The BlackBerry KEYone is launching today in the US and Canada, after being available in Europe for a few weeks through some retailers. The KEYone is the first smartphone from BlackBerry that was mass produced by TCL, in its latest partnership – which is focusing more on software, while outsourcing their hardware. The KEYone is the last BlackBerry to be designed in-house, the rest of them will be designed by TCL who is the parent company of Alcatel. The KEYone is also the first Android smartphone from BlackBerry to have a physical keyboard that's not a slider (the PRIV was a slider with a full physical keyboard), and hence the name "KEYone".
BlackBerry announced the KEYone officially at Mobile World Congress in February, after briefly showing it off at CES in January. The KEYone has some pretty high-end specs, but it focuses on productivity and battery life. It sports a 4.5-inch 1620×1080 resolution display, a tad higher than full HD. Additionally, it's powered by the Snapdragon 625 processor along with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, there is a micro SD card slot available for expanding storage as well. There's a massive 3505mAh battery inside, which is non-removable, and should last all day long. TCL is using the same camera from the Google Pixel on the KEYone, it's a 12-megapixel sensor. While the front-facing camera sports 8-megapixels. Finally, it runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, which is currently the latest version of Android.
The KEYone has been pretty popular since it was announced due to the fact that it looks to be a pretty solid smartphone with great battery life, and perhaps most importantly, it'll get fast and timely updates. BlackBerry has worked hard to push out updates pretty quickly to their existing Android smartphones like the PRIV, DTEK50 and DTEK60. Typically, BlackBerry will send out the monthly security patches even before Google does, which is impressive. The BlackBerry KEYone is available today for $549, which is quite a bit cheaper than most other flagships on the market today. It's available from Amazon, and it should be shipping immediately – so it should arrive somewhere between June 8 and June 16, according to Amazon.