Meet the BlackBerry KEY2 (hands-on video)

TCL launches the Black Berry Key2 for $649

Meet the BlackBerry KEY2 (hands-on video)

We've even heard prices rumored, with the latest leaks suggesting the BlackBerry Key2 could cost $649 / £579 (around AU$1,015).

TCL also sells low-end phones in the United States under the brand of France's Alcatel, which are mainly used with pre-paid carriers.

The new device is an upgrade to the BlackBerry KeyOne, which launched in the spring of a year ago.

In context: The BlackBerry name hardly carries the weight it did a decade ago yet still, a dedicated - albeit small - fan base persists that clamors for the company's iconic physical keyboard and PDA-like styling.

The KEY2 is expected to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 CPU and have 6GB of RAM. The BlackBerry Key2 succeeds the BlackBerry KeyOne, also made by TCL, and, yes, both companies realized it would probably be a good idea to stop spelling out the number. On its front, the phone also features an 8MP selfie camera.

Additionally, the device comes with Firefox Focus, a privacy browser by Mozilla that prevents web browsing sessions from being tracked.

The KEY² keeps the screen of the KEYone - a 4.5-inch LCD display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. As for sound there's still a 3.5mm headphone jack, which will please many, or you can go wireless with Bluetooth 5.0.

The KEY2 doesn't do too much that's different to the KEYone, but it improves everything in either minor or major ways. But the unique feature is the Speed Key, situated in the bottom right-hand corner of the keyboard.

TCL says the BlackBerry Key2 will get more than a full day of battery life.

Chinese electronics maker TCL Corp on Thursday launched a high-end smartphone in the United States that it developed with Canada's BlackBerry Ltd, touting security and privacy features to distinguish it from other devices.

Also of note about the keyboard is that it's got a new Speed Key that'll let you access your programmable shortcut keys without having to return to the home screen of your device.

In other words, the message is the same as a year ago.

What do you think of the BlackBerry KEY2?

While the KEYone started out at $550 in the US, the KEY2 is $100 more expensive at $650.

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