The little sibling of the KEY2 is looking really good.
Potential images of the latest BlackBerry to be birthed by TCL’s BlackBerry Mobile began making the rounds on the internet earlier today. The images first appeared courtesy of Android Police. The KEY2 LE images are obviously not renders, and are photos of a physical unit, complete with a partial serial number showing stamped into the bottom chin.
From the front, the device looks nearly identical to the BlackBerry KEY2, with the exception of the division between the keys on the keyboard. Instead of the keys being set in to the metal surround, the frets are back, and this is something which makes me happy. I do wonder about the bottom row though, with the additional spacers alongside the shift key and the Speed Key. I hope on the production version we see the “u” shaped plastic that we’ve become accustomed to on previous BlackBerry physical keyboards. The back of the device shows what appears to be a rubbery texture grip, which is thankfully typical of BlackBerry devices, although the embossed design is not nearly as nice as what we saw on the KEY2 or even the KEYone.
Android police provides the following suspected specs of the device which is consistent with previous leaks.
- SoC: Snapdragon 636 (vs. 660)
- RAM: 4GB (vs. 6GB)
- Storage: 32/64GB (vs. 64GB)
- Display: 4.5-inch 1080 x 1620 LCD (Same)
- Battery: 3,000mAh (vs. 3,500mAh)
- Camera: 13 + 5MP (vs. 12 + 12MP)
- Measurements: 150.25 x 71.8 x 8.35 mm, 156g (vs. 151.4 x 71.8 x 8.5 mm, 168g)
One aspect which is reported in their post is that the phone will not have the capacitive keyboard, which would make this the first BlackBerry physical keyboard device to miss that functionality since the BlackBerry Classic. Personally, I’m hoping that isn’t correct. Lacking the capacitive keyboard may just be a deal breaker for those that have used the capacitive keyboard on other BlackBerry devices. An inexpensive entry level Android powered BlackBerry is precisely what I think we need, and what I’ve been asking for. Having an easy entry for users to discover BlackBerry would surely help grow the brand. And while I would expect lower specs on such a device, to make it more affordable, I would hope to provide those users a true BlackBerry experience. A true BlackBerry experience, centers around the keyboard, and the capacitive nature of BlackBerry keyboards, is a factor that truly makes for a better experience than on a virtual keyboard.
What do you think?