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The KEYone may be the perfect Android BlackBerry smartphone

It’s here. BlackBerry‘s highly anticipated smartphone has been officially launched. Meet the KEYone, BlackBerry’s latest smartphone that pairs the best Android has to offer with a BlackBerry’s classic physical keyboard.

After the BlackBerry Classic, this is the latest handset from the company to feature a physical keyboard on a smartphone with a candybar form-factor. It’s also the only one that pairs this with the Android operating system for a unique combination.

Because of the physical keyboard, KEYone comes packing a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1620×1080 pixels that’s tucked under Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4. At its heart, you’ll find a 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor that’s built on a 14nm process, paired to 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. This storage is further expandable via a microSD card for up to 2TB of additional space.

Designed by BlackBerry and built by TCL, the phone is constructed mostly out of annodised aluminium, lending it a really premium feel in the hand. It also has a shiny metal frame that runs across the length of the keyboard for that extra touch of premium.

Just below the screen sits KEYone’s capacitive buttons that are laid out in typical Android fashion. Sitting under that is the physical QWERTY keyboard that’s also touch-sensitive like the PRIV so you can “flick” to type. The keys are also programmable so you can set certain applications to launch with a short press or long press gesture. The phone’s fingerprint scanner is embedded into the spacebar.

For photos, the BlackBerry KEYone features a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture lens that utilises phase detection autofocus. For better low-light performance, the KEYone’s camera has large 1.55 micron pixels and a 1/2.3″ sensor size. In addition, you’ll also find an 8MP selfie shooter up front with 1.12 micron pixels. Keeping the lights on is a 3,505 mAh battery that supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 fast-charging technology via a USB Type-C port.

Moving on to software, you’ve got something more interesting. The smartphone comes running Android 7.1 Nougat — the first BlackBerry phone to do so out of the box. Building on that BlackBerry also includes their useful apps like the BlackBerry Hub that consolidates all your notifications into one neat place.

It’s also packed with BlackBerry’s awesome security features that are built on top of android, like their app monitoring software DTEK and BlackBerry’s guarantee for monthly Android updates.

BlackBerry KEYone will be sold around the globe starting as early as April. It will be priced at USD549 (around RM2,437). For more information, visit blackberrymobile.com.

BlackBerry KEYone Hands-on Gallery