TCL announced at CES today, that the popular BlackBerry KEY2 LE is going to be making its way over to the largest wireless carrier in the country, Verizon. It'll be available in "the coming weeks", TCL nor Verizon is committing to a firm release date just yet. Though, with this being a CES announcement, getting an availability for "the coming weeks" is more than most products will get. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE has been certified to use on Verizon since it launched late last year, so it's a bit surprising that it wasn't available for Verizon at launch, but it is now. Verizon has not yet announced pricing for this smartphone, but the unlocked version sells for $449, so expect a price similar to that.
Announced at IFA last year, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE is a decidedly mid-range smartphone from TCL. It sports a 4.5-inch 1080p display, which might seem rather small in 2019, but this is due to the physical keyboard on the bottom half of the phone. Inside, you'll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset, paired with 4GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. BlackBerry does have a micro SD card slot available for expanding storage if you wish to do so. Finally, there is a large 3000mAh capacity battery inside which should keep the KEY2 LE going all day long. Camera-wise, the KEY2 LE isn't the best, but it does sport a 13-megapixel sensor on the back with a 5-megapixel secondary sensor and then a 8-megapixel front-facing camera.
BlackBerry KEY2 LE comes to Verizon, but it won't be available to all
The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is going to be coming to Verizon for its Enterprise and Small Business customers. That means that normal customers that are on their unlimited plans won't be able to purchase it. Though, nothing is stopping them from purchasing it from Amazon and putting their SIM inside. BlackBerry has always been a business-focused smartphone, even before it was running the Android operating system, so seeing this available for business customers is not that big of a surprise. And Verizon actually has a fairly significant market share of the business market, when it comes to smartphones. This is because many companies choose Verizon for their employees smartphones due to the coverage that Verizon provides. So if there's one carrier that TCL and BlackBerry Mobile should be choosing for its business-focused smartphone, Verizon is the one.
BlackBerry Mobile is slowly but surely getting back onto each of the four major US carriers. With the KEYone it launched on AT&T, then the KEY2 on Sprint, and now the KEY2 LE on Verizon. The only one missing here is T-Mobile, and that will likely be the next target for BlackBerry Mobile and TCL in 2019. BlackBerry used to have a pretty tight relationship with all of the carriers, not too long ago. It was releasing new phones on each carrier pretty consistently, and they were selling. But that was around 2010. Now in 2019, the reaction by many is "BlackBerry is still in business?" It is, though it has undergone some changes as you might expect. While the KEY2 LE is only going to be available for Enterprise and Small Business customers, TCL still sees this as a major step forward for the brand.
With BlackBerry, you're in control of your privacy
One of the main selling points of a BlackBerry – even back in the day when the company was known as RIM – is the security and privacy aspect of the phone. BlackBerry Mobile has made it super simple to keep your phone private, so that you aren't sharing data with companies that might misuse that data, but also so that your phone isn't compromised when it is stolen. Thanks to the DTEK app that is installed on all BlackBerry smartphones, you can see just how secure your smartphone is. On top of that, BlackBerry Mobile has done a great job at keeping its smartphones up-to-date with the latest security updates from Google. Typically releasing them the same day, or within a few days of when Google does so.
That's what makes this such a great option for businesses. As employers don't want to worry about dealing with their employees getting hacked or being careless with their data. BlackBerry takes care of all of that themselves. The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is also a pretty productive smartphone to pick up for employees, partly because of that full-sized physical keyboard, making it easier than ever to send out emails to everyone while on the go.