Oct 16, 2019 | Updated: 10:42 AM EDT

BlackBerry KEYone Targets Android Lovers Who Value Mobile Security & Productivity

Jun 05, 2017 06:07 AM EDT

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Initial reports about the release of the BlackBerry KEYone on May 31 indicate nostalgia is a key factor in consumer interest on the new smartphone. However, tech observers are asking if BlackBerry’s QWERTY physical keyboard will attract other consumers. They note that the hardware keyboard that also serves as the trackpad is not a magnet for many smartphone users.

GSM Arena points out that the upper case key of the BlackBerry KEYone keyboard is sufficient clue that the phone owner would not use the KEYone without the keyboard. It will serve as a trackpad for the phone owner to scroll through apps and text without obscuring the screen with the user’s fingers.

Another observation about the BlackBerry KEYone is that on-screen keyboards did not become properly usable until text correction got on the level. The tech website adds that the mid-range device has a price tag of $550 which seems a lot of money when phone users other compact options, including modern smartphones that work with a Bluetooth keyboard.

Smallbiztrends notes that even small business owners are asking if the BlackBerry KEYone is the new business phone that features a 4.5-inch Corning Gorilla Glass 4 screen. It runs on Android 7.1 Nougat OS and has a 3,505mAh battery. Its 8MP front camera has fixed focus, LCD flash, and 84-degree wide angle lens.

Amazon and Best Buy sell two unlocked variants of the BlackBerry KEYone optimized for GSM networks like T-Mobile and AT&T. CDMA had optimized the phone for Verizon network support. Alex Thurber, the senior vice president and general manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry, says the new phone is expected to attract Android loyalists who value mobile security and productivity that the company’s software brings.

On Friday, Incipio launched three cases for the BlackBerry KEYone, the DualPro, Octane Pure, and NGP case. The DualPro has a dual-layer case made up of a soft, TPU inner layer to protect the phone. The Octane Pure is a shock-absorbing case, and the NGP is a soft-shell that still provides some protection.

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