5 things you need to know about the BlackBerry KeyOne

Blackberry over the weekend introduced the KEYone smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The MWC 2017 was in a way a swan song for BlackBerry, which launched the BlackBerry KEYone - the "last phone designed and engineered in-house by BlackBerry".

Previously codenamed the BlackBerry Mercury, the company's latest device, and the third made in partnership with Chinese firm TCL, is its most eye-catching to date. However, the KEYone looks like a quintessential BlackBerry smartphone, even more so than its two predecessors, with the return of a signature BlackBerry feature, a physical keyboard. The 4.3-inch AMOLED display has an aspect ratio of 3:2 and a resolution of 1620×1080 pixels.

The smartphone also comes with the 12MP image sensor from Sony (IMX378), the same sensor used on the Google Pixel. It sports an 8-megapixel front facing camera featuring f2.2, 1.125um pixel size and 84-degree wide angle/field of view lens.

KEYone runs an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC clocked at 2.0GHz and 64-bit Adreno 506 graphics processing unit. Connectivity options include USB Type-C, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio, GPS, WiFi and 4G LTE.it comes loaded with a range of Blackberry and Android applications and is powered by a 3505 mAh, non-removable battery with support for Quick Charge, which refills half the battery's power within 36 minutes of charging. It has a 32GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB).

The metal frets between each row is a classic BlackBerry move, while the combination of a solid metal frame with its curved edges and soft-touch plastic back panel is a welcome design choice.

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"The keyboard also can be easily programmed to launch up to 52 customisable shortcuts, such as pressing "I" for your inbox or "M" to access maps".

The BlackBerry KEYone releases worldwide in April and will cost $549. BlackBerry has also been fantastic with timely security updates. The phone's front camera is 8MP with 1080p video.

For business people who want these features, BlackBerry has built the device.

The device features a QWERTY keyboard alongside a touchscreen display, in the hopes of making the phone easier to use than standard touch-controlled phones.

You can not actually purchase this phone yet, but it will be available for pre-order for $549. A fingerprint sensor has been embedded into the space bar and the device comes pre-loaded with Blackberry Security Software. This is similar to what we saw with the Priv a few years back, and as it was useful back then, it's nice to see it all come through for the KeyOne as well.

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