Privacy controls were touted among the top features of TCL Communications' BlackBerry KEY2 unveiled today in NY, reflecting a growing demand by consumers and regulators for the protection of personal data.
In the case of the KEY2 specifically, it's a clear evolution over the last BlackBerry. The soft-touch back has a new diamond pattern, which is easier to grip. At 433 pixels per inch, it's crisp to look at, and great for displaying text and photos, although the unusual 3:2 ratio does mean it's not so hot for video or gameplay.
Lastly, there's a brief emphasis on a new key added to the device's keyboard. You still get in-keyboard fingerprint recognition.
The Key2 uses this year's highest powered Snapdragon 600 series processor in the SD660.
We'll soon know how true all that is, but if the leaks are accurate it's shaping up to be a very solid upper mid-ranger - albeit one aimed squarely at those who need more than a touchscreen for their typing. Both sensors are 12-megapixel, with the software featuring a Portrait Mode and the hardware capable of "optical superzoom". If the microphone is triggered by an app, the phone will give a warning - a clear appeal to consumers who may be anxious by stories about virtual assistants like Google's Alexa eavesdropping on them.
On the front of the device, there's an 8 megapixel fixed-focus camera, which can record full 1080p video.
Inside, TCL's trend of opting for mid-tier chipsets rather than power-demanding flagship silicon continues. Completing its general specifications is a 3500mAh battery which can be used with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 chargers in order to reduce its charging time. By marrying the Snapdragon 660 with a decently-sized 3,500 mAh battery, the Key2 promises some impressive battery endurance. The promise is up to two days of battery life; the KEY2 charges via USB-C. BlackBerry said the phone would be available in two different storage options- 64GB and 128GB.
A security meter on the KEY2, DTEK, gives users a snapshot of what's going on with their apps - how they are accessing data and what they have permission to use, such as a camera or microphone. Firefox Focus, Mozilla's privacy browser, is present too.
Chinese electronics maker TCL Corp. on Thursday launched a high-end smartphone in the United States that it developed with BlackBerry Ltd. of Waterloo, Ont., touting security and privacy features to distinguish it from other devices. There's still the promise of monthly BlackBerry Mobile security updates, and TCL says that the KEY2 will get "at least one major OS update" in its lifecycle. From the listing below, we are getting the Dual-SIM version (BBF100-6) which is good news.