BlackBerry KEY2 LE goes official with Snapdragon 636 SoC, physical QWERTY keyboard and dual rear cameras

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Last year in February, BlackBerry announced the BlackBerry KEYOne that came with a physical QWERTY keyboard. And, back in early June this year, BlackBerry announced the KEY2 as a successor to last year’s KEYOne. And now, the company, as earlier expected, has announced BlackBerry KEY2 LE which is a “lite” variant of the KEY2.

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Being a lite variant of the KEY2, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE looks similar to the KEY2, but, it is differentiated based on the underlying hardware. While the KEY2 is powered by Snapdragon 660 SoC that’s paired with 6 GB RAM, the KEY2 LE comes powered by Snapdragon 636 SoC which is paired with 4 GB RAM. Furthermore, while the KEY2 comes in 64 GB and 128 GB storage options, the KEY2 LE comes in 32 and 64 GB storage options.

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That said, another difference between the KEY2 and KEY2 LE is in the camera department. The KEY2 LE, like the KEY2, does feature a dual camera setup on its back, but, it’s a combination of one 13 MP and one 5 MP camera, instead of the two 12 MP cameras found on the KEY2. Having said that, the KEY2 LE retains the 8 MP front camera of the KEY2.

One more difference between the KEY2 and KEY2 LE is that the former comes with a 3500 mAh battery whereas the latter comes with a 3000 mAh battery. While the BlackBerry KEY2 LE does look like the KEY2, there are some differences in the design of both these smartphones.

The BlackBerry KEY2 features a “textured grip” back with Series 7 aluminium frame, however, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE features a “soft textured” back with frames made out of polycarbonate. With that being said, what remains the same across both the KEY2 and the KEY2 LE is the 4.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1620 x 1080 pixel resolution, physical QWERTY keyboard with features like Speed Key and touch sensitivity, and, the fingerprint scanner that’s embedded on the space bar of the keyboard.

Commenting on the launch of KEY2 LE, Alain Lejeune, Senior Vice President, TCL Communication & President, BlackBerry Mobile, said, “Today’s smartphones try to offer a one size fits all solution, but that is no longer realistic when we have a global marketplace as diverse as we have today. But this is why we focus on making modern BlackBerry smartphones like KEY2 LE, to stand out and deliver a great experience for everyday communication, with access to all the features, connectivity and applications our customers expect.

Commenting on the launch of KEY2 LE, Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry, said, “The BlackBerry KEY2 LE brings a fresh new personality to TCL Communication’s BlackBerry KEY2 portfolio that includes all the security features that make BlackBerry phones the world’s most secure Android smartphones. With this new addition to their product lineup, the KEY2 LE keeps the iconic BlackBerry styling while offering an accessible entry point for our fans around the world to enjoy a modern BlackBerry smartphone.

BlackBerry KEY2 LE Specifications

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • GPU: Adreno 509
  • Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Display: 4.5-inch IPS lCD display with 1620 x 1080 pixel resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio, 2.5D Curved Gorilla Glass and 434 ppi pixel density
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP + 5 MP with HDR, 4K video recording at 30 FPS, Portrait Mode and dual-tone LED flash
  • Front Camera: 8 MP with Selfie Panorama, Face Beauty and Selfie Flash via LCD display
  • Internal Storage: 32/64 GB
  • External Storage: Expandable up to 256 GB via microSD card
  • SIM: Dual SIM
  • Connectivity: 4G LTE, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, NFC, USB OTG, FM Radio, 3.5 mm headphone jack, USB Type-C 3.0
  • Other: Fingerprint Scanner on physical keyboard, Speed Key, Backlit Keyboard, Dual App Management (only for Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat), BlackBerry DTEK Security Suite
  • Colors: Slate, Champagne, Atomic
  • Battery: 3000 mAh with Quick Charge 3.0

BlackBerry KEY2 LE Price and Availability

  • Price of 32 GB storage variant: $399 in US (around ₹28,303), €399 in Europe, £349 in UK, $519 in Canada
  • Price of 64 GB storage variant: $449 in US (around ₹31,850), €429 in Europe, £399 in UK, $579 in Canada
  • Availability: To be available in Germany, the U.K., France, UAE, Canada and the U.S starting next month