BlackBerry smartphone with physical keyboard will be sold in Canada next month

The smartphone will be launching in Canada and the U.S. on May 31, the company revealed on Thursday. BlackBerry teamed up with TCL after kicking its own operating system to the curb in 2016. The company had originally stated that it would be releasing the smartphone in April. Moreover, Samsung and LG have already unveiled their flagship phones, Galaxy S8 and G6, and are promoting them heavily.

But the Classic lagged in the camera department, too, which, to this day, is still one of the most important elements of a smartphone when I'm considering my next device.

The stock software keyboard on smartphones are pretty great right out of the box, but even if you don't prefer that experience, there are so many great options to choose from by third parties. This will be the first BlackBerry phone released by TCL, and I'm sure a number of BlackBerry diehards will be happy to see the trademark keyboard make a comeback. The cleverest addition to the keyboard has to be the fingerprint scanner that's been embedded on the spacebar. Users can also bind shortcuts to keys to bring up contacts and apps.

Canadian Wireless carriers who have committed to offering the BlackBerry KEYone include Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel, and TELUS Business. It'll be available unlocked initially, with models for GSM and CDMA carriers, but the KEYone will also be sold by U.S. carriers later on. As far as who it carry it in the United States will be revealed in the upcoming weeks. TCL's partnership with Sprint could also help the BlackBerry brand get back on track, as pointed out by Engadget. Telecom partnerships will definitely enable the smartphone to gain more visibility among the masses. Hence, the KeyOne has very big mountains to climb.

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Gold said the delay might be due to adding a new version of Android 7.1 to the smartphone. The processor will be clocked at 2.0 GHz. BlackBerry KEYone sports 32GB of inbuilt storage and it can be expanded up to 2TB via microSD card.

In terms of pictures, it will sport a 12MP camera (Sony IMX378 sensor) on the rear and 8MP sensor on front.

At the core of this new BlackBerry smartphone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 mobile platform with the Qualcomm® Adreno™ 506 GPU.

  • Douglas Reid