BlackBerry Key2 specs, photos leak ahead of June 7 reveal

In a short while, BlackBerry is expected to take the wraps off the much-rumoured BlackBerry Key2 - the successor to the BlackBerry KeyOne - at a dedicated launch event in New York City.

It will also include a new shortcut called Speed Key, that will allow uses to instantly access apps, contacts and functions from anywhere on the device at any time.

Featuring an iconic BlackBerry physical keyboard and loaded with BlackBerry Limited's best security and privacy enhancements, this all-new BlackBerry smartphone packs a number of features that are firsts for any BlackBerry smartphone.

The gadget has a 4.5 inch IPS LCD display with a 1620*1080p resolution, 434ppi pixel density, an aspect ratio of 3:2 and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 level protection.

The BlackBerry KEY2 will go on sale later this month, priced at $649 unlocked and SIM-free.

The BlackBerry KEY2 is now official. Now, if the original KEYone wowed you with its one-of-a-kind nostalgic physical QWERTY and BlackBerry's push for a safe and secure software ecosystem, the KEY2 will literally blow your minds with everything that's in store.

Our first impression of the BlackBerry KEY2 is that the "reborn icon" comes with just the right amount of design refinements and performance upgrades over the well-reviewed KEYone. It's used for shortcuts and you can program up to 52 combinations including long pressing an alphabet together with the speed key. The phone is backed by a 3,500mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 3.0 over USB Type-C.

Critics have argued that DTEK is simply window dressing - that it merely promotes awareness about security, but actually does very little to make BlackBerry's newest phones any safer than their Android counterparts from rival companies. Even the keyboard gets a new finish on top (which already looks like an improvement). Those cameras will be able to shoot 4K and 1080p videos. The storage can be expanded up to 2TB with a microSD card.

Additionally, the device comes with Firefox Focus, a privacy browser by Mozilla that prevents web browsing sessions from being tracked.

The BlackBerry KEY2 begins shipping globally in June and will cost £579 GBP / $649 United States dollars / €649 Euro / $829 CAD.

Other than that, there's relatively little changed to Android 8.1 Oreo, though the BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Launcher are included.

  • Kara Saunders