Despite the wishes of many in the smartphone community, BlackBerry isn’t dead yet. The company is releasing their BlackBerry KeyOne Android-powered device at the end of May and it may have a market. Let’s be clear though, BlackBerry is no longer producing hardware but they have licensed their name and logo to TCL Communications to make and sell hardware. So the BlackBerry KeyOne is made by TCL with BlackBerry branding over the top. The big selling point of this phone is that signature BlackBerry keyboard.
That being said, with the Samsung S8, LG G6, and the upcoming iPhone all making bigger and brighter screens. The release of this phone may not work out so well for the company, though I am sure there’s a hardcore base of fans that will buy. BlackBerry has tried to break into the Android market with the Priv and the DTEK but neither of them was wildly popular. The Priv was probably the most intriguing with its full touchscreen and its hidden full keyboard. The Priv actually garnered many great reviews from tech sites and reviewers but it still failed to capture the mainstream market like Samsung or LG’s offerings.
- Fully Android™ 7.1
- Access to over a million apps on Google Play
- Convenience Key
- 8MP front camera with flash
- 12MP auto-focus large pixel rear camera
- Fingerprint Sensor
- BlackBerry Security software
- 4.5″ 1620 x 1080 IPS LCD
- Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 625 Octa-Core 2.0 GHz, 64-bit Adreno 506, 650MHz GPU
- USB Type-C
- 3GB RAM
- 3505 mAh battery
Personally, I’ve not liked physical keyboards in a very long time. Still, there are those out there who prefer them and those are the target buyers for this device.
The KeyOne will be available for pre-order in Canada starting May 18 through Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel and Telus Business. In the U.S., TCL will sell unlocked GSM and CDMA versions that can be used with U.S. carriers. It will be available from Sprint later in the year.