BlackBerry introduces new KEYone Android smartphone: Here's everything you need to know

The QWERTY keyboard on the BB KEYone is touch sensitive which means that one can use it as a trackpad to navigate the interface, a feature first seen on the BlackBerry Passport.

BlackBerry worked closely with TCL to build security into the new device, said Alex Thurber, the general manager of BlackBerry's mobility solutions unit.

BlackBerry isn't dead, and the new BlackBerry KeyOne is aiming to underscore that, not least by giving physical keyboard lovers a new fix for their addiction.

Security on the phone sets it apart from all other Android devices, according to TCL.

The company in 2014 launched a "Classic" smartphone that brought back the keyboard but the device was discontinued in July.

BlackBerry has also added its own DTEK security suite, which gives you a nifty summary of how secure your phone is and keeps nasties at bay.

Some of the cost is probably sunk into the keyboard-a physical QWERTY is rare these days. Even Windows phones. You have to admire its tenacity. At 5.9 x 2.9 x 0.37, the KEYone is a fairly narrow phone, giving it a nice fit in your hand. On the KeyOne, though, both screens are fully visible as you're typing. The new arrival has a clear mission: to please those who still like a physical keyboard. As for the hardware, the phone is powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage and microSD support ( up to 2TB).

Battery life should be more than impressive, BlackBerry is promising, thanks to a couple of factors.

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Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a USB Type-C port.

There's a headphone jack up top.

I don't have high hopes for the KeyOne's future, but I admire it as a successful effort to be distinctive and different. Only 4.5 inches diagonally in fact.

TCL, also the parent group of Alcatel, launched the new BlackBerry KEYone at Mobile World in Barcelona on February 25. Above the keys, below the display, there's the traditional Android trio of capacitive buttons.

On the camera front, Blackberry KEYone has a 12MP rear camera with Sony IMX378 sensor and an 8MP wide-angle front camera with flash. BlackBerry stated that the image sensor behind the camera has large pixels, which should help the phone click good photos in low light. You can swipe your finger up and down, right and left in order to gain access to your home screen or launch various apps. BlackBerry's market share dwindled down to practically nothing. Unlike the models of the past, BlackBerry KEYone has been developed and manufactured by partner TCL.

That's not necessarily a fault of the KEYone, though - in reality, it simply reflects the fact that I haven't regularly used a device with a physical keyboard for nearly a decade, so there's clearly a "re-learning" curve involved.

It's a seriously tough display too, packing Gorilla Glass 4 tech that's hard to scratch. The KEYone has a metallic frame as well as a soft textured back for easier grip.


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