BlackBerry KeyOne: QWERTY-toting Android arrives in Blighty

Alicia Guzman
April 28, 2017

It will be available unlocked in the U.S. starting on May 31st for $549.

The May 31 launch date for KEYone sales in the us and Canada was announced Wednesday by TCL Communication.

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That's the main difference between the BlackBerry KeyOne, which has just acquired a North America release date, and every other Android phone.

"BlackBerry fans in Canada will be extremely excited to have the BlackBerry KeyOne available in their market", Alex Thurber, head of BlackBerry's mobility solutions unit, said in a statement. "Selfridges, voted world's best department store three times consecutively, have been a longtime supporter of BlackBerry", said Johnathan Young, BlackBerry's United Kingdom country manager.

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Preorders in Canada begin May 18 at select carriers, with the official launch less than two weeks later on May 31. Hardware keyboards have been a hit for years in countries like India and Indonesia, which are mainstays of the BlackBerry and BlackBerry Messenger. Instead, BlackBerry provides the software experience and tools for the Android-powered smartphone. As you'd expect from BlackBerry, the handset has a physical keyboard, which is sure to get some heads turning. We also know it will cost $549 whenever it launches. Of course, the smartphone boasts new features too, such as, the ability to assign a shortcut to every key on the keyboard. The device will be powered by the latest Android system, Nougat 7.1.

"BlackBerry is giving a 4.5" 1080p display, a frugal, but powerful Snapdragon 625 chipset, a 12 MP camera with large pixels, and a hearty 3500 mAh juicer that promises incredible battery life with these specs. On the back is a 12MP camera, while the front houses the 8MP shooter. I don't even remember what phone I was using at the time as my daily driver, but as soon as I could get my hands on the Classic, with that physical keyboard, I jumped at the opportunity. There's a huge 3505mAh battery, and it all runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor.

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