At IFA 2018, BlackBerry unveiled a spin-off to its niche Blackberry KEY2 smartphone. Launched as the BlackBerry KEY2 LE, the phone features a similar design to its big brother, the only differences being its mid-tier specifications, performance, and pricing, targeting the general consumer.
Unlike the KEY2, the KEY2 LE runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 SoC. While it is a lower tier processor when compared to the Snapdragon 660, it is still very power frugal. Users can expect approximately 22 hours of use on a single charge. As a plus point, the phone also has access with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0, allowing it to charge its 3000mAh battery from zero to 50% charge in 36 minutes.
Other standout designs include the new colour options for the KEY2 LE, making it the most colourful BlackBerry smartphone to date. The new polycarbonate body now comes in three different hues – Slate, Champagne, and Atomic. The polycarbonate body also makes the phone lighter than the KEY2.
As it is a mid-tier phone, the phone will feature mid-tier memory and storage options – in this case 4GB of RAM and a choice of either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. Other cuts made to achieve the mid-tier price point includes the keyboard. While it is 10% larger than the KEYOne, it lacks the capacitive touch feature present in the higher-end KEY series. Thankfully, BlackBerry kept the fingerprint scanner on the spacebar key.
Mimicking the KEY2, the KEY2 LE features dual-cameras for imaging. Unlike the KEY2, this phone sees a 13MP +5MP sensor combo. The front-facing camera still sports an 8MP sensor. BlackBerry has also worked with Google for tight integration with Google Lens on this camera module, so you can simply point and shoot the phone at a subject to obtain its information directly from Google. This phone includes DTEK by BlackBerry for a secure Android experience, coupled with Firefox Focus for a more secure browsing experience on the internet.
The BlackBerry KEY2 LE will begin shipping out this September and will be priced at US$399 (~RM1649) for the 32GB storage variant and US$449 (~RM1846) for the 64GB storage variant. No Malaysian availability has been announced as of yet.