The BlackBerry KEYone, which was launched at the Mobile World Congress this year, has finally got a release date for the US and Canada markets. TCL and BlackBerry announced on Thursday that the KEYone will go on sale starting May 31 in the US and Canada, while the pre-orders will begin from May 18. The unlocked BlackBerry KEYone will cost $549 in the US, while the carrier-locked ones will be priced at CAD 199 for two years in Canada.
TCL Communication, the smartphone manufacturer for BlackBerry, said in its statement that the BlackBerry KEYone will officially be available for purchase starting May 31 in the US and Canada, as we said. Coming to the pricing details, for Canada there will be carrier-based options from telecom partners, Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel and TELUS Business starting at CAD 199 on a two-year term. For the US, Engadget reports the KEYone price to be around $549 for the unlocked variant with no details on the carrier-locked models. However, the report adds that there will be various offers from the telecom carriers in the US to sweeten the deal, that includes Sprint to launch BlackBerry KEYone in the spring.
After the smartphone licensing deal signed between BlackBerry and TCL Communication back in December last year, BlackBerry KEYone was unveiled in February this year, putting an end to the speculations about BlackBerry ‘Mercury’ smartphone. “After all the anticipation and positive response received from the BlackBerry community on the BlackBerry KEYone, it’s an honour to offer this all-new Android-powered BlackBerry smartphone to customers across Canada,” said Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for TCL Communication (TCT), North America.
The BlackBerry KEYone comes with the signature QWERTY keypad slider below the device, which also embeds a fingerprint sensor on the space-bar as well as capacitive touch on the entire keyboard for scrolling. Talking about the specifications, the smartphone sports a 4.5-inch full-HD (1620×1080 pixels) IPS display with a pixel density of 433ppi and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. The all-new BlackBerry KEYone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2GHz, coupled with 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 506 GPU.
For photography, BlackBerry KEYone sports a 12-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor – the same sensor as the one on the Google Pixel – that has 1.55-micron pixels. There is an 8-megapixel front facing camera with a wide-angle lens and a flash module.
BlackBerry KEYone gives 32GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB). The new KEYone comes with standard set of connectivity options, including 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.2, NFC, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB Type-C port. It runs on a 3505mAh battery that’s said to give all-day battery life and support QuickCharge 3.0 with a ‘Boost’ charging feature that gives 50 percent charge in “roughly 36 minutes.”