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Meet BlackBerry KEY2 and KEY2 LE, Business-centric phones

BlackBerry is back in the country and they have two new phones designed for professionals in need of the physical keyboard and the power of Android at the same time, the KEY2 and KEY 2 LE.
Meet BlackBerry KEY2 and KEY2 LE, Not for everyone
The new BlackBerry phones

Priced at PHP 39,990 the KEY2 is the higher-end phone with beefier internals. On the other hand, KEY2 LE has the same design ID but with lower-end internals.

Meet BlackBerry KEY2 and KEY2 LE

KEY2 LE and KEY 2
KEY2 LE and KEY 2

Both the KEY2 and KEY2 LE features a functional and neat looking rubberized textured patterns to provide better grip and comfort while holding the phone. It could also prevent the device from slipping on slippery surface. It's a phone designed to use it as it is. No need for a case.

We just noticed that the KEY2 uses a sturdier metal frame versus the plastic chassis of the KEY2 LE. That's normal since "LE" means lightweight edition and it is the more affordable phone. 

At the back, you will also find the BlackBerry logo and the slightly protruded horizontally aligned dual-camera setup together with the LED flash.
BlackBerry KEY2 front
BlackBerry KEY2 front

Up front, both are equipped with an unusual 3:2 IPS screen with FHD+ 1620 x 1080 resolution at 433 ppi, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection against scratches. It would have been better if it has Gorilla Glass 5 at least (especially for the price) though. But, Gorilla Glass 3 is still better than none.
BlackBerry KEY2 LE front
BlackBerry KEY2 LE front

Don't expect it to be bezel-less like most modern phones since it has a physical keyboard below the display. At least the screen comes with natural looking color reproduction, good viewing angles, and respectable brightness/sunlight legibility.

However, expect it to be great for watching YouTube videos and movies due to its awkward screen ratio. There's a lot of scrolling on reading articles on web pages as well.

The keybord is the main highlight of these phones. Both are using a BlackBerry's signature 4-row QWERTY physical backlit keyboard with up to 52 customizable shortcuts, and a speedy fingerprint scanner in the spacebar.

The difference? The KEY2 has a capacitive touch keyboard while the KEY2 LE does not. KEY2's keyboard will allow you swipe up to backspace, swipe up to autocorrect, and a lot other swipe gestures like easily use it to scroll through websites.

The downside? We noticed that there's no period key. The good thing? It is more 
"satisfying to type than glass screen" on its keyboard. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is faster for typing than glass screens.
3.5mm headphone jack slot!
USB-C, mic, and speakers below
USB-C, mic, and speakers below
Quite slim!
Quite slim!

Both are not that big as well. KEY2 measures at 151.4 x 71.8 x 8.5 mm and weighs at 168 grams. KEY2 LE measures at 150.25 x 71.8 x 8.35 mm and weighs at 156 grams.

The rest of the features

KEY2 runs with the speedier 2.2GHz Snapdragon 660 chip with Adreno 512 GPU. It also goes with 6GB RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage. The storage is expandable expandable up to 2TB with microSD. The battery capacity is a rated at 3,350mAh. It also has with USB-C Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 solution. BlackBerry claimed that it can last for 2 days on single charge.

On the other hand, KEY2 LE is equipped with the 14nm Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz. It is paired with Adreno 509 GPU as well.

The PH version of KEY2 LE is equipped with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging solution.

On the camera part, you'll find a 12MP f/1.8 main shooter with Dual PDAF and a 12MP f/2.8 secondary camera for the KEY 2. For selfies, it has an 8MP snapper.

KEY 2 LE on the other hand comes with a 13MP main camera with dual-tone LED flash and 5MP selfie camera.

Both also goes with dual microphones, HD audio, WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5 LE, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, and dual SIM slots.

The phones loads with Android 8.1 Oreo OS out of the box with BlackBerry customization.

The phones comes with a lot of BlackBerry apps, productivity tab with widgets, DTEK enterprise security, and the BlackBerry hub all communication streams in one place.

BlackBerry hub is my personal favorite. I personally think that it could be a great messaging tool.

BlackBerry has an inconsistent record when it comes to providing major OS upgrades though. In fact, it is a bit weird to see a phone in 2019 that still runs with a 2018 version of Android at this price pint.

Quick thoughts

BlackBerry's new phones in PH are for business-focused individuals in dire need of a physical keyboard. Those who wants BlackBerry's signature look, security, and messaging features might need this device as well.

However for the specs, both are tough pills to swallow at PHP 24,990, and 39,990, respectively. Clearly, these phones are not for everyone.

While I understand that most of its features and specs are good enough for most businesspeople, it would have been better if they are packed with higher-end chips and cameras.

Do you agree with us? Please let us know in the comments.
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