The BlackBerry KEY2 is a nice phone with its upper mid-range specs and physical keyboard but it sells for the price of a flagship. So TCL decided to release a cheaper version with less powerful specs and named it the BlackBerry KEY2 LE. It unveiled it at IFA today.
BlackBerry KEY2 LE Design
The Blackberry KEY2 LE comes with the same 4.5-inch screen as the KEY2 and even retains the 1620 x 1080 resolution. So if you compare both devices, sharpness and overall screen quality should be the same.
Below the screen is a full QWERTY keyboard with a space bar that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. Do note that the KEY2 LE’s keyboard doesn’t function as a trackpad. It has a textured back but the pattern is different. However, it has a polycarbonate frame instead of a metal frame like the KEY2. Early reviews say even with the polycarbonate build, the KEY 2 LE feels well-made.
BlackBerry KEY2 LE Specs
The KEY2 LE has a Snapdragon 636 processor which is actually a great mid-range processor. There is 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of storage. It comes with dual rear cameras but it is a 13MP+5MP combo and not 12MP + 12MP like the KEY2. The front-facing camera has not been changed, so you get an 8MP selfie snapper.
The phone has Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, a USB Type-C port and an audio jack for connectivity. It has a smaller 3,000mAh battery that TCL claims should last up to 22 hours on a single charge. It also runs Android 8.1 Oreo and will get updated to Android Pie but there is no timeframe yet.
The KEY2 LE may come with less-powerful specs but it doesn’t skimp on any of BlackBerry’s apps and security features such as the DTEK security manager, Privacy Shade tool, redactor Blackberry Hub, BBM, and BlackBerry Locker etc.
KEY2 LE Price
All those scraping off means the KEY2 LE gets a cheaper price tag and it is a significant cut when compared to the $649 launch price of the KEY2. The phone is priced at $399/€399/£349 for the 32GB version and $449/€429/£399 for the 64GB variant. It is available in Atomic (red), Slate (black), and Champagne (gold) color variants. There is no info on when it will hit the market. BlackBerry also released two official cases for the phone. One is a flip case and the other is a soft shell but both are NFC-friendly.