BlackBerry Mercury is now official, aptly named KEYone

You probably remember our hands-on of the BlackBerry Mercury DTEK70. Back then we told you this wwas only a preliminary name and that the company will spill all the details about the device come MWC time. Without further ado, meet the BlackBerry KEYone.

BlackBerry KEYone
BlackBerry KEYone
BlackBerry KEYone
BlackBerry KEYone

BlackBerry KEYone press images

BlackBerry jumped ship from its own OS to Android in an effort to survive but they realized a bit too late that it was the app ecosystems that were driving the consumer smartphone market. Everyone remembers the brand with its distinctive physical keyboards but as the world moved to touchscreens, BlackBerry failed to retain its positions. The company had no other choice but to sell the device business to another manufacturer and focus on software instead.

So the new smartphone we see today comes courtesy of TCT Communication, the new owner of the BlackBerry brand. TCT is a new US-based company but it’s wholly owned by TCL, which you might recognize as the maker of Alcatel phones.

It seems TCT is finally rolling its sleeves with some R&D as the KEYone is not yet another re-badged Alcatel phone. Instead, it returns to the BlackBery roots and offers a true hardware keyboard.

The BlackBerry KEYone has a 4.5 display with 1620×1080 resolution with 3:2 aspect ratio. The device packs an anodized aluminum frame and soft touch textured back. On the back there is a 12 MP camera with 1.55 μm pixel size and Sonys IMX378 sensor. The OS is Android Nougat 7.1.

KEYone is powered by a Snapdragon 625 chipset with an Adreno 605 GPU and the 3505mAh battery can receive 50 percent charge in just 36 minutes thanks to Qualcomms Quick Charge 3.0. Theres also the BlackBerry Hub that brings all your messages, emails and social media accounts in one app.

Now lets get back to the star feature – the backlit keyboard. The KEYone reminds us of the lost times when we used to have keys under the display. The pad now responds to touch gestures. There is also flick typing, up to 52 customizable shortcuts and an embedded fingerprint sensor in the interval key.

The KEYone comes with BlackBery’s DTEK security app, designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible.