BlackBerry unveils new KEY2 device to UAE customers

Leigh Mccormick
June 10, 2018

As is the case with all of BlackBerry's latest smartphones, the Key2 is running Android (in this case Android 8.0 Oreo) and comes preloaded with a full suite of security apps/features to appeal to both consumers and business users.

So, what do you think of the BlackBerry Key2?

The BlackBerry KEY2 is expected to be revealed on Thursday, June 7.

In fact, the Key2 is the first BlackBerry with a dual rear camera.

The BlackBerry KEY2 has a 4.5 inch IPS LCD display with a 1620 x 1080 px resolution. There are dual 12MP cameras out back that are complimented by a Dual Tone LED dash. It has a dual camera and a plastic back with the company's logo. This is a security-focused Android smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard and it succeeds the KEYone.

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TCL has kept the battery life of the BlackBerry Key2 same as it is in the KeyOne. This flagship will keep the 3.5 mm audio jack and will have 3,500 mAh battery with QC 3.0. "They appeal mainly to a small corporate audience who feel attached to the format of a physical keyboard, and tend to respect the brand's aura as a white-collar power tool with good security features". The QWERTY still supports touch-gestures like scrolling and Flick Typing for predictive texting, as also 52 app shortcuts via short and long press.

The keyboard's space bar acts like a fingerprint scanner just like in the previous model. On the KEYone, you could use them only from the home screen. The display is protected by the Gorilla Glass 3.

In a year when most Android phones are hard to distinguish from each other, the BlackBerry Key2 does at least offer something different - its keyboard, security protections and impressive battery life will certainly appeal to a certain niche of users, but how big that niche is remains to be seen. The company learned some lessons after releasing the BlackBerry KEYone a year ago, including that famous saying "RAM does matter". This dual camera system offers the usual portrait-depth mode, as well as the ability to enable two-times optical zoom without losing detail.

BlackBerry also lacks a standout, marquee feature - such as an excellent camera - that buyers can point to as a significant benefit over their current device, according to Chris Silva, research VP of enterprise mobile strategy at Gartner.

Earlier this year, a TCL Communication executive told The National that the Middle East market was crucial to BlackBerry Mobile's success with plans to deepen the company's presence in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which together account for about five per cent of sales. Optiemus Infracom is the home-grown telecom enterprise, responsible for manufacturing BlackBerry Android handsets in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. In 2016, it announced it would stop making its own devices. BlackBerry says it'll begin shipping this month around the world and will start at $649.

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