BlackBerry is back with new handset the BlackBerry Key2

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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.

As is the case with all of BlackBerry's latest smartphones, the Key2 is running Android (in this case Android 8.0 Oreo) and comes preloaded with a full suite of security apps/features to appeal to both consumers and business users.

The Blackberry Key2 will cost $829 in Canada. The device is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, combined with 6GB of RAM.

It comes with a choice of 64GB or 128GB of storage which can be expanded via microSD up to 256GB.

On the front sits a 4.5-inch 1620×1080 IPS LCD display with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

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The new offering, revealed in NY, runs Android 8.1 Oreo and is the first BlackBerry to feature a dual-rear camera - now considered standard on even mid-range phones.

If anything, the biggest physical changes here come in the form of a new 12-megapixel dual-lens camera (f/1.8 + f/2.6). BlackBerry's overall focus when it comes to software is making the phone security as robust as possible, so it's added stuff like a hardened OS and you can run a health check.

BlackBerry's priority on security also continues with its commitment to patch Android as soon as Google pushes out updates. BlackBerry says it will use AI to warn users how much battery life they have left.

Key2 is copying the success of its predecessor with a fresh look, sharp angular lines, and slimmer figure than the KeyOne. This includes a more compact chassis and a re-positioned convenience key, that's now located on the right along with the power and volume rocker.

In terms of build, the BlackBerry KEY2 features a Series 7 aluminium frame for extra durability along with a textured "diamond grip" back that prevents the phone from slipping off your hands by providing a better grip. However, only the KEY2 has a physical keyboard. At the bottom of the display are three capacitive menu buttons, and the fingerprint sensor rests on the space bar. A new Speed key is also there on the keyboard that is for the shortcuts like launching any app or calling any specific contact. The display is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Anyways, here we have the successor to last year's Blackberry KeyOne with a similar design language and upgraded specifications. It will also be the company's first smartphone to feature a dual-camera setup on the front. This dual camera system offers the usual portrait-depth mode, as well as the ability to enable two-times optical zoom without losing detail.

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