TCL’s decision to bring back BlackBery was given a warm welcome back in 2015. The first full Android-powered phone introduced was the PRIV that promised mobile privacy and security. The phone made an impression with its ‘edge’ features and wireless charging among others. The phone sold well during its first quarter and helped keep the company in the hardware business. BlackBerry then decided to release a mid-range phone as things turned out well. DxOMark even rated Blackberry Priv as one of the best devices camera-wise but of course, it’s been overtaken by several smartphones already.
The PRIV was followed by the BlackBerry DTEK50 and BlackBerry DTEK60. Those two launched as secure Android smartphones. BlackBerry gave QWERTY one more try and took advantage of an embedded fingerprint sensor in a keyboard.
Our BlackBerry KEYone Review concluded by us saying it’s a decent mid-range smartphone that delivers a respectable throwback to olden days. If you’re still looking for a physical QWERTY keyboard, then this one is for you. We know people who prefer the keyboard feel on a small device. Others may think of it as a novelty and yes, with a $549 price tag, it’s not cheap for a smartphone that will make you exert some effort in typing compared to a touchscreen phone.
The BlackBerry KEYone joins a niche market and it’s getting a follow-up in the form of the BlackBerry KEY 2. A BlackBerry KEY² hit TENAA and Weibo recently and we saw a BlackBerry BBG100-1 device on Geekbench.
We remember asking if there is such market for a keyboard but looks like there is. Otherwise, BlackBerry won’t make the effort to release another model. This BlackBerry KEY2 is set to launch on June 7 in New York. We saw a teaser that shows ‘An Icon Reborn’. We’re assuming BlackBerry will rehash an old but familiar phone design with an improved QWERTY keyboard with a touchscreen display.
So should you get the BlackBerry Key 2? Yes, if you’re a hard-core BlackBerry phone. Loyalists may add this new phone to their collection of well, BlackBerry devices. Someday, this BlackBerry phone will be a rare find and who knows, may fetch a high price. As we noted in our BlackBerry KEYOne review, the KEY 2 may most likely serve a very niche and small market.
The BlackBerry KEY 2 is said to have the following: Snapdragon 660 chipset, 4GB or 6GB RAM, and Android 8.0 Oreo (may be updated to Android 8.1 at launch). The keyboard will be an important feature as expected. The KEY2 may also be followed by another variant–the KEY2 Lite. There’s a slight difference in RAM from our first feature but so there’s a possibility a KEY2 Lite variant is also in the works.
If not the QWERTY keyboard, then the fact that BlackBerry phones are still the most secure may attract you to the KEY 2. Monthly updates are promised so you know it’s always safe and private. Such keyboard still offers speed when typing so there’s still a market for it.