still cumbersome just like we have seen on the previous handsets of BlackBerry. But, the BlackBerry fans will enjoy the keyboard.
The top features speaker, front camera, notification LED, and ambient light sensor.
The back is covered with a faux-leather soft touch effect, which feels good and does not catch fingerprints like many glass-backed phones. It also adds to the durability of the phone and keeps it scratch free. A large camera lens on the back with a silver rim and LED flash is positioned on the top and the big BB logo completes the design.
The sides and bottom of the smartphone have rounded corners and the left side of the phone features volume rocker along with a special programmable “action key”. The right side of the phone features sim tray.
The top edge is flat, which tends the overall design towards the masculine scale and features a 3.5mm audio jack.
The bottom of the phone dual speaker and USB port for charging and data transfer.
BlackBerry Keyone features a 4.5-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is quite odd in the current era of smartphones. Though it does not feel completely awkward but, users might take some time to get along with the unique design. The display’s resolution (1080 X 1620 pixels) is impressively sharp which was not the case with previous smartphones of BlackBerry.
BlackBerry Keyone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset. The 2.0 GHz octa-core processor is coupled to a 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The storage can be further upgraded up to 256GB via microSD. With this configuration the things worked quickly, leading to a decent impression. However, the long usage will give a better idea. As the phone is all about productivity, multitasking was swift. The smartphone is backed by a 3505 mAh battery which also supports ‘Boost’ charging tech. This technology will charge the battery up to 50% in just 36 minutes.
This is the first time that BlackBerry has come up with Android smartphone which will now give complete access to Google Play store and apps. TCL is aiming business professionals with Keyone which was the original user base for the brand. Thus, the phone comes with BlackBerry Hub, which collects all the messages at one place. This includes your emails, texts, messages and even social media content. The pre-loaded DTEK by BlackBerry also monitors the operating system security threats, and alerts when your privacy is at risk.
The primary camera comes with a 12MP sensor which is further backed with 1.55 μm and phase detection autofocus. The rear camera can shoot up to full-HD videos 1080p @ 30fps. At the front, an 8MP camera is equipped with an 84-degree wide-angle lens.
Price And Availability
The BlackBerry Keyone will be available for global market by April 2017. The Indian market is also expected to get this smartphone during the same time period. Though the company has not announced the price tag for its upcoming smartphone but, it is expected that for the Indian market the price range will be between INR 36,000 and 40,000. Let’s see how the company prices it to compete against the other smartphones in the segment.
BlackBerry has once again revived the feel of last decade with all the features of Android. The processor is quite promising and with BlackBerry’s security and advanced feature, the smartphone has all the capabilities to gain the attention of business professionals. For the ones who are not too fond of large touch screens might look forward to the Keyone. Let’s wait for the response of customers.