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BlackBerry launches new KEYone android smartphone for $549, in stores from April

Blackberry, the Canadian handset-maker, launched the BlackBerry KEYone smartphone, earlier codenamed Mercury, at a price of $549 (approximately Rs 39,000).

mobileworldcongress2017 Updated: Feb 26, 2017 01:42 IST
Anirban Ghoshal
Anirban Ghoshal
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Blackberry,Blackberry KEYone android,Blackberry new smartphone
The KEYone smartphone by Blackberry runs on the latest Android Nougat and comes with a physical QWERTY keypad.

Blackberry, the Canadian handset-maker, launched the BlackBerry KEYone smartphone, earlier code named Mercury, at a price of $549 (approximately Rs 39,000) at the Mobile World Congress 2017 being held in Barcelona late on Saturday night. Made in partnership with Chinese handset-maker TCL, the phone hits shelves in April and will be available globally.

As rumours suggested, the new KEYone comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard as well as a 4.7-inch touch screen. Run on the latest Android 7.0 Nougat, sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor with Quick Charge 3.0 (BlackBerry calls it Boost charge), the phone draws power from a 3,505 mAh battery.

There were no announcements about the RAM or the camera unit of the phone. Thus, based on the pre-launch talk, the KEYone is expected to come with a 3GB RAM and 12-megapixel rear camera unit – something that most budget phones like the Xiaomi Redmi Notes and the Honor X already has.

However, what is interesting is that the physical keyboard will allow users to set at least 52 quick launch combinations either by light or long press, such as W for WhatsApp, F for Facebook, E for email and I for Instagram. Also, the company has retained the BlackBerry Hub which is an app for all kinds of texts, emails, chats or instant messages.

Watch Alex Thurber of BlackBerry talk to Hindustan Times about DTEK Security

Additionally, the KEYone will come with BlackBerry’s DTEK app which tries to increase security on the phone by drawing features from the BB operating system. The company said that it will release monthly security updates for the phone as well.

In November last year, the Canandian hanset-maker had launched two smartphones – DTEK 50 and DTEK 60 – priced at Rs 21,990 and Rs 46,990 respectively.

In terms of specifications, the DTEK 50 features a 5.2-inch fHD display, 3GB of RAM, 13-megapixel rear camera and a 8-megapixel front camera with LED flash. The device has 2TB of expandable memory and draws power from a 2,610 mAh battery.

On the other hand, the DTEK 60 sports a 5.5-inch quad-HD display, 4GB RAM, 21-megapixel rear camera and a 8-megapixel front camera. The 60 draws power from a 3,000mAh battery and also sports a fingerprint sensor.

First Published: Feb 26, 2017 01:00 IST