The new BlackBerry KEY2 smartphone

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The Key2 smartphone was unveiled at an event held in NY on June 7.

- The BlackBerry KEY2 looks exactly like the KEYone, although a few changes that have been brought in, this year, should help improve ergonomics and hand-hold feel. This is the third device produced under its partnership with TCL, under which BlackBerry controls the smartphones software and signs off on security updates. At $649, this is an overpriced phone, and if you care about specifications, $529 gets you a OnePlus 6 with nearly all the high-end specs you want in a premium phone. A year later the KEY2 has arrived packing a similar design with plenty of refinements, on the surface and under the hood. The display above it comes in at 4.5 inches, at 1620x1080 resolution. Protecting the display will be a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top. The phone is the successor to the previously launched BlackBerry KeyONE and it is also one of the only Android smartphones to be launched with a QWERTY physical keyboard in 2018.

The dual-camera setup on the back consists of a 12MP primary sensor with an f/1.8 aperture. On the front, the smartphone gets an 8-megapixel fixed focus with screen flash and full-HD video recording. At the front, the device gets an 8MP sensor capable of recording HD videos.

Its specifications - a Snapdragon 660 processor, 64 and 128 GB variants, 6 GB of Ram, expandable storage - leaked a day ahead of its NY launch. It also sports 6GB of RAM, comes in two storage options, 64GB or 128GB, and will cost from £579 when it goes on sale later this month.

Gillian Shaw's airfare and accommodation to attend the BlackBerry KEY2 event was paid by TCL Communications. Other core specs reportedly include a 3,500-mAh battery and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 clocked at 2.2 GHz. Oh, and the headphone jack remains. The phone will ship running Android 8.1 Oreo, we're told.

Featuring a BlackBerry physical keyboard and loaded with BlackBerry's best security and privacy enhancements, the all-new smartphone packs a number of features that are firsts for any BlackBerry smartphone, the company said in a statement.

Despite that, it's one that makes sense for the Key2. The fingerprint sensor is housed inside the space bar just like its predecessor. It also has a USB Type-C port on the bottom.

Also, the Blackberry KEY2 also introduced the new Speed Key, it's a shortcut key that gives users instant access to the apps, contact and functions they use the most. You can see which apps are accessing your data and quickly control permissions without having to sift through tons of settings. Also, the KEY2 comes with BlackBerry's signature QWERTY keypad that houses shortcut keys to launch apps. Across Europe, the suggested retail price is €649, while the handset is going for £579 and $829 in the United Kingdom and Canada respectively.