BlackBerry Unveils New 'KEY2' For US$649

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The BlackBerry KEY2 smartphone has been unveiled today in New York City.

The BlackBerry KEY2 will begin shipping globally this month with the suggested retail price starting at £579 / €649.

Further information is available on BlackBerry's website here.

The Blackberry KEY2 should be arriving in the coming weeks. The Key2 isn't water resistant, but there is a USB-C port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The keyboard was pretty good on the KeyOne, but it's better here.

Design-wise, it has a Series 7 aluminium frame that comes in Black and Silver and a back with a diamond pattern finish.

The Key2 is the successor to the KEYone, and features a slimmer top bezel and keys that are marginally larger for an improved typing experience. The keyboard has not just been included as a means to remind you of who the company is, or to cater to those still living in the early 2000s, but also as an alternative way to engage with the Android interface. It lets you launch apps by pressing the key and the letter assigned to the app.

New to the BlackBerry Key2 is the speed key. For instance, an "I" key can launch the Instagram application. This helps you feel your way around the keyboard. "We're keeping that very strong BlackBerry DNA, but adding more to that with new features addressing modern needs". BlackBerry has guaranteed that KEY² users can expect one major Android update, meaning Android P might as well be rolled out to the device. While this is more costly than last year's KeyOne, you are getting a lot of phone for the money.

The KEY2 has dual 12MP rear cameras, better image stabilization and faster autofocus. The selfie camera is an 8MP sensor with display flash. There's a 12-megapixel main shooter with a secondary 12-megapixel camera that offers 2x optical zoom and enables portrait mode. There should also be improvements to white balance and focussing. The smartphone comes in two variants - one with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage space and the other with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage space. Having increased the RAM is a nice touch here as multitasking could feel sluggish on the KeyOne. Hopefully things will be the same here.

It also supports quick charging if you're in need of a quick battery boost before an important meeting.

In terms of software, the Key2 retains most of the same features as the KeyOne. As whether intentional or not, BlackBerry has stumbled into the Android world right about the same time that all other smartphone OEMs seem to be converging on a singularity approach where their flagship options are all too much alike.