The BlackBerry KEY2 will launch in Malaysia next week

If you’re just so done with 2018 smartphones that have no bezels, no fingerprint scanners and no physical keyboards, there is good news. You won’t have to conform to the 2018 bezelless fad for much longer because the world’s last proponent of smartphone keyboards with buttons you actually need to exert effort to depress will be launching their latest flagship in Malaysia soon.

Yes, that’s right. The BlackBerry KEY2 will be launched locally, next week.

We just received an invite to the launch of BlackBerry’s old-school brand-new Android smartphone which will happen next Tuesday, the 10th of July 2018.

Although the KEY2 and KEYone look pretty similar, there are actually a number of key differences. For starters, the KEY2 now features a dual-camera setup at the back, with a 12MP f/1.8 aperture wide-angled main camera and a 12MP f/2.6 aperture secondary camera that is capable of 2X optical zoom. These cameras also work together to allow the phone to capture Portrait mode photos with blurred backgrounds. In front, you’ve got an 8MP selfie shooter.

Besides that, TCL and BlackBerry have also tweaked the handset’s physical keyboard — the staple feature of this line of BlackBerry handsets. In fact, they claim that the new keyboard provides a better typing experience thanks to a few design changes.

Firstly, the keys are about 20% taller than they were on the KEYone, with better spacing and a smooth matte finish instead of the shiny one you found on the first smartphone. Like the KEYone though, the KEY2’s physical keyboard can still act as a touch-sensitive trackpad, and the smartphone’s fingerprint scanner still lives under the space bar.

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The rest of the KEY2 also receives your standard set of upgrades, including a new Snapdragon 660 upper-mid-range processor mated to 6GB of RAM. For internal storage, you’ll have the choice of 64GB or 128GB, but you can expand them further with a microSD card slot.

However, BlackBerry didn’t change the KEY2’s screen and chose to keep the 4.5″ 3:2 aspect ratio Full HD display that pushes a resolution of 1620×1080 pixels. Also unfortunate is that the company shaved 5 mAh off the battery, bringing it to a 3,500 mAh cell instead. We’re not sure how this would affect battery life, but our guess is that it probably won’t change much.

The invite we received didn’t include any details on which model we’ll be getting, nor did they spill the beans on how much this smartphone will cost. In the States, BlackBerry’s KEY2 is priced at USD649 (around RM2,629) which is slightly lower than the KEYone retailed for at launch here in Malaysia with 6% GST.

Whatever the case, we will be at the launch event next week so stay tuned for all the juicy deets.

In the meantime, let me know what you think of the KEY2 in the comments below. Would you buy it? Is there still a place for phones with a physical keyboard?

To learn more about the KEY2, check out our announcement post.