BlackBerry KEYone launches on Sprint tomorrow, fans of physical keyboards rejoice

Just ahead of the Mobile World Congress in February, TCL unveiled its latest BlackBerry-branded handset, the KEYone. The design of the premium smartphone will be familiar to BlackBerry fans, featuring a high-definition display with a physical QWERTY keyboard below it - fixed in place, rather than the slide-out keyboard on the earlier BlackBerry Priv.

In April, TCL announced that the KEYone was heading to Sprint in the US; but while the unlocked model went on sale in the States in May priced at $549, details of pricing and availability on Sprint were not revealed.

Today, TCL revealed that the BlackBerry KEYone will officially launch on Sprint tomorrow, July 14, and buyers will be able to purchase the device for 18 monthly payments of $22 - a total of $396, considerably lower than the cost of the unlocked model. The handset will initially be available through Sprint's website, but will make its way to the carrier's stores across the US later this month.

The KEYone's key specs include:

  • 4.5-inch display with 1080x1620px resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage (plus microSD card support up to 256GB)
  • 12MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus, dual-LED flash and 4K video recording at 30fps
  • 8MP front-facing camera with 1080p video recording
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB 3.1 port with Type-C connector
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 3505mAh battery
  • 149 x 72 x 9.4mm; 180g

The KEYone promises "unparalleled security", thanks to its "hardened" version of Android 7.1 Nougat, which includes unique protective features not available on other Android devices.

Make sure you check out our hands-on video with the KEYone from its launch event earlier this year, including some first impressions of the device.

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