Mock me if you must but I rather liked the BlackBerry KEYone that was released in 2017.
While BlackBerry became something of a non-starter with the release of smarter handsets, the firm that took over the duties of handset manufacturing – TCL Communications – has made some really great Android handsets of late.
Yes, these handsets are very much suited for business professionals but that’s why we like them. They last long, they don’t have features you don’t need and overall it’s hard to fault them.
At IFA 2018 this week TCL announced the BlackBerry KEY2 LE.
The handset comes in three colours – Slate, Champagne and Atomic – and keeps the smaller bezels that were seen in the KEY2.
“Today’s smartphones try to offer a one size fits all solution, but that is no longer realistic when we have a global marketplace as diverse as we have today,” says President of BlackBerry mobile Alain Lejeune.
The KEY2 LE sports a 4.5inch display with a physical keyboard beneath it. Looking at the internals you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset with a Kryo250 octa-core CPU running at 1.8GHz.
The CPU is paired with 4GB of RAM and you can get 32GB or 64GB of storage. Storage can be increased with a microSD card.
At the back of the handset you’ll find a dual camera with a 13MP and 5MP sensor. That camera seems quite decent and can record 4K video at 30fps.
The battery – which was the star of the KEYone – is a massive 3 000mAh affair with QuickCharge 3.0 support.
In terms of software the BlackBerry DTEK software will proactively keep users safe from security risks and the handset comes pre-loaded with the FireFox Focus privacy enhanced browser from Mozilla.
The KEY2 LE will launch in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and UAE this September starting at $399 (~R5 855). There’s no word yet on local availability or pricing but we’ll be sure to share that info as soon as we have it.