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Blackberry KeyOne Android Smartphone Debuts

( [email protected] ) Apr 28, 2017 09:07 AM EDT
Blackberry is dead, long live Blackberry. The new KeyOne smartphone brings back an old favorite -- the physical keyboard on a smartphone.
Blackberry KeyOne brings back the good old days of a physical keyboard on a smartphone. Digital Trends

Yes, Blackberry used to be high and mighty back in its heady days where even governments relied on such devices in order to communicate with one another. After all, the security of Blackberry devices back then were second to none, and there was a craze for everyone to pick one up, its physical keyboard and all. However, the smartphone era took a different fork in the road as the iPhone really kicked things off in 2007, and the physical keyboard was no longer that hot -- not to mention Blackberry seeing its market share plunge, along with its stock price. Right now, Blackberry is a mere shadow of itself, and it does not look likely that it will end up being the corporate juggernaut that it once was. Still, there is a wee bit of hope left with the debut of the Blackberry KeyOne Android-powered smartphone.

The Blackberry KeyOne is not the first smartphone from the company that runs on the Android operating system. In fact, the idea of a Blackberry device running on anything else other than Blackberry OS was anathema back in its heydays, but times have changed so much that different measures need to be taken. The Blackberry KeyOne was developed in partnership with Chinese smartphone manufacturer, TCL. The Blackberry KeyOne will arrive with a physical keyboard that many have been lusting after out of nostalgia’s sake, and thankfully, nothing of the past is brought up here apart from the keyboard as everything under the hood remains updated with Android 7.0 Nougat as the operating system of choice.

The keyboard itself is capacitive, allowing you to swipe it, similar to that of a touchscreen display. Right at the back lies a 12-megapixel Sony sensor that sees action in the Google Pixel smartphones, which means it should be able to yield some pretty stunning photographs, even in low light conditions. There is a Snapdragon 625 CPU that will keep the device chugging along, while it is accompanied by 3GB of RAM as well as 32GB of internal storage. Just in case that is not enough (it almost never is), why not throw in a microSD memory card that will help boost your storage capacity by another 32GB?

Sure, the display might not be the rectangular type that we are used to, but the resolution is still high enough for professional use. Expect the Blackberry KeyOne to arrive in the market at the end of May with an asking price of $550 a pop. No doubt this will be the price for an unlocked device, and it remains to be seen whether there will be mobile carriers who are willing to pick up the Blackberry KeyOne and offer it with one of their many mobile plans when the smartphone hits the market this May 31st. This is not a walk down memory lane, that is for sure, but we would have liked to see a far lower price point seeing that TCL is involved. TCL had always delivered handsets which offered plenty of bang for the buck, so why not do the same with the KeyOne?

Tags : blackberry, blackberry keyone