There’s a new flagship BlackBerry in the South African market. The KEYone is the first BlackBerry smartphone not made by Canada’s BlackBerry, but under license from the firm by TCL Communication. TCL signed the licensing deal in December 2016.
Announced at Mobile World Congress in Spain in February, the KEYone will go on sale in South Africa next week, exclusively through Vodacom for the first three months, for a recommended retail price of R9 649. Vodacom will also make it available on contract for R579/month (on its Flexi 200 plan).
In many ways the Android-powered KEYone resembles the BlackBerry Priv that went before it, but without the screen that slides away to reveal the keyboard underneath. The front of the KEYone is made up of the fixed keyboard, which, like the Priv’s, is touch sensitive, and a bright, 4.5-inch display. The keyboard even has a fingerprint reader built into its spacebar.
The phone runs Android 7.1.1 (Nougat), the latest commercially available version of the Google operating system, and includes the DTEK security software for Android developed by BlackBerry. TCL has promised that security updates will be made available monthly for at least 24 months.
The phone has a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera from Sony — the same one found in the Google Pixel — with accompanying dual-tone flash. The front-facing camera has an 8-megapixel sensor. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.0.
The KEYone is powered by a midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, which is paired with 3GB of RAM. Qualcomm’s quick-charging technology is included. The version being ranged in South Africa has 32GB of flash storage. — © 2017 NewsCentral Media