BlackBerry is back. The one–time smartphone superpower, whose name has been licensed by TCL, pulled the wrappers off of the new BlackBerry KEYone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The device, previously referred to as the BlackBerry Mercury, combines a full–size touchscreen with an old–school physical keyboard, plus a secure version of Google’s latest Android 7.1 software.
While the 4.5–inch full HD screen is impressive and the newest iteration of Android welcome, it’s the physical keyboard that’s the biggest talking point.
As well as allowing users to tap out missives as they would have done on their original BlackBerry, it’s touch sensitive too. That means you can use it scroll through whatever’s on screen without obscuring the display.
There’s also the ability to assign keys specific functions, meaning F can open Facebook and I can open Instagram if you want swift access to your social media.
BlackBerry’s original security premise was built on its former BB operating system, but TCL has gone as far as it can to ensure the KEYone cannot be cracked.
It’s promised to deliver Google’s monthly security updates to users and also features dedicated DTEK software which checks how secure the phone is at any given time.
Other headline specs include a Sony 12-megapixel camera and a hefty 3505 mAh battery designed to ensure the KEYone lasts longer than a day on a single charge.
The BlackBerry KEYone will be out in April, costing $549 (£440) SIM–free. UK pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed.