Blackberry KEYone QWERTY Smartphone with Android 7.1 Nougat Launched at MWC 2017
The Blackberry Mercury has been in the rumor mills for quite a long time. It was unveiled at the CES 2017 event held in January in Las Vegas. As announced earlier, today, the company has finally launched the device at the MWC 2017. The device is officially named as Blackberry KEYone instead of Mercury or the rumored DTEK70. It comes with a 4-row QWERTY keyboard and is manufactured by the Chinese company, TCL. Apart from Blackberry smartphones, the company also manufactures and sells the TCL and Alcatel branded smartphones.
The earlier launched TCL made Blackberry smartphones are just the rebranded variants of the Alcatel smartphones. But now, the company launched the Blackberry KEYone smartphone in its iconic glory with a QWERTY keyboard. Unlike the Blackberry Priv, which came with a slideout keyboard, the KeyOne features a regular QWERTY layout on the front along with 4.5-inch display offering 1620 x 1080 pixels resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. It sports metallic frame with a soft textured back.
It runs on the latest Android 7.1 Nougat along with Blackberry Hub that brings all the Blackberry features into a single app. The company calls the keyboard on the KEYone as the world’s most advanced keyboard since it can perform tasks flick typing and programming each key to instantly bring up contacts or apps. Even the keyboard can be used like a laptop trackpads for scrolling through the web pages or moving to the next photo in the gallery. The DTEK app which was introduced with DTEK series is also present on the KEYone smartphone to make it more secure.
Under the hood is the Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz and coupled with Adreno 605 GPU. It also packs 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage that can be further expanded upto 256GB via MicroSD card slot. It is kept powered on by a 3500mAh non-removable battery and supports Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging technology. The battery on this device can be charged from 0% to 50% in just 36 minutes. The interval (space) bar in the fourth row of the QWERTY keyboard also comes integrated with a fingerprint sensor.
Coming to the camera department, there is a 12MP IMX378 sensor on the rear with 1.55 μm pixel size, f/2.0 aperture, and PDAF. For selfies, there is an 8MP front camera with 1.12 µm pixel size and 84-degree wide angle lens. The power button, volume rocker, and the SIM card are placed on the right edge of the device. On the left edge is the BlackBerry Convenience Key that can be customized for different operations. It measures 149.3 x 72.5 x 9.4 mm and weighs 180 grams.
In between the display and QWERTY keyboard are the three capacitive navigation buttons for back, home, and multi-tasking (from left to right). Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, 3.5mm Audio port, and USB Type-C 3.1 port. With the NFC and fingerprint sensor, the KeyOne can be used for making payments using the Android Pay. With all these decent specifications, the device is said to cost around €599 / £499 / $549 (approx Rs. 40,000). The exact pricing will be known at the time of its availability in April. As of now, there is no information whether the device will be coming to India or not.