This post will be updated regularly as we take a closer look at the latest rumors surrounding the upcoming BlackBerry KEY2.
TCL Communication is gearing up to announce the successor to last year’s BlackBerry KEYone. Codenamed Athena, it’s rumored to be called BlackBerry KEY2. The company hasn’t shared anything about the KEY2 so far, but we’ve come across a few rumors that give us an idea of what to expect.
BlackBerry KEY2: Release date
- The BlackBerry KEY2 is expected to launch soon.
- The smartphone could make its debut this month or in June, although this hasn’t been confirmed yet.
The KEYone was revealed last February and went on sale in the U.S. and Canada at the end of May 2017. This makes us think BlackBerry could launch and start selling the KEY2 by the end of this month. Even if that doesn’t happen, we likely won’t have to wait long to see the smartphone. Our best guess is it will make its debut by the end of June at the latest, with sales kicking off shortly after.
BlackBerry KEY2: Specs and features
- The BlackBerry KEY2 isn’t expected to be a massive upgrade over its predecessor.
- Rumors claim it will come with the same 4.5-inch LCD display.
- It might pack the Snapdragon 660 chipset with 6GB of RAM.
Based on TENAA’s listing (which revealed the KEY2’s main specs), the smartphone won’t be a massive upgrade over its predecessor. The KEY2 could sport the same 4.5-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1,620 x 1,080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 3:2. The Snapdragon 660 chipset is said to power the device, paired with 6GB of RAM. For comparison, the KEYone packs the Snapdragon 625 chipset, along with 3 or 4GB of RAM under the hood.
The KEY2 will also feature a physical QWERTY keyboard, which not everyone will like. It’s expected to support shortcuts, just like its predecessor, allowing you to get things done faster — long press a key to open an app, call a specific person, compose an email, and more.
The BlackBerry KEY2 might feature a dual-camera setup on the back.
Unlike its predecessor, the KEY2 could feature a dual-camera setup on the back with 12 and 8MP sensors. The battery is said to sport a 3,360mAh capacity, smaller than that of the KEYone (3,505mAh). Other specs and features rumored include 64GB of storage, an 8MP selfie snapper, and a fingerprint scanner likely embedded in the spacebar. We also expect to see a headphone jack on board, as well as a microSD card slot. A better speaker would be nice as well, as the one on the KEYone isn’t great.
On the software side, the KEY2 will run Android Oreo with BlackBerry’s skin on top, which has tons of features. These include pop-up widgets that let you swipe up or down on an app icon to bring up your widget of choice, which is a super easy way to access information without opening the app. Then there’s DTEK, a security tool for keeping an eye on your apps to make sure nothing fishy is going on, and BlackBerry Hub, which displays all your messages (from email, Facebook, Twitter, and so on) in one place.
|BlackBerry KEY2 rumored specifications||BlackBerry KEYone|
|Display||4.5-inch LCD panel
1,620 x 1,080 resolution
|4.5-inch LCD panel
1,620 x 1,080 resolution
|Processor||Snapdragon 660||Snapdragon 625|
|RAM||6GB||3/4GB of RAM|
|Camera||Rear: Dual-camera setup with 12 and 8MP sensors
|Rear: Single 12MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
|Software||Android Oreo||Android 7.1 Nougat|
BlackBerry KEY2: Design
- The BlackBerry KEY2 is expected to look more modern than its predecessor.
- The handset may feature a keyboard with a matte finish and a new button.
- It could come with a cleaner, fully rubberized back panel.
TENAA posted a few alleged images of the BlackBerry KEY2 on its website, showing the device from all angles. The smartphone may have a different keyboard than its predecessor, featuring a matte finish and a new button in the bottom-right corner that seems to do something (open the app drawer, maybe?). The keys also appear to be larger and have a flatter look.
The bezel on top looks smaller and is covered with glass instead of metal, giving the device a cleaner look. The back has also been redesigned, featuring a dual-camera setup that doesn’t stand out as much as the KEYone’s metal-rimmed single shooter. BlackBerry is also ditching the metal part on the back, opting for what looks like a fully rubberized back panel.
We’ve also come across an alleged hands-on image of the BlackBerry KEY2, which only shows the front of the device. It gives us a better look at the keyboard but tells the same story as the images above.
The KEY2 isn’t the sexiest phone out there, but it looks better than its predecessor. If the images are legit, BlackBerry will clean things up by removing the metal bits that gave the phone its more robust, yet slightly dated look. Opting for glass on the front instead and simplifying the back make the KEY2 look a lot more modern.
BlackBerry KEY2: Price
- The BlackBerry KEY2 may cost the same or slightly more than its predecessor.
- It could set you back somewhere between $550 and $600.
There’s no word on how much the BlackBerry KEY2 will cost, but we can get a good idea of what to expect by looking at its predecessor. The KEYone launched with a $550 price tag, and I doubt its successor will be any cheaper.
There’s always a chance BlackBerry will follow the latest trends and increase the price. The smartphone sold out in just one day in the U.S., which could give the company the confidence to demand more money for its mid-ranger. If so, I don’t expect the price to exceed $600, especially if the handset won’t offer a lot more than its predecessor.
These are all the rumors we’ve come across so far about the BlackBerry KEY2. We’ll update this page as soon as we hear more.
In the meantime, share your thoughts on BlackBerry’s upcoming smartphone with us. Would you consider buying it, or does the physical keyboard turn you off? Let us know in the comments!