- Analysis by KJ David
A sequel to the 2017 KEYone, the KEY2 shares its predecessor's Android + BlackBerry profile, while offering a couple of upgrades in terms of its under-the-hood pros and cons, consequently making it one of the most-advanced BlackBerry phones as of its market entry. That said, the KEY2 did not upgrade its predecessor's screen, still rocking a less-than-flagship 4.5-inch 1620 x 1080 IPS facade , whereas full-blown 2018 flagships usually have QHD or QHD+ (1440p) screens, although this is obviously a consequence of featuring BlackBerry's iconic physical QWERTY keyboard, which we'll examine further down this Phonerated review.
We also found its 8-megapixel-only fixed-focus selfie camera to be a slight con, since it offers no improvement over that of the KEYone's and flounders in comparison to the 13-megapixel (or better) selfie shooters boasted by a lot of 2018 Androids. In contrast, the KEY2 mimics many of the best photography-driven smartphones around by being the first BlackBerry phone to feature a dual rear camera system . It comes with two 12-megapixel cameras at the back, which are accompanied by several high-end imaging specs, including an Ultra HD (2160p) video-recording capability and a dual-tone LED flash.
Going back to its keyboard, the BlackBerry KEY2's 35-key QWERTY setup comes integrated with a Speed Key , which, when used in conjunction with other keys, allows users to quick-launch frequently-used applications. For example, pressing the Speed Key + G launches Google Chrome. Just like the KEYone, it also conceals a fingerprint scanner right underneath the spacebar and, since it has touch-enabled keys, the keyboard itself can function as a trackpad as well.
Its BlackBerry-branded pros and cons also include the DTEK security suite that keeps track of the phone's overall security level. Additionally, the BlackBerry KEY2 is part of the Android Enterprise Recommended program , tailoring it to businesses and large organizations.
Inside the engine room, the KEY2 uses a Snapdragon 660 eight-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz and a massive 6GB RAM , both being huge upgrades over the KEYone's 2GHz octa-core engine and 3GB RAM correspondingly. It also comes with twice the internal storage, at 128GB , though the brand also ships a 64GB-only version.
Adding to its features is a 3500mAh battery power that does not quite hit the 4000mAh flagship benchmark around the time of its release, but it does come with things like Battery Boost and Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. The KEY2 is rigged with a Series 7 aluminum frame and it dons a non-slip diamond-pattern on its back.
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At the end of the day, although it's not quite on a premium level as an Android, its BlackBerry DNA makes it a feasible business- and security-driven smartphone.
** This phone is also known as: BlackBerry KEYtwo
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