The Blackberry KEYone was an interesting smartphone that we liked a lot, but unfortunately it didn’t sell in huge numbers in India or indeed anywhere. The smartphone had all the traditional USPs of a Blackberry device, from the physical QWERTY keyboard to the fantastic build quality. And since Blackberry ditched BBOS and went the Android way, the phones have been surprisingly usable as well. Unfortunately, at Rs 39,990, the KEYone was perhaps too expensive for what it offered, particularly when that kind of money gets you a much more capable device.
— BlackBerry Mobile (@BBMobile) May 11, 2018
Blackberry has now announced a successor to the KEYone. Unimaginatively called the KEY2, the new Blackberry smartphone is slated to be launched on June 7 at an event in New York. We’re not sure what to expect from the new smartphone just yet, but the use of the KEY branding is a sure-shot indication that it could come with a physical keyboard like the KEYone. While most of us are fairly accustomed to typing on virtual keyboards now, there’s a small segment of users that prefer the tactile feel of a real keyboard, even on a smartphone.
The Blackberry KEY2 will appeal to that niche segment of the market, and Blackberry’s traditional business focus and fantastic design and build are likely to come back to the device. Additionally, this is likely to be the device currently being referred to as the Blackberry Athena or KEYone (2018). Blackberry’s tweet and launch announcement confirms the name of the device as the KEY2.
WATCH: Blackberry KEYone Review
Priced at Rs 39,990, the Blackberry KEYone was launched back in August 2017. The phone comes with a 4.5-inch 3:2 screen with a 1620×1080 resolution. The space below the screen is where the keyboard is, and the overall shape and form of the phone isn’t too large as a result. The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.