dglobalnews.com TLC resurrects physical keyboards in Blackberry KEYone
Published: Tue, February 28, 2017
Tech | By Arthur Brown

TLC resurrects physical keyboards in Blackberry KEYone

It is also a control pad that is touch sensitive, so you can use it to scroll up and down the screen. While it's not the most high-end Android phone around, it's one of the only smartphones on the market with a physical keyboard, which will make it stand out. It is the first major handset launch at the annual conference and comes after BlackBerry announced in September it would outsource all manufacturing to third parties following a disastrous decline in smartphone shipments, down from 52 million in 2011 to seven million in 2015. The phone is all set to launch into the markets running the Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS with light customizations from BlackBerry - expect it to be a almost stock experience. Interestingly, the keyboard itself acts as a touchpad. For charging purposes, KEYone has a 3505mAh battery that supports QuickCharge 3.0 which offers a 50 percent charge in just over 30 minutes. Apart from the weirdly sized screen, the KeyOne also includes the famous BlackBerry security app, the DTEK.

It's not the only device maker of yore BI (before iPhone) making a comeback either.

The smartphone has a 12-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor - reportedly the same one present on the Google Pixel. Running on the latest Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box, the smartphone comes with BBM, BlackBerry Hub and DTEK software, which monitors OS and apps and keeps users informed about their privacy status.

Hey hang on. The BlackBerry KEYone comes with a physical keypad. This is similar to what we saw with the Priv a few years back, and as it was useful back then, it's nice to see it all come through for the KeyOne as well.

The first thing you will notice is the return of the QWERTY keyboard, but it does more than type.

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Regarding specifications, BlackBerry has included a 4.5-inch IPS LCD 1620×1080 display with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

BlackBerry senior vice president Alex Thurber said: "We want to congratulate TCL Communication on the launch of KEYone".

BlackBerry KEYone will be available starting as early as April worldwide at retailers and at the company's new website. Up front, there's an 8MP front-facing camera with a f/2.2 aperture. The power button, volume rocker, and the SIM card are placed on the right edge of the device.

At the bottom of the device, there's a USB-C port for charging. In terms of style, BlackBerry KeyOne has a metal frame, while the back of the phone is textured which not only gives the phone a premium look but help with grip as well.

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