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That's not necessarily a fault of the KEYone, though - in reality, it simply reflects the fact that I haven't regularly used a device with a physical keyboard for nearly a decade, so there's clearly a "re-learning" curve involved.

There are definitely things to like about this BlackBerry KeyOne.

Although bearing the BlackBerry name, the new phone has actually been pieced together by third party manufacturer TCL as the first device of a partnership between the two companies. What BlackBerry is really hoping however with this device is to expand beyond that remaining loyal bunch and get the KEYone in the pockets of regular consumers again.

TCL CEO Nicolas Zibell called the KEYone "just the beginning of a new story", promising additional BlackBerry devices moving forward. The BlackBerry KeyOne loses any cross-comparison done in store, and moreover, it fails by not having the distribution agreements with carriers that will get it in stores in the first place.

Security is important and Blackberry recognizes that very well.

"BlackBerry did have something to say about the industrial design", said Steve Cistulli, president of the North American division of TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd. (TCT).

It is Android 7.1 Nougat, which will run on the BlackBerry KEYone. But apart from the 2, all other specifications are average at best. On the left edge is the BlackBerry Convenience Key that can be customized for different operations. The keypad isn't an average keypad but rather, each key has an additional function. The keyboard might have clicky sound-making keys but they respond to touch gestures, so you can use them as a touchpad as well. For instance, "B" can launch the browser, or "F" could launch Facebook. These short cuts are not auto-assigned and you can tweak them as per your preference. You also have access to flick typing, a little something that also we've seen on the Priv. You can also swipe to scroll webpages or emails. Keypad is traditionally the strength of BlackBerry and BlackBerry KeyOne exploits it to the fullest.

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BlackBerry KEYone's specs were previously revealed on the official product page a few hours ago, which the company quickly took down.

The 4.5-inch display area goes against the trend in smartphones right now, where big screens topping 5.5 inches are all the rage. It comes with 32GB storage which can be expanded by upto 2 TB via microSD slot. The phone comes with 3 GB RAM. There's a modern rear camera (the same sensor found in the Pixel).

Battery: The device comes with a 3,505 mAh battery, now the largest one for a device with its screen size. BlackBerry/TCL seems to be charging around $200-$300 extra.

Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a USB Type-C port. The KeyOne will support up to 52 such shortcuts, though your memory might not.

It is the third-largest maker of simpler, so-called feature phones popular in Latin America and emerging markets, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

The KEYone is a phone created with hardcore fans of Blackberry in mind.


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