The budget version of the BlackBerry KEY2 has just been revealed at IFA — the KEY2 LE. And while this brand may still just be for the fans who love themselves a keyboard, the cheaper price point may be enough to convince newcomers.
Despite having similar dimensions to the KEY2 and keys that are 10 per cent larger than the KEYone, the LE is thinner and lighter. Which one wold hope when it's a cheaper and smalled specced phone.
Like its bigger sibling, it will have Speed Key with 52 customised universal shortcuts so you don't always have to return to the home screen to access your favourite apps, contacts or functions.
The LE has dual rear 13Mp and 5MP cameras and a front facing 8MP camera that come with a new portrait mode, LCD flash, a selfie panorama mode and Face Beauty — which offers selfie enhancements. It sounds like it may work similarly to Beauty Mode on Huawei's P20 and Mate 10.
It also integrates Google Lens (as well as Google Assistant and Google Pay) so users are able to access information about the things that are pointing their phone at by simply turning the camera on.
These are all quite nice inclusions, but also what you would expect from a phone sitting at this price point — which is pushing the boundaries of mid-range.
Of course, when it comes to specs it isn't as beefy at the KEY2, with only 4GB of RAM, 32GB/64GB storage, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636m 3,000 battery and weaker cameras. But that may be fine for the consumer who is looking for a phone in this space.
"Today’s smartphones try to offer a one size fits all solution, but that is no longer realistic when we have a global marketplace as diverse as we have today,” said Alain Lejeune, Senior Vice President, TCL Communication & President, BlackBerry Mobile. “But this is why we focus on making modern BlackBerry smartphones like KEY2 LE, to stand out and deliver a great experience for everyday communication, with access to all the features, connectivity and applications our customers expect.”
"The BlackBerry KEY2 LE brings a fresh new personality to TCL Communication’s BlackBerry KEY2 portfolio that includes all the security features that make BlackBerry phones the world’s most secure Android™ smartphones," said Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry.
"With this new addition to their product lineup, the KEY2 LE keeps the iconic BlackBerry styling while offering an accessible entry point for our fans around the world to enjoy a modern BlackBerry smartphone."
The BlackBerry Key2 LE will be available globally at the beginning of September and will have an RRP of $699 in Australia for the 64GB version. We don't have word on the 32GB as yet. It will be offered in three colours — Slate, Champagne and Atomic.