MWC 2017: BlackBerry launches KEYone smartphone for $549

Tucked into an anodised aluminium frame and soft-touch textured black, this is indeed a BlackBerry phone that pays homage to its predecessors while offering durable build quality. This functionality debuted on the BlackBerry Passport, way back in 2014. To recall, Blackberry in September announced to end its design and production unit, and license the brand to partners.

Nicolas Zibell, CEO for TCL Communications said: 'Impressively created to be distinctly different, the BlackBerry KEYone reimagines how we communicate by offering unmatched productivity and the world's most secure Android smartphone experience'. The KEYone's Smart Keyboard has a fingerprint sensor on the spacebar as well as capacitive touch on the entire keyboard for scrolling. Considering BlackBerry is known for its secure smartphones and safe solutions, needless to say, BlackBerry KeyOne comes with security solutions for Android. As expected, there's a 4.5-inch touchscreen with a 1620 x 1080-pixel resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio. 3GB of RAM is included, along with 32GB of storage; there's also a microSD slot to expand that.

For the camera, the BlackBerry KEYone comes with a 12MP Sony IMX 378 sensor on the rear, and a 8MP front camera.

BlackBerry KEYOne does feature a USB Type-C port, a 3mm headphone jack and a noise cancellation microphone. And guess what! The device will be running Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box. For charging purposes, KEYone has a 3505mAh battery that supports QuickCharge 3.0 which offers a 50 percent charge in just over 30 minutes. The handset features the trademark QWERTY keypad as the Chinese manufacturer seeks to revive the BlackBerry brand.

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And since there's a physical keyboard built-in, the entirety of the screen can stay dedicated to whatever you're looking at. That's pretty much the same tagline BlackBerry used for the Android smartphones it churned out in the final years before it stopped making its own phones.

BlackBerry KEYone's specs were previously revealed on the official product page a few hours ago, which the company quickly took down.

The KeyOne will go on sale in April, and is only available in black. It will be priced at $549 (approx Rs 38,600) in the US, GBP 499 (roughly Rs 41,400) in the United Kingdom, and Euro 599 (roughly Rs 42,100) in Europe. Android 7.1 Nougat comes installed on the device, along with BlackBerry's trademark Hub messaging app, the DTEK application security feature, and a commitment to quickly patch any Android vulnerabilities that are discovered.

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