Blackberry releases its ‘most advanced’ smartphone ever. Here’s a look

Here’s the sequel to the surprisingly nice Black Berry KeyOne		
		
	Brian Heater

       @	   
   	7 hours

The BlackBerry Key2 will officially be unveiled at a media event in NY on Thursday morning although at this point, we're not really sure what else is left to announce aside from a proposed launch date and perhaps carrier partners.

The new device, which includes a physical keyboard under a 4.5 inch screen and runs the Android operating system updates the first BlackBerry Key released a year ago. The new device also features Speed Key, a universal shortcut key that lets users access instantly access the apps, contacts and phone functions that they use most often.

The KEY2 also reportedly comes with enhanced privacy and security features, with the maker stating that the "BlackBerry KEY2 is the most secure Android smartphone".

While BlackBerry no longer makes smartphones, it does license its name to a company called TCL which makes Android devices that carry the branding - and sometimes, a physical keyboard. The screen is once again a 4.5-inch panel with a 1620 x 1080 resolution, and the 3:2 aspect ratio makes a return, too.

The BlackBerry KEY2 will go on sale later this month, priced at $649 unlocked and SIM-free.

It's all reportedly powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660 SoC and Kryo 260 graphics mated to 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of local storage that's expandable via microSD card slot.

The KEY2 retains a similar appearance as its predecessor and this is a modern take of the iconic BlackBerry Bold.

Keyboard has bigger keys with matte finish, and there's a new shortcut key.

TCL is set to announce the BlackBerry Key2 on June 7.

Beneath it there's a reworked keyboard, with larger keys that are also 20-percent higher than on the BlackBerry KEYone. The promise is up to two days of battery life; the KEY2 charges via USB-C.

And as was the case with the KeyOne, it comes bundled with BlackBerry's security and productivity software. The rear camera is capable of shooting 4K videos at 30fps and 1080p videos at 60fps. New this time around is that the device ships with Firefox Focus, which Mozilla incidentally updated with cookie management and autocomplete improvements just a couple of weeks ago. We've even heard prices rumored, with the latest leaks suggesting the BlackBerry Key2 could cost $649 / £579 (around AU$1,015). As a reference, the previous BlackBerry KEYone was launched in Malaysia for RM2,688 with 6% GST.

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