BlackBerry KEY2 promises to be "the most secure Android smartphone"

TCL launches the Black Berry Key2 for $649

TCL launches the BlackBerry Key2 for $649

Phone manufacturer TCL Communication, which licenses the BlackBerry brand, unveiled the KEY2 at an event in New York City on Thursday.

In traditional BlackBerry fashion, there's also a 35-key backlit physical keyboard with integrated fingerprint sensor as well as a dual rear-facing camera (12MP + 12MP), an 8-megapixel selfie cam and a 3,500mAh battery. The new device also features Speed Key, a universal shortcut key that lets users access instantly access the apps, contacts and phone functions that they use most often.

"Security has never been so relevant and so important as today", Alain Lejeune, president of BlackBerry Mobile and senior vice-president, TCL communication, said in introducing the KEY2, the flagship smartphone replacing the KEYone.

While the KEY2 release includes a new camera and a tweaked QWERTY keyboard, it is clear that TCL is seeking to encourage business users, who once fuelled BlackBerry smartphones' success, by delivering improved security and privacy in an Android phone.

The handset also features a 4.5-inch, 1620 x 1080 IPS LCD screen with a 3.2 aspect ratio, with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass providing protection against scratches and knocks.

The BlackBerry KEY2 will go on sale later this month, priced at $649 unlocked and SIM-free.

Around back, BlackBerry's outfitted the KEY2 with dual 12MP sensors.

In the case of the KEY2 specifically, it's a clear evolution over the last BlackBerry.

The physical keyboard has larger keys than on the KeyOne, and the height of the keys has been increased by 20%.

Our first impression of the BlackBerry KEY2 is that the "reborn icon" comes with just the right amount of design refinements and performance upgrades over the well-reviewed KEYone. The storage can be expanded up to 2TB with a microSD card. The QWERTY still supports touch-gestures like scrolling and Flick Typing for predictive texting, as also 52 app shortcuts via short and long press.

The rear material on the phone also appears to have a grippy finish which should held BlackBerry fans with butter fingers. There's 4K HDR video recording at 30fps, and Google Lens integration. For safer browsing, it even comes preloaded with Firefox Focus.

We do know the price for the BlackBerry KEY2, though, which will be set at $649.

What do you think of the BlackBerry KEY2?

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