In short: The BlackBerry KEY2 LE that was announced IFA in August, is now available for pre-order on Amazon in the US. It is priced at $449, just as it was announced to cost a little over a month ago. Not all of the colors are available at this time, though that should change before October 12 comes around. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is a “cheaper” version of the KEY2, and it is missing a few features like the many keyboard shortcuts, and it being made with a plastic frame instead of a metal frame.
Background: TCL and BlackBerry Mobile announced the KEY2 LE at IFA in Berlin in late August, as a cheaper alternative to the $699 KEY2 that it had announced over the summer. To do this it did need to cut a few corners, but it did keep the iconic QWERTY Keyboard from BlackBerry, as well as the same display. So the only real differences here is the materials used to build the KEY2 LE, as well as the keyboard, which the only difference there is the fact that you can’t use it as a trackpad and the shortcuts are gone. But you can still type on it like you would a KEY2 or KEYone. There is also the Snapdragon 636 chipset under-the-hood, with 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage available. BlackBerry has stuck with the Snapdragon 600-series of chipsets because these are more battery efficient without sacrificing performance – not to mention they are also a bit cheaper.
Impact: The BlackBerry KEY2 LE will be available in about a week and a half, just in time for the holiday season. And at $449, it’s actually a really good smartphone for those that don’t want an all-screen device, or want something with a physical keyboard. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE serves both of those purposes, without costing an arm a leg like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the Apple iPhone XS.