BlackBerry Launches the Keyboard-Equipped KEYone at MWC 2017

BlackBerry Launches the Keyboard-Equipped KEYone at MWC 2017

Mobile World Congress 2017 is just upon us, and one of the announcements before the event kicks off comes to us from BlackBerry. At their keynote right before MWC 2017, BlackBerry has revealed the rest of the specifications of the BlackBerry ‘Mercury’, which is now officially known as BlackBerry KEYone.

TCL had already unveiled the BlackBerry KEYone back at CES 2017, albeit in a limited fashion. Today’s announcement reveals all there is to the new device from TCL bearing the BlackBerry branding and their security software expertise.

The new BlackBerry KEYone comes with a 4.5″ IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1620 x 1080 (3:2 aspect ratio) and pixel density of 433 PPI. While the BlackBerry Priv had a slide-out keyboard, the BlackBerry KEYone trades in screen size for a keyboard right on the front. The keyboard on the device also packs in neat features by itself, such as the ability to program each key as a separate shortcut, predictive flick typing and scrolling gesture support.

On the inside of the BlackBerry KEYone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core SoC along with Adreno 506 GPU. The phone comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, plus you can expand for more storage with a microSD card. There is also a decent sized 3,505 mAh battery along with Quick Charge 3.0 support; additionally, BlackBerry touts a “Boost mode” for charging speeds, although this merely consists of turning on Power Saving mode when the device is charging. Seeing how battery efficient the Snapdragon 625 SoC is, how small the display is and how large the battery is, the BlackBerry KEYone will easily be able to provide more than a day’s worth of battery life.

For the camera, the BlackBerry KEYone comes with a 12MP Sony IMX 378 sensor on the rear, and a 8MP front camera. The rear sensor is the same as one used on the Google Pixel, so we will have to see how BlackBerry manages the camera software to compete with top end flagships.

The BlackBerry KEYone also comes with the latest Android 7.1 Nougat software right out-of-the-box. BlackBerry has also been fantastic with timely security updates. Combined with their own security enhancements on the device like the DTEK app and feature additions like the BlackBerry Hub, the KEYone will be a good choice for corporate and enterprise customers.

The BlackBerry KEYone will be available for a price of $549 from early-April, and will be available across the globe.

What are your thoughts on the BlackBerry KEYone? Let us know in the comments below!

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

I am a tech journalist with XDA since 2015, while being a qualified business-litigation lawyer with experience in the field. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected]