BlackBerry’s KeyOne from last year did pretty well with reviewers, and now, the company is introducing a sequel called (you guessed it!) the BlackBerry Key2. The device offers a familiar form factor with mid-range specs and some upgrades that make the phone better suited for 2018.
The design of the Key2 isn’t anything ground-breaking. It offers a similar form to last year’s KeyOne with a mainly metal construction and a grippy back plate. It is a bit more refined than last year and doesn’t look as industrial, but that’s about it.
On the front sits a 4.5-inch 1620×1080 IPS LCD display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Directly below the screen is the company’s signature physical QWERTY keyboard. For this generation, BlackBerry opts for 20 percent taller keys and a matte finish instead of gloss. There’s also a new Speed Key which lets you access any actions you’ve assigned to one of the 52 available keys from anywhere on the phone. And of course, a fingerprint sensor sits within the space bar.
As for specs, the Key2 comes with an upgraded Snapdragon 660 processor and an impressive 6GB of RAM. There’s also 64 or 128GB of storage with microSD card expansion. Android 8.1 Oreo serves as the software on board which comes with all of BlackBerry’s productivity apps including Hub, Calendar, Tasks, DTEK, Launcher, Notes, and more. For power, a 3500mAh battery is on board which is rechargeable via the USB-C port equipped with Quick Charge 3.0. A headphone jack serves for audio output alongside a loudspeaker.
On the back of the Key2 sit dual 12MP cameras, one with an f/1.8 aperture and the other an f/2.6 aperture. BlackBerry says the cameras are capable of taking portrait mode photographs and lossless zoom thanks to the onboard “Optical Superzoom” mode. An 8MP shooter sits up front for all you selfie nerds.
Overall, the Key2 seems pretty promising. BlackBerry says it’ll begin shipping this month around the world and will start at $649. While this is more costly than last year’s KeyOne, you are getting a lot of phone for the money. You can choose between black or gray finishes at checkout.