After launching its first Android-powered smartphone Aurora in the Indonesian market, the Canadian smartphone manufacturer Blackberry on Tuesday expanded its Android-powered smartphone portfolio with the launch of a new premium smartphone, called the “BlackBerry KEYone” in the Indian tech market. Priced at Rs. 39,990, the new BlackBerry KEYone smartphone will be made available for purchase in India starting August 8 (Tuesday) exclusively via e-commerce website Amazon India in Limited Edition Black colour option. If you don’t remember, the Canadian company launched their BlackBerry KEYOne (aka Mercury) smartphone at the World Mobile Congress (WMC 2017) event in Barcelona earlier this year.
Besides the BlackBerry KEYone launch, the company has also announced its partnership with India’ second largest telecom operator, Vodafone India to offer best 4G mobile data benefits. Under the Vodafone-BlackBerry data offer, customers buying a BlackBerry KEYone smartphone can avail up to 75GB of 4G or 3G data (for a period of 84 days/three months) from Vodafone. The launch offer is applicable for both prepaid and postpaid Vodafone network customers as well as new and existing subscribers who purchased the newly launched BlackBerry smartphone. In the Indian market, company’s India partner Optiemus Infracom will distribute the BlackBerry’s latest offering. If you are not aware, Optiemus Infracom is a diversified business group, which has the official permit to distribute and sell BlackBerry-branded smartphones countrywide.
BlackBerry has closed its hardware business but that doesn’t mean that it is out of it. The company now has TCL, the Chinese hardware maker company which has a global agreement with BlackBerry in Canada to produce handsets. TCL’s agreement holds the right to manufacture and sell BlackBerry smartphones in most of the world with the exception of a few countries in Asia.
Talking about its design, the BlackBerry KEYone sports an anodized aluminium frame with a soft touch textured back, giving it an overall premium outlook. The BlackBerry KEYone also features a fingerprint sensor that is housed underneath the spacebar button. The major highlights of the smartphone are its four-row BlackBerry QWERTY physical backlit keyboard with keys, some decent specifications with the great software, security and productivity suite from BlackBerry’s other devices and Google’s latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat operating system.
Technically speaking, the BlackBerry KEYone comes equipped with a 4.5-inch full HD display with a screen resolution of 1620 x 1080 pixels and has a pixel density of 433ppi. Further, the display is protected by a scratch resistant glass. Under the hood, the device is powered by a 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor paired with Adreno 506 GPU to handle the graphics. In terms of memory, BlackBerry KEYone is backed up by a 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 2TB via a microSD card slot.
Talking about its software fronts, the BlackBerry KEYone runs Google’s latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat operating system out-of-the-box. As we mentioned, the phone also features a front-mounted fingerprint scanner for biometric security. The company also claims that the fingerprint scanner unlocks the smartphone just within 0.5 seconds, and also works with wet fingers.
For photography, BlackBerry KEYone features a 12-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX378 sensor, an f/2.0 aperture, 1.55μm pixel size, PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), dual-tone LED Flash and 4K video recording support. On the front, it has an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.2 aperture for capturing selfies and making video calls.
In terms of connectivity, the BlackBerry KEYone offers various connectivity options including 4G LTE with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4 & 5.0 GHz), GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB 3.1 Type-C port for superfast charging and data transfer. On the battery front, the BlackBerry KEYone comes packed with a 3,505mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology support for fast charging. Dimensionally, the handset measures 149.3 x 72.5 x 9.4 mm and weighs 180 grams.