'BlackBerry KEYone' is now official, priced at $549, comes with physical QWERTY keyboard

We've been hearing a lot about the "BlackBerry Mercury" premium handset for quite some time now, and today, the company has finally announced it. Developed under the aforementioned code-name, the device is officially named "BlackBerry KEYone". The handset features a physical QWERTY keyboard as well, as previously hinted.

While earlier reports suggested that the BlackBerry KEYone would boast high-end specifications, the device arguably has mid-range features, at least on paper. The full list of specifications includes:

  • Display: 4.5-inch FHD (1620 x 1080 pixels), ~433 ppi, 3:2 aspect ratio
  • Operating system: Android 7.1 Nougat
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (octa-core, 64-bit, 2.0GHz)
  • GPU: Adreno 506
  • Storage: 32GB (expandable up to 2TB via microSD card)
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Camera: 12MP rear, 8MP front
  • Connectivity: 802.11/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, USB Type-C (USB 3.1)
  • Battery: 3,505mAh, Quick Charge 3.0
  • Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader, physical QWERTY keyboard

Interestingly, the physical QWERTY keyboard can also act as a touchpad, integrating "Flick Typing", which allows for gesture-based predictive text typing. Additionally, different buttons on the keyboard can also be programmed to quick-launch apps.

Meanwhile, the camera is the same as the one found on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, which is very impressive, to say the least.

The company also states that the BlackBerry KEYone is powered by a more "hardened" and secure version of Android, and that security settings can be customized on a granular level.

It is worth noting that global rights to the BlackBerry brand were sold to TCL, which has developed the BlackBerry KEYone. The handset will be available at a price of $549 / £499 / €599 and will launch in multiple markets from April.

We'll be going hands-on with the device once the event wraps up, so stay tuned to Neowin!

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