If you are one of those waiting to buy the BlackBerry KEYone, we have some good news. According to a press release from the company’s global smartphone licensing partner TCL, the KEYone will be available for purchase in the United States and Canada next month. For now, the smartphone manufacturer is celebrating the U.K. release of the BlackBerry KEYone at Selfridges, London.
When is the BlackBerry KEYone coming to Canada and the U.S.?
In its press release, TCL said that the U.K. launch is the first for the KEYone. After its Selfridges launch, the smartphone will be available to purchase starting May 5 from Carphone Warehouse stores nationwide. It will be available in limited quantities at Selfridges for a price of £499.
The KEYone is listed on the staging page at Vodafone U.K. as well, and the handset will reach both Canada and the United States on May 31. In Canada, the smartphone will be available for pre-orders starting May 18.
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In Canada, the smartphone will be available through Rogers, Bell, SaskTel and Telus for C$199 on a 2-year contract. The Galaxy S8 is available for C$250 on similar terms. U.S. buyers will be limited to purchasing the $549 unlocked GSM or CDMA versions of the smartphone at first, but there will be carrier deals over the summer, possibly by Sprint, notes Engadget.
Steve Cistulli, president and general manager for TCL Communication, North America, said, “After all the anticipation and positive response received from the BlackBerry community on the BlackBerry KEYone, it’s an honor to offer this all-new Android-powered BlackBerry smartphone to customers across Canada.”
A carrier deals is very important for KEYone’s success
A carrier deal in the U.S. is very important for the keyboard-equipped smartphone because it would make the phone more acceptable to price-conscious customers. A carrier deal would also put the smartphone on the map for customers who consider a phone only when they see it in a local provider’s store, notes Engadget.
The KEYone may not become a runway hit, but a carrier deal might allow BlackBerry to regain at least some of its lost reputation. The KEYone is the first TCL-manufactured BlackBerry device to feature a physical keyboard. Such a keyboard was once the signature feature of BlackBerry smartphones. The KEYone’s keyboard offers 52 customizable shortcuts that “transform each letter key for quick access to your favorite apps and most important contacts,” the company claims.
TCL officially unveiled its new Android-powered smartphone during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. The smartphone provides premium build quality, an amazing Android software experience and features that are mostly available on modern smartphones. It is claimed to be the most secure Android smartphone.
In addition, the smartphone has an impressive battery of 3,505mAh and runs on Android 7.1 Nougat. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge™ 3.0 technology allows a 50% charge in about 36 minutes. The smartphone, which comes with BlackBerry’s suite of productivity apps, features a 4.5-inch touchscreen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and 12-megapixel camera. The 8MP front camera comes with fixed focus, LCD Flash, and 84-degree wide angle lens.