BlackBerry KEYone has been launched in India as an Amazon-exclusive handset, in partnership with manufacturing and distribution partner Optiemus Infracom. The BlackBerry KEYone price in India has been set as Rs. 39,990, and the handset is the last smartphone designed in-house by the company. Its biggest highlight is its hardware QWERTY keyboard, and the phone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat operating system with BlackBerry's own security and productivity software onboard. Another unique feature is the hardware Convenience Key that can be customised for various shortcuts. To recall, the smartphone was first launched at MWC 2017.
The company has made some changes to the specifications of the smartphone for India, and the KEYone will be made available in a 4GB RAM + 64GB inbuilt storage configuration, compared to the 3GB RAM + 32GB inbuilt storage configuration that was launched in international markets. The company is calling this model the BlackBerry KEYone Limited Edition Black. The Indian model also supports dual-SIM cards, and the company says this is the first ever BlackBerry smartphone with with dual-SIM card support.
The smartphone will be available from August 8 exclusively via Amazon India. BlackBerry KEYone launch offers include up to 75GB additional data from Vodafone, meant for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers, as well as new and existing subscribers. American Express is also offering up to 4,000 bonus points to credit card members that buy the smartphone.
The BlackBerry KEYone specifications are mediocre, however, the innards are not the smartphone's highlights. Instead, its keyboard and software features are its main USPs. The dual-SIM BlackBerry KEYone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and sports a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display with a 3:2 aspect ratio (1080x1620 pixels) and a pixel density of 433ppi. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC clocked at up to 2GHz, coupled with 4GB of RAM.
The KEYone camera setup bears a 12-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, EIS, and dual-tone LED flash, apart from the 8-megapixel front camera that sports an f/2.2 aperture and an 84-degree wide-angle lens. As for storage, the BlackBerry KEYone comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB) in a hybrid dual-SIM configuration.
In terms of connectivity, the BlackBerry KEYone supports 4G VoLTE, dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi 802.11ac, NFC, GPS/ A-GPS, Bluetooth v4.2, FM radio, USB Type-C (3.1), and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sensors on board the smartphone include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, and a proximity sensor. It is powered by a 3505mAh non-removable battery that supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, said to charge the smartphone from zero to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. It measures 149.3x72.5x9.4mm, and weighs 180 grams.
Getting back to the software aspect of the smartphone, the security apps such as DTEK by BlackBerry and BlackBerry Password Keeper have been preloaded, while productivity apps such as BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Calendar, BlackBerry Productivity Edge, and BlackBerry Workspaces are also onboard. The company is of course touting the Smart Keyboard functionality, which offers contextual auto-correction, next-word prediction, and 'flick typing' that adapts to the user's language style.