In a world of black slabs and huge screens, the BlackBerry Keyone came as a welcome change, it combined the great features of BlackBerry's heyday along with Android. During my review of it I found it to be good but not great, I loved the keyboard, and as a blogger out of the office a lot it was perfect for working on the move. It was let down a little with performance issues, which were apparently later resolved with the 4GB version.
Now BlackBerry is following it up with the Key2, with a bump in specifications I hope it means they have perfected this unique smartphone.
In a similar manner as the original, BlackBerry has opted to not use the most powerful processor possible, but use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 combined with 6GB of RAM. That KeyOne used the Snapdragon 625, and the successor tot hat processor is the 630. So the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is not only a newer chip but one step ahead in terms of specification. It comes with various improvements such as 4 cores running at 2.2GHZ + 4 cores running at 1.8GHz, the GPU has been upgraded to Adreno 512, and the chip now uses faster LPDDR4. Overall there should be significant performance improvements which will make the phone much more pleasant to use.
The phone will then have two storage options with 64GB and 128GB
The display is basically the same 4.5 inches running at 1080 x 1620 pixels, 3:2 ratio (~433 ppi density).
Then there is the keyboard as you would expect, and the integrated fingerprint sensor remains. They have managed squeeze in keys that are 20% larger than the previous generation. There is also a speed key which enables shortcut access to a number of functions at any time.
The camera has had a moderate bump in specs too, you now get a dual 12MP + 12MP camera, with HDR, 4K video recording at 30FPS. This is another welcome upgrade as the old camera was a bit sub-par.
The battery is also the same at a decent 3500mAh. The last phone would happily last all day and some, and it was the best battery life I have tested until I got the Mate 10 Pro.
It will be shipped with Android 8.1 Oreo, and as with the previous model there will be several built-in BlackBerry apps such as the excellent BlackBerry hub
The BlackBerry KEY2 will begin shipping globally this month with the suggested retail price starting at £579 / €649.
For more information about the all-new BlackBerry KEY2 and to register for pre-order updates, please visit www.BlackBerryMobile.com.