BlackBerry’s “hail mary” just went official, the BlackBerry “KeyOne.” Previously referred to as the “Mercury,” this new device from BlackBerry brings the company’s signature design, including the always available hardware keyboard, along with Android. It certainly grabbed a lot of attention back at CES 2017, but now, we finally know all the remaining details…
As for the processor, the KeyOne will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, as previously rumored. The camera sensor will be an IMX378 12MP sensor which is the same one found in the Google Pixel, also as previously rumored, and there’s an 8MP front facing sensor.
Along with that, the KeyOne will pack 32GB of storage with a microSD slot, 3GB of RAM, and a 4.5-inch display. As small as that sounds in 2017, keep in mind that it’s a slightly different aspect ratio of 3:2 instead of 16:9. Further, there’s that keyboard underneath, filling out the phone’s size. As for the actual dimensions, the device will measure in at 149.3mm x 72.5mm x 9.4mm, making it slightly bigger and thicker than the 5-inch Google Pixel.
The thickness is especially impressive considering we now know this device packs a pretty huge 3,505 mAh battery inside. That pairs with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 and a USB-C port. BlackBerry claims a charge of 50% can be achieved in about 36 minutes. The device also weighs in at 180g, about 40g heavier than that 5-inch Pixel.
Specifications out of the way, let’s talk about that keyboard. Just like classic BlackBerry devices, the KeyOne’s keyboard is always there and ready to go, and it can be used for a number of things outside of just typing. For one thing, you can press a key on the keyboard to search for and open up the apps or contacts you use most often, or use the keyboard as a trackpad with gestures. “Flick typing” also returns, making autocorrect/autocomplete a bit easier. As noted at CES, the space bar on the keyboard also doubles as a fingerprint sensor (which yes, I haven’t stopped geeking out over).
The KeyOne also ships with Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and just like other BlackBerry devices powered by Android, the company is committing to quick security updates on the device. Included in the software is BlackBerry’s DTEK security app, BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Messenger, and a suite of other apps from both BlackBerry and Google.
BlackBerry will open up sales of the KeyOne starting “as early as” April, with pre-orders opening up today on BlackBerry’s website. Pricing will land at $549/499£/599€.
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