BlackBerry KEYone, the first Android smartphone from the Canadian smartphone maker with a physical keyboard, could be launched in India on August 1. BlackBerry is hosting an event in collaboration with its India manufacturing partner Optiemus Infracom, where it could showcase its new smartphone. The company has started sending out media invites with a tagline "Do More Different", which could indicate the imminent launch.
BlackBerry KEYone was first teased at CES in January and was officially introduced at Mobile World Congress in February. The KEYone is the last smartphone to be designed by BlackBerry and is being manufactured by TCL Communication for the global market. It is likely that the smartphone will be made by Optiemus in India and sold in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh as well.
In terms of hardware, BlackBerry KEYone sports a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1620 x 1080 pixels and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Powering the device is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 625 chipset, also found under the hood of Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4 smartphone. The handset offers 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and supports expandable storage up to 256GB via microSD card slot. On the camera front, it sports a 12MP primary camera with phase detection autofocus, f/2.0 aperture and dual-LED flash. There is also an 8MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture and support for 1080p video recording. It runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat with the latest security update.
However, the highlight here is the four row BlackBerry keyboard with capacitive touch support. Users can simply flick to enter text and drag to change prediction. The spacebar key doubles up as a scroll wheel, making it handy while reading web pages. The handset was listed by an Indian retailer for Rs 39,999 in March and is currently retailing at around £499 (approximately Rs 42,000) in the UK.