The BlackBerry KEYone is a strange phone. Not just because it has a physical keyboard in 2017, long after that feature has gone out of style, but because it commands a rather high price point for that feature. But if you have been waiting to get a KEYone of your own, you will be able to do so on May 31 (which just arrived on the East Coast).
We already knew that the phone would launch on that date in the US, but BlackBerry has just now filled in some of the details. The phone will go on sale at Amazon and Best Buy for $549.99. For that price, you get a physical QWERTY keyboard, 4.5" 1620x1080 display, Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, and 3,505mAh battery. As far as software, the phone ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat with the company's security suite.
BlackBerry will be offering the KEYone in both GSM and CDMA variants, so you will be able to use the phone no matter what carrier you're on. The GSM model will be sold online by Amazon and in stores by Best Buy, but it seems like only Amazon will be selling the CDMA model. Sprint, as well as other unnamed carriers, will start selling the phone in stores sometime this summer.
BlackBerry's site, which you can find at the source link below, will presumably be updated with links to retailers soon. I recommend reading our review of the KEYone if you intend on buying one; hopefully some of the software issues Jordan encountered have been fixed.
IRVINE, Calif., May 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, TCL Communication, a leading global smartphone manufacturer and global smartphone licensing partner of BlackBerry Limited, is announcing that the award-winning BlackBerry KEYone will officially be on-sale in the U.S. beginning tomorrow, May 31. Available online from Amazon, this all-new BlackBerry smartphone will also be available at select Best Buy stores and online at BestBuy.com for $549.99 USD.
The BlackBerry KEYone will be available in two unlocked variants for U.S. customers, optimized for GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as a CDMA variant optimized for Verizon network support – with the CDMA variant available via Amazon at launch. Additional carrier availability of the BlackBerry KEYone – including Sprint retail availability – is expected to start this summer.
"This is an extremely exciting and humbling moment as we introduce a new BlackBerry smartphone to customers here in the U.S. with the launch of our BlackBerry KEYone," said Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for TCL Communication, North America. "The KEYone is unlike any other smartphone available to consumers today, offering a premium communication experience, ensuring that our customers enjoy the security, long battery life and great functionality that have made BlackBerry mobile devices so iconic."
"BlackBerry fans in the U.S. will be extremely excited to have the BlackBerry KEYone available in their market," said Alex Thurber, Sr. Vice President and General Manager of the Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. "Anyone who is an Android loyalist and values the mobile security and productivity that BlackBerry software brings will love this smartphone."
BUILT TO LAST
An iconic BlackBerry smartphone made for the modern user, the BlackBerry® KEYone is housed in a durable and sleek aluminum frame with a soft textured back for extra grip. It has a 4.5-inch touch display featuring impact and scratch resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 offering the best in resilience and durability.
The BlackBerry® KEYone uses an innovative Smart Keyboard reimagining how we communicate. Set up to 52 customizable shortcuts and transform each letter key for quick access to your favorite apps and most important contacts. Touch navigation responds to touch gestures like a trackpad, to quickly scroll through webpages or emails. Flick typing makes predictive text even faster with the ability to flick words onto your screen as you type. The device includes the world's first keyboard-embedded fingerprint sensor conveniently located in the spacebar and provides added device security.
POWERED BY ANDROID
Enjoy the familiarity and functionality of Android™ 7.1 Nougat giving users access to the entire Google Play™ store and over one million apps. This includes BlackBerry® Hub which brings all your messages into one consolidated place. This includes emails, texts and messages from any social media account.
OUTSTANDING BATTERY LIFE
Featuring the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone® offers all-day use and then some, with up to 26+ hours of mixed use, thanks to the 3505mAh battery. Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 technology enables up to 50 percent charge in roughly 36 minutes. BlackBerry® Boost is optimized to get you the most charge with the limited time you have so you can have peace of mind in times when you only have a few moments to charge up.
MOST SECURE ANDROID SMARTPHONE
The BlackBerry KEYone comes pre-loaded with DTEK™ by BlackBerry, offering constant security monitoring and protection of your operating system and apps by letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it. Quickly view the overall security rating for your device allowing you to easily improve your security status. The KEYone will also receive regular monthly Android security updates, ensuring you have the most safe and secure Android smartphone experience.
The BlackBerry KEYone features a 12MP rear camera with an industry leading camera sensor (Sony IMX378) that captures sharp, crisp photos in any light. The wide aperture lens with large 1.55μm pixels and dual-tone flash ensures your photos will have superior color and clarity. For times when you have to take a video conference on the go, the device includes an 8MP front camera with fixed focus, LCD Flash, and 84-degree wide angle lens.
For more information and additional details on where to purchase the BlackBerry KEYone, please visit www.BlackBerryMobile.com.
About TCL Communication
TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited (TCL Communication) designs, manufactures and markets an expanding portfolio of mobile and internet products and services worldwide under three key brands – TCL, Alcatel and BlackBerry. The company's portfolio of products are currently sold in over 160 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, TCL Communication ranked as a top-10 global smartphone manufacturer by IDC. Headquartered in Hong Kong, TCL Communication operates nine R&D centers worldwide, employing more than 13,500 people across the globe. For more information, please visit www.tclcom.com.
TCL is a registered trademark of TCL Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Alcatel is a trademark of Alcatel-Lucent used under license by TCL Communication.
Trademarks, including but not limited to BLACKBERRY and EMBLEM Design are the trademarks or registered trademarks of BlackBerry Limited, used under license, and the exclusive rights to such trademarks are expressly reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.
Qualcomm, Snapdragon and Adreno are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Quick Charge is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno and Qualcomm Quick Charge are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
SOURCE TCL Communication