BlackBerry KEY2 Updates an Instant Classic

BlackBerry KEY2 Updates an Instant Classic

If you prefer the feel of physical keys under your thumbs when you’re tapping out emails or posting on Instagram, you’re going to love the BlackBerry KEY2. Sleeker and with dual-lens optics, the BlackBerry KEY2 is a welcome update to last year’s KEYone.

When I reviewed the KEYone last year, I summarized the device by saying:

If you have longed for a physical keyboard and if you remember the BlackBerry heyday with fondness, you will not be disappointed in the BlackBerry KEYone. If you haven’t ever even given BlackBerry a second glance, but you are intrigued by the idea of a solid Android phone with a physical keyboard, a great camera, and fantastic security, then you should give it a try. The BlackBerry KEYone has made me eat my words about BlackBerry being dead; it is a fantastic phone.

Not being content to rest on their laurels, BlackBerry has just announced the KEY2. Some of the updates make it worth serious consideration for those who want all of the modern conveniences combined with their beloved QWERTY keyboard.

BlackBerry KEY2 Updates an Instant Classic

For starters, BlackBerry is introducing their first dual-lens rear camera, and the KEY2 also runs the latest Android 8.1 (Oreo).

BlackBerry KEY2 Updates an Instant Classic

There’s also a dedicated “Speed Key” which can open the “apps, contacts and functions you use most from anywhere on your device at any time.”

Just press Speed Key along with any of your customizable 52 shortcuts to instantly access your frequently used apps, call a favorite contact, or access other immediate functions; saving valuable little moments throughout the day.

Here’s a look at some of the device’s apps.

The BlackBerry KEY2 has a 4.5” (1620 x 1080, 434 PPI) 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass display, and check out the new edge-to-edge design. A new Series 7 aluminum frame makes the KEY2 elegant and durable; the soft-touch back has a diamond pattern for easy gripping.

The matte keyboard also gets an update with 20% higher keys for better accuracy, and there’s an in-keyboard fingerprint sensor for easy access to your device.

The BlackBerry KEY2 sports a 3,500mAh battery that BlackBerry says will give up to two days of battery life. You’ll be able to fast charge with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. The device also has a battery-efficient Qualcomm 660 processor and 6GB RAM with a choice of 64GB or 128GB built-in storage.

The BlackBerry KEY2 adds a new Smart Battery Experience that will learn from your daily charging habits and recommend when to charge up so you have enough battery life to make it through that next meeting, flight or event.

The rear cameras are both 12-megapixels, and BlackBerry introducing their first ever Portrait Mode and Optical Superzoom. You’ll also get Google Lens support, faster autofocus, improved white balance and image stabilization, and new photo capture experiences.

And of course, it’s one of the most secure smartphones available.

“BlackBerry phones are the world’s most secure Android smartphones. We design them for security from the inside out and we’re proud to partner with TCL Communication on the launch of their all-new BlackBerry KEY2,” said Alex Thurber, SVP and GM of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. “BlackBerry has been iterating and perfecting our approach to mobile security for decades, and we’re excited to have this new genuine, modern BlackBerry smartphone available for our fans around the world to enjoy.”

Can’t wait to get your hands on what BlackBerry calls their “most advanced BlackBerry smartphone yet”? You’ll be able to get yours in silver or black this month for $649.


Here are some photos that were taken for us by Chloe Becquet of Geek Spin at today’s launch event.


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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.