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BlackBerry KEYone "Mercury" by TCL gives the QWERTY one more try


Both phone also come with a microUSB port and not USB-C.

Up top is the usual suite of sensors. There's no home button on the front panel while the BlackBerry logo is written on the lower side. Remember the "BlackBerry Mercury" from CES? The handset will be launched in Indonesia by PT BB Merah Putih, the company that's now in charge with the distribution of BlackBerry-branded smartphones in this country.

TCL Communication, the leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of mobile and Internet products and services for the brands TCL, Alcatel, and BlackBerry, has unveiled the BlackBerry KEYone-a BlackBerry smartphone which has the trademark BlackBerry software and security. A licensing deal between the Canadian firm and the Chinese company was signed in 2016 as BlackBerry embraced a strategy of moving away from hardware to software. In the camera department, there is a 12MP rear camera with LED flash and an 8MP front camera.

The one you see in the pictures below is not actually built by TCL. It will be priced at $549 (approx Rs 38,600) in the US, GBP 499 (roughly Rs 41,400) in the United Kingdom, and Euro 599 (roughly Rs 42,100) in Europe. TCL has chosen Qualcomm's Snapdragon 625 processor, which isn't by any means the fastest around but is proven to be power-efficient - you can't get much work done if your phone's dead by 3PM, after all. In terms of style, BlackBerry KeyOne has a metal frame, while the back of the phone is textured which not only gives the phone a premium look but help with grip as well.

TCL/BlackBerry Mobility GM Bruce Walpole told TechCrunch, "We asked if people would consider a physical keyboard". They keys are nicely separated and the spacebar doubles as a fingerprint reader. Crackberry celebrates its 10th year of all things Blackberry and has been roped in by Blackberry to take the stage, as a token of patronage.

The device's Smart Keyboard responds to touch gestures and mimics using the trackpad of old while web browsing, reading email and writing messages with flick typing becomes a smooth and intuitive experience. Each key can be programmed. For instance, "B" can launch the browser, or "F" could launch Facebook. For example, F for Facebook, B for browser, U for Uber, and so forth.

It's hard to be enthusiastic about something that is so wildly expensive for what is it. Of course, the similar size isn't because the KEYone has huge bezels and wasted space, but because the device brings back a signature element of BlackBerry smartphones, a physical keyboard.