MWC 2017: BlackBerry KEYone announced by TCL

Thomas Wellburn
February 26, 2017

The BlackBerry KEYone is the first handset launched by TCL Communication since purchasing brand licensing rights last year.

TCL, also the parent group of Alcatel, launched the new BlackBerry KEYone at Mobile World in Barcelona on February 25. It is the first major handset launch at the conference and comes after the handset was previously teased at CES earlier this year.

The new smartphone comes in an aluminium frame which TCL claims offers the best in durability. It has a 4.5-inch HD screen made of Gorilla Glass 4, which is designed to offer more scratch and impact resistance. The trademark BlackBerry keyboard has also been included at the bottom of the device, with a full physical QWERTY keyboard below the touchscreen.

Inside of the product is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. TCL claims the smartphone’s 3,505mAh battery can be charged up to 50 per cent in roughly 36 minutes via USB-C. A 12MP rear camera has been added with an ‘industry leading’ Sony camera sensor. The front of the device has an 8MP snapper.

A unique feature of the keyboard is the gesture control. Similar to previous BlackBerry track-pads, users can simply swipe on the keyboard to navigate through the web, emails or use it to write messages. Shortcuts can also be assigned to each key; I for access the email inbox or M for maps. A fingerprint sensor has been installed in the space bar.

The phone runs on Android 7.1, the latest Google operating system, and comes with BlackBerry Hub. Hub allows users to view texts, emails and social media messages from one location without having to switch apps.

Security on the phone sets it apart from all other Android devices, according to TCL. It comes with DTEK software which monitors the security of the operating system and all the apps, alongside notifying owners when their privacy is at risk. It offers a security rating and suggests ways which users can improve this. Notifications will also be sent if any third party accesses the camera or other apps without the owner’s permission.

The BlackBerry KEYone will be available to purchase globally in April 2017  for £499.

Via Mobile News

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