TCL launched its first traditionally-styled BlackBerry that is equipped with the Android operating system. The original model was called KeyOne and it caused a huge hype for those who favor BlackBerry as well as those who replaced the brand with Android phones and iPhones. Now, the company is working on a new phone allegedly called BlackBerry Key2 and here is what we know about the upcoming smartphone.
BlackBerry KeyOne was quite a success when it came out. However, it was never intended to rival Apple’s and Samsung’s flagship phones. Still, it’s TCL’s plan to build even more BlackBerry phones that could perhaps eventually compete for sales with other tech giants.
BlackBerry’s global general manager, Alain Lejeune at CES 2018 in Las Vegas in January, said that there are going to be “at least two new BlackBerry smartphones later this year.” One of those phones is sure to be the successor to KeyOne, most likely called BlackBerry Key2.
Everyone believed that the phone would be called KeyTwo, which likely made sense. However a tweet coming from BlackBerry said that the smartphone is going to be called Key2.
— BlackBerry Mobile (@BBMobile) May 30, 2018
The company’s official Twitter account posted a teaser regarding a press event scheduled on June 7 at 10 a.m. EDT. It is believed that the company is going to unveil the BlackBerry Key2 for the first time at that event.
When it comes to the pricing, BlackBerry needs to be careful because overpricing the phone that likely can’t compete with Samsung or Apple could draw some customers away, especially because it would be equipped with mid-range specs. Likely a sub $500 price would do the trick for this particular model.
It’s important to note that the new BlackBerry appeared on an official “Interoperability Certificate” which is approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance, on May 7. The information regarding the smartphone featured standard smartphone features. The BlackBerry Key2 would be equipped with a dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) similar to the vast majority of devices. It will also be equipped with Android Oreo.
It’s worth mentioning that the Key2 is listed as BBF 100-6 on the list. BlackBerry devices with Android installed have a special pattern of model numbers. The number for the BlackBerry Motion is BBD100-1 while the Black Edition KeyOne is BBB100-2.
According to the Dutch tech site, TelefoonAbonnement, there are benchmarking results from a device equipped with a model number BBF 100-1. The original result can be found on Geekbench. The test shows a device that is equipped with the octa-core Snapdragon 660 processor followed by 6GB of RAM. If the test is accurate, this could be the successor to the KeyOne, meaning a more powerful processor and more RAM, contributing to a smoother and more efficient smartphone.
Also, the battery for the BlackBerry Key2 should also be big and long-lasting. The ones for KeyOne and Motion were focused on productivity and people that were looking for a business phone that could last the whole day. The Motion is equipped with a 4,000mAh battery, while the KeyOne has one of 3,505mAh. There is a minimum of a 3,500mAh battery expected on the BlackBerry Key2.
According to a January report by CrackBerry, the head of device portfolio of BlackBerry said that there are two devices that will be launched this year that will sport a design with physical keyboards, which confirms the presence of the KeyOne successor.
Also, images from Weibo last month featured a new design for the keyboard, which looks similar to the one on the BlackBerry Passport. The keys on the smartphone look much flatter and are covered with a matte finish against the glossy finish of the KeyOne.
When it comes to the software and operating system, the phone will likely be equipped with Android Oreo which has been out for some time now. That being said, expect either Android 8.0 or Android 8.1 on the BlackBerry Key2.
Since the keyboard will most likely be present on this phone, the display size should be quite limited. It could likely be a 4.5-inch screen with 1080 x 1620 screen resolution like the original KeyOne.