After reports of a toned-down variant of the BlackBerry KEY2 from earlier this month, the BlackBerry licensee TCL Communication has put all rumours to rest by launching the KEY2 LE at IFA 2018 in Berlin. Key highlights include a Snapdragon 636 SoC, a QWERTY keyboard, a fingerprint sensor mounted on the space bar, and a full-HD+ panel. Thanks to a slower processor, less RAM, and lower battery capacity, BlackBerry has been able to lower the pricing compared to the KEY2. Let's get into the pricing, availability, and specifications of the newly launched BlackBerry KEY2 LE.
The BlackBerry KEY2 LE price has been set at $399 (roughly Rs. 28,300) for the 4GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant in the US. It also gets other global price tags of EUR 399, GBP 349, and CAD 519. The 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage model has been priced at $449 (around Rs. 31,900), EUR 429, GBP 399, and CAD 579. The phone will be made available in markets including Canada, France, Germany, UAE, UK, and the US starting next month. It has been launched in Atomic, Champagne, and Slate colour options.
The single/ dual-SIM BlackBerry KEY2 LE runs Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box, and sports a 4.5-inch full-HD+ (1080x1620 pixels) IPS LCD panel with 3:2 aspect ratio, pixel density of 434ppi, and 24-bit colour depth. The handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB/ 64GB of onboard storage. Storage is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB).
In terms of optics, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE sports a horizontally stacked dual rear camera setup with a 13-megapixel primary sensor, with f/2.2 aperture and PDAF, and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor, with f/2.4 aperture, coupled with dual tone LED flash. On the front, the BlackBerry smartphone bears an 8-megapixel fixed focus with LCD selfie flash and full-HD recording. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS/ A-GPS, GLONASS, and USB Type-C with OTG.
Sensors on board the BlackBerry KEY2 LE include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, fingerprint sensor on the spacebar, magnetometer, and proximity sensor. There is a 3,000mAh battery under the hood, with support for 18W Quick Charge 3.0. Dimensions of the smartphone are 150.25x71.8x8.35mm and weight is 156 grams.