TCL launches the BlackBerry Key2 for $649

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Featuring an iconic BlackBerry physical keyboard and loaded with BlackBerry Limited's best security and privacy enhancements, this all-new BlackBerry smartphone packs a number of features that are firsts for any BlackBerry smartphone.

Additionally, the KEY2 features a first for any BlackBerry-branded device: a dual rear-camera setup.

Also of note about the keyboard is that it's got a new Speed Key that'll let you access your programmable shortcut keys without having to return to the home screen of your device.

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. A new Proactive Health check feature promises to make that scanning process even easier. With a "hardened" operating system to defend against attacks, the KEY2 is described by TCL Communication as "the most secure Android smartphone". Actually, these TCL devices have been fairly well received thanks to an adherence to traditional BlackBerry designs. BlackBerry has also added in portrait mode so that you can add a blurry background to your photos if you'd like.

A new BlackBerry is always a cause for celebration since the smartphone-maker's reinvention with Android, and the BlackBerry KEY2 is no exception. Under the hood, they have updated the processor to a more powerful Snapdragon 660 unit with 6GB of RAM. Although the KEY2 will be available for buying in the West this month, in global markets (including in India), the phone will be available for buying in July, BlackBerry has confirmed.

The KEY2 doesn't do too much that's different to the KEYone, but it improves everything in either minor or major ways.

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Just hold the Speed Key and any of your customizable 52 shortcut keys to access a frequently used app, call a favorite contact, or anything else you might want to do. The Key2 also supports microSD cards as large as 256GB.

On the front of the device, there's an 8 megapixel fixed-focus camera, which can record full 1080p video.

Rounding things out is a 3500mAh battery, USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, a Series 7 aluminum frame, and Android 8.1 Oreo.

BlackBerry Key2 launch: What to expect?

The BlackBerry KEY2 begins shipping globally in June and will cost £579 GBP / $649 United States dollars / €649 Euro / $829 CAD.

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