The BlackBerry KEY2 is here, and it's pretty clear that this is easily the most unique phone in 2018 by a long shot. When BlackBerry re-entered the smartphone market with its first Android-powered phones a few years ago, it became clear that the company was working to differentiate itself by offering up a more secure and private version of Android than anyone else. On top of this, it's got a physical keyboard that makes it immediately recognizable as a BlackBerry device, even at a passing glance. But it's not just the physical keyboard that makes this phone different either, it's also the speed and convenience factors found throughout the design.
Customization has been a big part of the Android experience from day one, and parent company TCL is taking the BlackBerry name to new heights with the KEY2, a phone that's more customizable than most other phones could even dream of. It all starts with the physical keyboard, namely the new Speed Key, which transforms the letter keys on the keyboard into a way to quickly launch any app, shortcut or action on the phone. A total of 52 shortcuts are available, with short and long-press actions available for each and every letter key on the keyboard. That's some insanely fast multi-tasking, and it's not the only way to quickly launch apps or shortcuts either.
Since security and privacy are more of a concern these days than ever, and it's any wonder with rogue apps that steal contact data or listen in on conversations without being asked to, so BlackBerry's has improved its DTEK software with more granular information than ever. This includes per-app permission tracking that provides full audit trails on what information has been accessed by every single app on the phone, including a timeline graph of when each permission was requested and a general look at the data accessed. There's even a way to have DTEK notify you about apps that ask for permission in the foreground or background, including the ability to specify which permissions and apps you'd like to be notified about. All this is just the beginning of what's offered on the KEY2, so be sure to check out our review video below and don't forget to subscribe to us on YouTube to get the latest as it's released!