BlackBerry KEY2 REVEALED: Price, release date, specs for new Android phone

TCL launches the BlackBerry Key2 for $649

All we know is the BlackBerry Key2 will start to arrive later this month in select markets and will roll out globally next month.

Compared to the KeyOne, the keys offered on the Key2 are 20 per cent bigger. The metal frets between each row of keys have also been removed.

Both keyboards have a touch sensitive surface so that you can swipe up and down through lists, as well as left and right.

In the case of the KEY2 specifically, it's a clear evolution over the last BlackBerry. Press a combination of this and a letter key and you can easily jump between apps. The shortcuts are up to the user. Are you thinking about picking one up? You can set a different shortcut to each key, so if you frequent Maps, Instagram, Twitter and Gmail you can jump between all these without going back to the homescreen.

Critics have argued that DTEK is simply window dressing - that it merely promotes awareness about security, but actually does very little to make BlackBerry's newest phones any safer than their Android counterparts from rival companies. This app gives you visibility into what permissions your apps are using on your phone. It also gets an 8MP selfie camera. For safer browsing, it even comes preloaded with Firefox Focus.

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While TCL boasted new features, including a dual-rear camera and enhanced privacy controls, it's the keyboard that highlights the launch. It consists of a 12MP f/1.8 main shooter and a secondary 12MP f/2.6 camera that offers 2X Optical zoom and portrait bokeh effects. The fingerprint sensor is still found on the space bar, by the way. The KEYone had an "aluminium frame", and impact-resistant display. Battery on the original phone is 3505 mAh and BlackBerry had promised 26 hours of talktime with the KEYone. The Key2 will feature a new app called "Power Center".

BlackBerry said the KEY2's keyboard will make typing on the go "more immediate and effortless". Starting price for the phone is $649.

TCL has paired the Snapdragon 660 with 6 GB of RAM and either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage; there's a microSD slot which will take up to 256 GB cards. The phone is now powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor compared to the Snapdragon 625 series on the KEYone. This processor was designed by Qualcomm to bring flagship performance to mid-tier devices.

Inside the KEY2 there are a few other upgrades. That's a bit steep, considering the KeyOne launched for $100 less.

"BlackBerry has been iterating and perfecting our approach to mobile security for decades, and we're excited to have this new genuine, modern BlackBerry smartphone available for our fans around the world to enjoy". Thanks for watching All Hands on Tech.

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