TCL Communication revealed its first BlackBerry device since taking over manufacturing of the brand: the BlackBerry KEYone is on display at Mobile World Congress, currently taking place in Barcelona.
Through the brand licensing agreement signed last December, TCL is offering the KEYone, which includes all of the typical BlackBerry features, software, and security. The phone, based on the Android OS, will be available globally in April for at or under US$549.
"We're humbled to play such an important role in the future of BlackBerry smartphones, which have been so iconic in our industry, and we're eager to prove to the BlackBerry community that their excitement around this new BlackBerry smartphone is something they can be proud of as well," says Nicolas Zibell, CEO for TCL Communication.
"We want to congratulate TCL Communications on the launch of KEYone," adds Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobility Solutions for BlackBerry. "We have worked closely with TCL to build security and the BlackBerry experience into every layer of KEYone, so the BlackBerry DNA remains very much in place. We couldn't be more excited to help bring it to market and introduce it to BlackBerry fans."
The KEYone has a 4.5" scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass display (1,620 x 1,080) as well as a physical Smart Keyboard that responds to touch gestures. The keyboard can be programmed to launch up to 52 customizable shortcuts, like pressing "I" for the inbox, or "M" to access maps. Additionally, the phone has a fingerprint sensor built directly into the keyboard spacebar.
Out of the box, it runs Android 7.1, providing access to the Google Play store and apps, and Google security patch updates. It also comes loaded with BlackBerry Hub to keep all messages and accounts consolidated in one space.
The phone comes pre-loaded with DTEKTM by BlackBerry, offering constant security monitoring and protection of your operating system and apps by letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it. A quick glimpse lets you see the overall security rating for your device and provides simple access allowing you to easily improve your security status. This BlackBerry security application monitors your other apps, alerting you if one is accessing your camera to take a picture or video, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, or accessing your contacts or location.
At the core is the Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 625 mobile platform with the Qualcomm Adreno 506 GPU. This means BlackBerry KEYone users will enjoy long battery life thanks to more efficient battery usage and fast LTE speeds for super-fast file sharing. It includes Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology, making it possible for the 3,505mAh battery on the KEYone, the largest ever in a BlackBerry device, to receive up to 50% charge in roughly 36 minutes. When you only have a few moments to grab a fast charge, BlackBerry's Boost can turbo charge your battery to get you the most charge with the limited time you have.
The phonen has a 12MP rear camera and 8MP front camera with fixed focus and 84-degree wide-angle lens.
Visit www.BlackBerryMobile.com to register for pre-order updates of the device.