The BlackBerry name used to be synonymous with smartphones featuring built-in keyboards. There aren’t as many of those as there used to be, but the company’s first Android smartphone had a slide-out keyboard, and after launching a few touchscreen-only devices, the company’s latest Android phone has a keyboard below the screen, giving it the look of a classic BlackBerry device.

The BlackBerry KeyOne is an Android smartphone with a 4.5 inch, 1620 x 1080 pixel IPS display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, a 3,505 mAh battery, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.

That’s a mid-range processor, but BlackBerry is charging a premium price: the phone is set to sell for $549 when it hits the streets in April May. But it does have a number of premium features including a high-quality camera, an aluminum frame, and that distinctive keyboard.

BlackBerry is holding a press event to announce the phone this afternoon, but the KeyOne website went live a little early (it’s offline now, but redditors have posted some pictures).

Update: The phone has officially been launched.

Like all new BlackBerry-branded devices, this phone isn’t actually manufactured by the Canadian company. Chinese electronics company TCL has partnered with BlackBerry to produce a line of devices using the BlackBerry name.

But for all intents and purposes, the KeyOne is what a modern BlackBerry phone looks like. It has classic design elements, Google’s Android operating system, and a bunch of BlackBerry apps.

The BlackBerry KeyOne has a 12MP Sony IMX 378 camera, an 8MP front camera with support for image and video stabilization and LCD light-up flash for well-illuminated selfies. There’s also a fingerprint sensor, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, and the KeyOne ships with Android 7.1 software.

There’s a microSD card slot that supports up to 2TB of removable storage.

It should support GSM networks including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, but there doesn’t currently seem to be a CDMA version, which means Sprint and Verizon customers are out of luck for now.

The phone has a 3:2 aspect ratio display with 433 pixels per inch, which is a bit unusual for an Android phone. But the unusually shaped display makes room for the physical keyboard.

The KeyOne measures 5.8″ x 2.8″ x 0.37″ and weighs about 6.3 ounces. In addition to a touchscreen display and touch-sensitive keyboard, there are dedicated keys for power, volume, and a “BlackBerry Convenience Key” that can be used to open the camera or mute a call.

BlackBerry says the phone supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology, allowing you to get a 50 percent charge in 36 minutes. Other features include 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC. And pre-loaded software includes BlackBerry Hub, Keyboard, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Tasks, and DTEK security, along with Google apps such as Hangouts, Chrome, Drive, and Google Play.



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35 replies on “BlackBerry KeyOne smartphone features QWERTY keyboard, modern specs”

  1. Can any owners of Blackberry devices with android comment on if the devices get regular updates of the android operating system?

    1. Am owner of a Priv. It does receive monthly security updates, though there’s no telling if it will receive Nougat update in the future.

  2. Brad, thank you for mentioning the carriers. Too many articles fail to to that.

  3. If the key is identical to the original bold, I can see BB die-hard going for these.

    1. Anyone still driving manual is a retard when automatic transmission etc exist.

      1. You’re really intelligent and mature. I’m glad your life sucks so much you have to follow people on the internets.

    2. I’m sure Swiftkey is great for casual messages, but doesn’t work that great for people in IT or software development who might need to send a quick response to an IM or email with a query or a line of code or Google something technical.

      I’m sure there are other professions where a physical keyboard comes in handy too… Maybe Doctors who need to enter medical terms or anyone using their phone for typing longer documents. I don’t think this phone will be marketed to consumers.

      1. There is no difference. Also when you put a word in for the first time you just clock on it once to save it. There are no excuses for using slow and backward methods just because some people cannot evolve.

        1. Ever try typing on a tablet’s screen vs a mechanical keyboard? The difference in speed and accuracy is no contest. Not sure why anyone would think a phone would be any different.

          1. Not sure if serious or retarded. Comparing TYPING to swype style keyboards is the point here. Also comparing a full size keyboard to this little crap. Seriously. You can’t be serious.

          2. I own a blackberry priv with a physical keyboard so I’m as serious as the $699 I paid for it entitles me to be. I assume you don’t own a PKB phone because your responses are obviously uninformed. I’ll forgive you for that.

          3. “I paid out the ass for a shit phone therefore my uneducated opinion is a fact”. Hate to break your bubble but this isn’t how logic works.

          4. …ok I’ll just accept that you as someone who doesn’t own a PKB phone knows more about using it every day than I do even though I’ve used mine every day for the last 16 months. That’s the logical thing to do. Thank you for opening my eyes! Lol

          5. The world record for typing on a phone is held on a swype style keyboard. This is a fact whether that hurts your biased and deluded opinion or not. Only uneducated morons hate fact and reality like you do.

          6. You do understand that I can still use the on-screen keyboard with a phone that has a PKB, right? It’s not like the option to use the on screen keyboard goes away so I can still use swiftkey if I choose. However, the PKB is faster, so I choose not to. The BlackBerry keyboard also has predictive text that allows you to swipe up on the physical keyboard after typing a letter to select the predicted word on screen without typing the entire word. Try watching a video of how it works on YouTube. Not trying to be funny…you might actually like it.

          7. I know exactly how it sorts. Your subjective opinion still does not change the fact that on screen keyboards are faster. Come back when the world record is held on a blackberry and we’ll talk. Try understanding statistics and facts, you might like them. Not being funny.

          8. Personal preference is what it is. I prefer PKB phones and you prefer not to like having a choice. I’ll be buying a new Blackberry KeyOne and apparently you won’t. I’m ok with that 🙂

          9. I, logically, prefer faster typing PLUS a screen twice the size AND more appropriate for browsing the web, playing games, taking photos, watching videos and basically everything else which smartphones are used for. You, illogically, prefer to gimp your typing speed and do everything in a less efficient and enjoyable way just to feel like a unique snowflake.

          10. Correct me if I’m wrong too but isn’t the new model lower spec than the priv?

          11. If you are looking to play video games then the 808 in the Priv would be better.

            If you are looking for all around everyday use and lots of multitasking the 625 in the KeyOne would be better.

            I don’t play games. My phone is strictly used for productivity.

          12. shame swiftkey didn’t help you with the word click above. Good luck creating a proprosal, let alone editing one with any sort of efficiency. Creating orders, Intensive emails. I don’t think this is the answer as I never cared for BB keyboards. But as I mentioned above, the Moto Z Keyboard Mod is going to be the way to go. Dedicated number row, inverted T nav keys. Traditional keyboard shortcuts for selecting and editing text. Swiftkey can’t even begin to compare. It doesn’t even have multitouch.

    3. anyone making this kind of comment is pretty much retarded. Personally I’ll stick with my Moto Z Play and it’s upcoming keyboard slider mod. My most productive phone was the samsung Epic. It was the last premium slider keyboard phone. Every other one after never had flagship specs and was relegated to mid range. If you truly want to leave your laptop at home, you need a physical keyboard. Swiftkey makes on screen typing somewhat bearable, but….
      -you lose at least a third of your screen real estate.
      -their arrow/nav key layout is mediocre at best
      -no multitouch means no traditional keyboard shortcuts like ctrl x/c/v for example.
      -no multitouch means no ability to select text like you can with the shift key and arrow keys.

      So if you want to truly utilize Office apps and leave the laptop behind, a physical keyboard is a must.

  4. Ooh, should I get this to replace my Priv? The display’s smaller, lower resolution and IPS instead of AMOLED, not sure what that’ll do to battery life. The CPU looks to be a side-grade, worse single-threaded better multi-threaded performance. RAM the same, storage idk but the Priv’s is pretty darned slow so here’s hoping. Rear camera while lower resolution is a lot better in low-light conditions. Front camera’s straight up better. Battery’s pretty much the same size as the Priv. USB-C is welcome as everything’s moving that way, first my laptop, now my phone.

    It feels like all the peripherals have been upgraded but the display’s worse, performance is roughly the same and battery life… idk, if it were better I’d like that but can’t find numbers on the 808 vs 625. Worthwhile if they’re not charging top dollar.

    1. Battery life is probably going to be very very good. Check out the incredible battery benchmarks of the Moto Z play (same Snapdragon 625 processor + 3,500 mAh battery, bigger screen but amoled)

  5. Oh, I really like the look of this! If only it ran BB OS 10 instead. 🙁 I’d buy it day one. I was also hoping for a track-pad like the BB Classic (my current phone). It actually makes surfing the web on a smart-device bearable, even without resorting to stupid dumbed down cumbersome “responsive design”.

    1. I’m pretty sure BB stated they’d continue making BBOS devices but nothing popping up so far. I wonder.

      I’m going to end up with a feature phone soon if I cant get something relatively recent that doesn’t require me to give up every corner of my identity to the OS provider.

      1. Oh! So I can have a virtual cursor for browser and other Android apps? Then this might be really interesting.

  6. Can’t wait to pre-order this to replace my Priv. I read that the price for the KeyOne will be $549 USD, though. Still getting one, if true, but I’m hoping for a lower price.

  7. Not top specs, but looks pretty nice. I wonder if it’ll have the flagship price though.

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