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BlackBerry KeyOne lands in the UK

The BlackBerry KeyOne has been formally launched in the UK, with the price confirmed as £499, SIM-free. 

Business folk who want to stand out from the crowd can pick one up from today at Selfridges, or the new smartphones can be purchased from Carphone Warehouse from 5 May. The retailer has already started taking pre-orders.

The BlackBerry KeyOne was unveiled at this year’s MWC, and it’s selling point, apparently, is its built-in QWERTY keyboard. These fiddly keys double up as a makeshift trackpad, mimicking the BlackBerry trackpad of old, and all 52 buttons can be programmed for customisable shortcuts. There’s also a fingerprint scanner built into the spacebar.

A 4.5in 1620×1080 display sits above the retro keys and the device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and a 3,505mAh battery. The BlackBerry KeyOne is the first device to feature the company’s new ‘Boost’ charging technology, which promises to charge to 50 per cent power in precisely 36 minutes.

The handset runs Android Nougat, but also offers the BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry’s privacy-focused DTEK app, which provides more granular control of which apps have access to your personal information on the device, such as location data and phone number.

According to TCL, the KeyOne “is intentionally designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible,” as the firm remains keen to push the smartphone towards business customers.

Rounding off the KeyOne’s specs is a 12MP rear-facing camera, complete with phase detection autofocus, while an 8MP camera sits on the front, and features an 84-degree wide-angle lens. 

TCL claims that it has already seen an “overwhelmingly positive” response to the KeyOne so far, adding that demand for the smartphone has exceeded its initial supply. 

The BlackBerry KeyOne was subjected to a hands-on review by Computing’s sister site The Inquirer, when it was unveiled at Mobile World Congress earlier this year.  

Computing IT Leaders Forum logo

Computing’s IT Leaders Forum 2017 is coming on 24 May 2017. 

The theme this year is “Going Digital: Why your most difficult customer is your best friend”. 

Attendence is free, but strictly limited to IT Leaders. To find out more and to apply for your place, check out the IT Leaders Forum website

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