BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) dominated the mobile segment before the advent of the smartphone, yet saw their fortunes shift soon afterwards. Now the brand is making a comeback, with different manufacturing and licensing agreements. The BlackBerry KEYone is yet another attempt by the Canadian company to capture its former glory as it finds its footing in this new ecosystem.
The KEYone was known as the BlackBerry “Mercury” at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, with limited information about the specs of the phone. At Mobile World Congress and with licensing by TCL, the company unveiled the phone in all its glory, and BlackBerry purist should be happy.
The first thing you will notice is the return of the QWERTY keyboard, but it does more than type. It is also a control pad that is touch sensitive, so you can use it to scroll up and down the screen.
Additionally, all of the 52 keys can be programmed to launch different apps. So the U key can be programmed for Uber, the W for weather and so on.
Here are the major specs:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-Core 2.0 GHz, 64-bit Adreno 506, 650MHz GPU
- 4.5” scratch-resistant 433 PPI 1620 x 1080 IPS LCD display
- 12MP auto-focus large pixel rear camera and 8MP front camera with flash
- Android OS with 7.1 Nougat and BlackBerry Security software
- 3 GB RAM, 32 GB Flash and expandable memory via hot swappable microSD memory card (Up to 2TB)
- USB Type-C and 3.1
- 3505 mAh 4.4V non-removable Lithium Ion battery QC3.0
The specs for the KEYone are not top of the line, but this is a utilitarian workhorse for people that want a secure phone (BlackBerry is calling it the most secure Android in the world) and a robust battery life.
For business people who want these features, BlackBerry has built the device. The question is, will they get rid of their Samsung and Apple devices to buy one?
The BlackBerry KEYone is going to be available for $549 sometime in April. Is this a phone you would use for business?
BB is definitely known for Qwerty. But I don’t know so much about restoring its previous glory. One thing is for sure. Technology companies have to continuously innovate in order to stay ahead. And with that, I am not so sure about the idea of bringing back an old keyboard.
The keyboard is definitely outdated. Maybe the touch sensitive feature and 52 programmable keys will make up for it.