Have you heard the news from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona? BlackBerry has announced the launch of their KeyOne Keyboard Smartphone! If you have used BlackBerry phone earlier and loved it for its physical keyboard and excellent email features, you are going to love this new phone! BlackBerry has now partnered with Chinese Company TCL to manufacture this new phone.

BlackBerry Brand:

The Canadian company BlackBerry Limited (old name: Research In Motion Limited) operates all over the world and produces smartphones.  They are well-known for secure communications, and many corporates had adapted their phones as official communication devices. In 2013, there were 85 million BlackBerry users, but they soon lost their position and dropped down to 23 million in 2016. The new phone KeyOne is expected to give a big boost to the company again.

KeyOne Grand Keyboard:

The earlier Smartphone from BlackBerry, the Priv had a sliding keyboard, and now the full keyboard is part of the device itself (captive) without sliding. For KeyOne, each key on the keyboard is customisable and you can create as many as 52 shortcuts (mapped to short or long keypress) with each key of this Android powered Smartphone. A fingerprint scanner is inbuilt into the space bar. Below the screen is your traditional keyboard. When you thought BlackBerry is out of the market, they have done a come-back enhancing their strong points.

The feel of real ‘QWERTY’ keyboard is a preference of the BlackBerry fans. It is a key selling point for the company. The keyboard height is small, and you may feel it cramped in four rows, but if you need 4.5-inch screen usable, then that’s a compromise you have to do with the design. You can map Apps starting with an alphabet to that alphabet short key and launch the apps quickly. The opening of Instagram or Google Voice search is made extremely easy. New Apps will be quickly available, because of Android OS.

Android & High Security:

By using Android 7.1, BlackBerry has come in the main stream of competing with Samsung and all other Android phones. There are multiple pre-loaded Apps, and with 7.1 OS, you get a lot of new features by default.  You have support for multiple windows and notifications are better. As Blackberry has added their security feature, they claim that the phone is more secure than any other Android smartphone.

With a long-term partnership announced with TCL, the phones will be designed and manufactured by the Chinese partner and will be available at a competitive price all over the world. With fierce competition from Samsung and Apple, the company has decided to focus on their Software and Services business, outsourcing the phone manufacturing. The outsourcing is a great decision for large companies helping them in profitability, and it is good for the market, as it increases freelance jobs. 

Industrial Design:

If you have seen their Passport silver model, this phone reminds you of the same. The style includes a metal frame, while the back of the phone is textured. With a good grip, the phone has a polished look and offers type C USB port.

Large Battery:

The KeyOne is going to be available with a large battery which can last entire day after one charging. The charging supports Quick Charge 3.0 making it possible for you to charge the phone faster.

High-Resolution Camera:

The KeyOne will have a 12-megapixel Sony IMX 378 rear-facing camera. It is the same sensor on the Google Pixel phone. The front camera is 8-megapixel and very good for video calls and the youth favourite selfie!

BlackBerry Software:

The BlackBerry Hub, a universal message inbox and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) are favourite of BlackBerry users, and they are there! The new phone will work with the BES server. The Brand is targeting the Corporates and Government buyers to push the phone in the market in a large magnitude. More test reports will keep coming in next month, and you can keep an eye on that as more features get unveiled. The BlackBerry email client is so popular that there are several HTC, Nokia and Sony phones are using this client. If you are in the business of Mobile App development, you should find freelancers to work on any latest device quickly to make use of the new features and take advantage of the same.

High-End Competition:

BlackBerry KeyOne is not competing with cheap phones and market looking at economical smartphones. It is likely to compete with Apple, Galaxy S8, and Google Pixel phones. The physical keyword is the main attraction for the fast typing folks who miss that in any other phone!

On-screen Tab:

Sliding the screen tab is a cool feature of KeyOne. It opens up your world of appointments, tasks, personal messages and you can customise this tab the way you want it to help you get organised. The shortcut icons on home screens help you launch the App you want, like a new note or calendar appointment.

Hardware Specifications:

  • The KeyOne has a 4.5-inch display (diagonal as usual)
  • Screen resolution of 1620 x 1080 pixels.
  • Gorilla Glass 4, Metal Frame and 9.4 mm phone thickness
  • Non-removable Li-Ion large battery (quick chargeable)
  • Snapdragon 625 Processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage
  • It has microSD support (expand up to 2TB)
  • 3,505mAh non-removable battery
  • Nano-SIM
  • USB Type C 1.0 Port
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, FM Radio

Pricing and Availability:

As per the company announcement, KeyOne will be available from April’17 and will cost US $549 (approximately INR 36,500). KeyOne will work with all four major US carriers and will be available through Company and authorised online retailers.


The KeyOne is going to be BlackBerry brand’s big comeback phone! The phone is in discussions for last several months on freelance websites, and after the formal announcement, the fans are eagerly going to wait for the device. Physical Keyword (with multiple short key options), Sensors, Software, and Security, are likely to make it a big hit in April’17! All technical features are now available, but you may think that there could be still an unannounced feature!