“What? BlackBerry still makes phones?”

That’s the reaction that I’ve been getting from Joe and Jane Average when I tell them I’ve been using the BlackBerry Motion as my daily driver. I’m mostly motivated by the rock solid build quality and crazy battery life. But what about purists who still yearn for the tactile clickiness of a physical QWERTY keyboard? Well, BlackBerry Mobile has announced that they’ll start taking KEY2 pre-orders tomorrow on June 21.

As the natural successor to the BlackBerry KEYone, which in turn followed up on the BlackBerry Priv, the KEY2 is just about the only phone left with a physical keyboard.

Interestingly enough, the physical keyboard also works as a trackpad that you can swipe around. However, the keyboard takes up real estate that would have otherwise been occupied by the screen. As a result, you only get a 4.5-inch (1080 x 1620 pixel) display, which is just as wide as most phones but nowhere near as tall. That’s the trade-off.

The rest of the specs read like an upper mid-range flagship with a Snapdragon 660, 64/128GB of storage, 6GB of RAM, dual 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera, 7000 series aluminium frame, microSD expansion, a 3,500 mAh battery, USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, and Android 8.1 Oreo. The outward dimensions are similar to that of the BlackBerry Motion.

In terms of pricing, the BlackBerry KEY2 will be available through four Canadian carriers: Bell, Rogers, SaskTel and Telus. All of them are listing the phone (in black) at around $100 on a two-year contract and they’ll start accepting KEY2 pre-orders tomorrow. The phone itself will ship on July 6.

If you’d prefer to buy it outright and unlocked (in silver), you’ll need to fork over $830 Canadian to Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, Blueshop or Visions next month. It should be about $650 US south of the 49th parallel.


We just received our review unit in the office today, so expect to see the full review after we’ve put it through its paces.

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