BlackBerry’s new KEYone smartphone will become available for purchase on May 5 in the United Kingdom, retailer Clove has confirmed in recent days. Customers can already pre-order the BlackBerry KEYone for £499 ($621), Clove's official website states, in addition to revealing that the retailer is selling an unlocked, black variant of the smartphone. A few days ago, BlackBerry's CEO John Chen announced the KEYone won’t be hitting the shelves in April, as previously expected, while hinting the phone might not go on sale until May or later. Regardless, it looks like customers in the UK will be able to grab the phone starting early next month.
The BlackBerry KEYone was officially announced by the Canadian company and TCL Communications at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. The phone combines a touchscreen with a physical Smart Keyboard that boasts numerous unique functionalities. The keyboard features a fingerprint sensor on its spacebar and can act as a traditional Blackberry trackball - letting users flick upwards to add predictions while typing, or allowing them to navigate web pages via scrolling gestures. On top of that, each key can be assigned to a custom shortcut, BlackBerry previously revealed. The KEYone runs Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box with the company’s suite of productivity and security optimizations on top, including the BlackBerry Hub and the DTEK security monitoring app. TCL has been working to make the new BlackBerry phone more secure than even the BlackBerry Priv and promised customers that its BlackBerry phones will be as secure as any BlackBerry 10 device by the end of the year.
As for specifications, the BlackBerry KEYone is equipped with a 4.5-inch IPS display boasting a resolution of 1620 by 1080 pixels. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 625 chipset, a mid-range processor with eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2GHz and the Adreno 506 GPU. BlackBerry and TCL also equipped the device with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage expandable via a microSD card slot. On the imaging front, the KEYone enjoys the services of a 12-megapixel main shooter with an aperture of f/2.0, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and dual-LED flash, as well as an 8-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture. It relies on a 3,505 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 that’s supposed to allow users to quickly charge their phones. While the BlackBerry KEYone will debut in the UK in early May, the phone will also likely launch in several other European markets around the same date.