BlackBerry launched its KEYone smartphone Saturday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The device was earlier called the BlackBerry Mercury or DTEK70.
The device comes with features such as a full QWERTY keyboard with a fingerprint sensor placed inside the space bar, a 3,505 mAh battery and 3GB RAM. The phone has not been made by BlackBerry Ltd, but by China-based TCL Corporation that got the licensing rights from the company and also manages the sales and distribution of the device.
The QWERTY smartphone is expected to cater to a rather small segment of the smartphone market, which basically still looks for QWERTY devices or wants BlackBerry-like functionality.
Here are some of the features of the device:
Customizable QWERTY keyboard: The idea behind the phone seems to be retaining BlackBerry’s old school charm from back in the day — the KEYone comes with a full QWERTY keyboard accompanying its 4.5-inch display. But the QWERTY keyboard on the device is not a static one, which means users can set customizable actions for each key. Another new feature is the flick-typing function that lets the user swipe on the keys for fast typing.
The device also has a fingerprint scanner placed inside the space bar key on its keyboard.
DTEK Security: The phone seems to have been designed keeping in mind the corporate consumer. It comes with specially designated security keys and a preloaded DTEK security application, which lets the user set his/her personal security standard, ranging from a relaxed one for easy sharing on social media to a strict one with strong privacy settings.
Camera: The device comes with a 12-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor, which is also the one used in Google Pixel.
Unified Inbox: The device comes with a signature BlackBerry Hub that brings together emails, texts and social media. Even if you have two different accounts that you want to use on the KEYone device, you will be able to access both of them in the BlackBerry Hub application.
Battery: The device comes with a 3,505 mAh battery, currently the largest one for a device with its screen size. It also comes with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support so one can charge the battery up to 50 percent in less than 40 minutes.
In addition to this, the BlackBerry KEYone comes with Android 7.1 Nougat OS out-of-the-box, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB in-built storage, 2TB MicroSD card support, a full HD display and two models for the U.S. market — one with bands supporting AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon networks and the other for Sprint.
Registration for the $549 device has already begun.
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