So you’re one of those people who prefer to punch phone numbers into a physical keyboard with the tips of your thumbs. We get it. People still have a penchant for hammering on their BlackBerry keypads. The KeyOne certainly brought back the “clickety” nostalgia factor but what if you want something faster with a better camera because ,really, a phone isn’t just used to send emails (something the BlackBerry is very good at).
Cue the faster, lighter and more powerful KEY2.
Design wise, the KEY2, encased within a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass, uses a modern, lighter and sturdier 7 series aluminium. It’s also 1mm thinner than its predecessor, replacing the rounded edges with flat ones and angled chamfers. A soft touch back, embezzled with a new diamond pattern, adds grip and a luxurious feel to the phone. The power button has been moved to the right edge, just right below the volume rocker switch.
If you found the keys on the KeyOne small, the tactile quality on the KEY2 – with a 4.5in touchscreen and a resolution of 1,620 X 1,080 pixels – has markedly improved as it sports new keys that are 20% larger with a matte finished so it’s easier for you to type on. The biggest boon and a first for a BlackBerry device, however, is the Speed Key. You can program 52 shortcuts, which allows you to launch or switch to another app instantly without visiting “home”. Also, the space bar on the keyboard doubles as a thumbprint reader.
A slimmer phone doesn’t mean that power is compromised. The new smartphone runs the newest Android 8.1 Oreo, and on a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor. It has 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, and you can add up to 256GB more via the microSD card expansion slot. Avid social media users would be pleased to find out the KEY2 is also equipped with a 12MP dual-rear camera, bringing an improvement in auto white balance, auto focus and image stabilisation. Need to identify an unknown landmark? The KEY2, integrated with Google Lens, provides that real-time reverse image-lookup.
Users always on the go will appreciate the Smart Battery Experience feature as the phone has a two-day battery life, so you’ll have enough juice to make it through a long flight or meeting. The phone also comes preloaded with DTEK, a security app that watches over your device to determine how secure it is at any point. Speaking of privacy, the Locker function offers even greater control over your content – private folders such as documents and photos don’t get uploaded to the cloud unless intended, while a private browser ensures your web browsing session doesn’t get tracked.
The KEY2 is a decent upgrade which will certainly appeal more to fans of old and enterprise users. Having said that, the new flourishes could very well attract those curious about a BlackBerry in the current, spoilt-for-choice smartphone world.
The BlackBerry KEY2 will be available from Brightstar Malaysia and its range of retailers from July 12 onwards for RM2,599. In conjunction with the launch, Shopee is offering the device at only RM2,449, starting at 9am on July 12. Each purchase will also include a free Bluetooth headset for RM109.