TCL Communication on Saturday announced the 4.5-inch BlackBerry KEYone, the first smartphone from BlackBerry and TCL's licensing partnership. Throwing back to old school BlackBerry, the KEYone features a physical keyboard.
The BlackBerry KEYone will be available globally in April, starting at $549 unlocked. It will run Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and will be loaded with both Google Play and BlackBerry software.
4.5-inch display (1620x1080 resolution) with Corning Gorilla Glass
2GHz octacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
3505mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
8-megapixel front-facing camera with wide-angle lens
12-megapixel rear-facing camera
Fingerprint sensor built into keyboard spacebar
32GB of on-board storage
3GB of RAM
TCL is touting the BlackBerry KEYone's security, as it's loaded with DTEK, BlackBerry's security software suite that will notify users if an app is accessing the camera to take a picture or video, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, or accessing contacts or location.
BlackBerry is promising monthly security updates, but didn't detail specifics.
The BlackBerry KEYone's physical keyboard mimics "the heritage of the BlackBerry trackpad" by responding to gestures and can be programmed with 52 customizable shortcuts. For instance, you can press "I" for your inbox or "M" to access maps.
TCL announced the BlackBerry KEYone, dubbed 'Mercury' while under development, before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. BlackBerry "worked with TCL to build security and the BlackBerry experience into every layer of KEYone," BlackBerry mobility SVP Alex Thurber said in a statement.