TCL and Blackberry have announced the next smartphone in their partnership, with the KEYone (which was previously codenamed Mercury).
The KEYone has a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1620 x 1080, 434ppi and a 3:2 aspect ratio. Just like Blackberry devices before it, the KEYone has a physical keyboard that is similar to the one featured on the Priv.
Back in December 2016, Blackberry signed a licensing agreement with TCL Communication, where TCL would manufacture the devices and use Blackberry’s name and software.
The new device is made from aluminium with a soft touch textured back. Inside, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor with a Adreno 506 GPU, a 3,505 mAh battery, 3GB of RAM, USB Type-C and support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. It will have 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot (with support up to 2TB).
In terms of cameras, you’ll find a 12-megapixel camera on the back with Sony’s IMX378 image sensor to produce 1.55um size pixel. The front camera is 8-megapixels.
On the software side, the KEYone will launch with Android 7.1.1 with Blackberry Hub. The QWERTY keyboard also doubles as a trackpad and up to 52 keyboard shortcuts can be customized (like pressing “I” for you email inbox or “M” for maps).
There is also the fingerprint sensor built into the keyboard’s spacebar which is the first smartphone to have something like this.
The Blackberry KEYone will be available globally this April for $549 USD (or about $718 CAD) €599 EUR, £499 GBP.