TCL, one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers has descended upon this year’s Mobile World Congress to announce they will try a feat that has been attempted quite a few times with failing efforts: Resurrecting the BlackBerry.
The first of its kind is the BlackBerry KEYone, a smartphone that hopes to capture what many BlackBerry fans of the early 2000’s loved so much about the popular brand. TCL promises to keep up with the times, offering up a great camera, a stellar display, and a unique design that captures the essence of what makes BlackBerry such an awesome product for both enterprises and personal users.
Featuring a 4.5-inch display with 1620×1080 resolution, the KEYone by BlackBerry is encased in an anodized aluminum frame with a soft touch backing reminiscent of previous Blackberry’s. The device comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 that’s built to withstand typical impacts, with a scratch resistant display to boot. One thing users might love is the physical keyboard. Yes, for those of you who might not know, there were phones that came with physical keyboards, with the BlackBerry being (personal opinion) one of, if not the best.
Coming bundled with Android 7.1, you’ll be able to use Google Play to get your favorite apps and games, all while enjoying Blackberry’s physical keyboard making everything more seamless courtesy of touch gestures and 52 customizable shortcuts. For example, pressing “I” for Inbox, or “M” for Maps is something that’s not even possible with any other device on the market, which is a step in the right direction for BlackBerry. In addition to that, the KEYone features a physical fingerprint sensor DIRECTLY into the keyboard spacebar, which I’m dying to check out for myself.
With a 3505mAH battery, it’s built to last you almost all day and includes Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0, so you won’t have to hover over your charger waiting to juice up. You can literally receive 50 percent battery life in 36 minutes of charging! And with Snapdragon’s 625 mobile platform with X9 LTE and the Adreno 506 GPU, not only will the KEYone be super snappy, but make sure the performance of your phone is as fast as the first time you power it on, every time.
But wait, there’s more. With a 12-megapixel rear camera that not only features Sony’s industry leading IMX378 camera sensor, you get Phase Detect Auto Focus, which promises ultra-crisp photos every single shot. If you are a fan of selfies, the 8-megapixel front camera features fixed focus on top of a wide-angle lens.
“Impressively designed to be distinctly different, the BlackBerry KEYone reimagines how we communicate by offering unmatched productivity and the world’s most secure Android smartphone experience,” said Nicolas Zibell, CEO for TCL Communication. “We’re humbled to play such an important role in the future of BlackBerry smartphones, which have been so iconic in our industry, and we’re eager to prove to the BlackBerry community that their excitement around this new BlackBerry smartphone is something they can be proud of as well.”
Launching for $549 in April, you can find out more information on TCL’s BlackBerry KEYone here today.