At the Mobile World Congress 2017 in February, BlackBerry announced the KEYone enterprise-focused Android smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard. The smartphone was expected to begin shipping this month, but company CEO John Chen today announced that the KEYone release will be delayed.
During BlackBerry’s Q4 2017 fiscal earnings call, Chen revealed that the KEYone will enter production at the end of this month, which is going to push the worldwide availability to later than May. That could mean the BlackBerry KEYone will be available in stores sometime in early June.
The KEYone is believed to be the last device that BlackBerry developed in-house before it decided to let TCL design and manufacture smartphones for them. For BlackBerry enthusiasts and enterprise users looking for a modern Android smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard, the KEYone is the only option right now.
Thanks to the physical QWERTY keyboard, the BlackBerry KEYone features a small-ish 4.5-inch display with 1080 x 1620 resolution. It is powered by the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core SoC under the hood, paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable internal memory. The smartphone’s rear-facing camera uses the same 12MP Sony IMX378 sensor that is used in the Google Pixel smartphones. It also features an 8MP selfie camera, a fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C port, and a non-removable 3505mAh capacity battery. The KEYone will be running on Android 7.1 Nougat OS out of the box when it goes on sale, with the entire suite of BlackBerry services and features on top.