The Android powered Blackberry KeyOne goes on sale in the U.S. on May 31
The long wait for a new Blackberry is about to be over.
Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL just announced that the new BlackBerry KeyOne will hit stores on May 31. The smartphone—physical keyboard included—will retail for $147 with a two-year contract in Canada, according to a statement from TCL. It will go for $549 unlocked in the U.S. and is expected to be sold at a discount by Sprint later this year, The Verge reports.
That will come as a relief to BlackBerry addicts like Kim Kardashian, who had stockpiled the Canadian brand’s phones for fear the company would go extinct (her final one died last year.) “It’s my heart and soul, I love it and I’ll never get rid of it,” she told a Recode conference in 2014. “If you write an email and you need to type fast — I like having the [key]board.” Other fans of the phones known for enterprise-grade security and a tactile keyboard include former President Barack Obama, British entertainment billionaire Lord Sugar, pop star Christina Aguilera, actor Ben Affleck and rapper Soulja Boy.
Even though regular software updates are critical to stopping malware, "only half of the 1.4 billion Android devices in circulation got an update of any kind during 2016." That's not the case with Android by BlackBerry devices like DTEK50, DTEK60, and the upcoming TCL-made KEYone, for which BlackBerry publishes monthly OS updates to seal security gaps. To read more, click the link in our bio. Photo by @androidcentral
The KeyOne was originally announced at February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and received warm initial reviews praising its stylish build. Alongside a keyboard and an aluminum frame, it boasts a 4.5 inch touch display, 26 hours of battery life and a 12 megapixel rear camera. It’s powered by the latest version of Google’s Android operating system and professes to be the “most secure Android smartphone” ever.
BlackBerry commanded about a quarter of the global smartphone market just eight years ago, but was outmaneuvered after Apple and Samsung entered the field. A recent report from Gartner found that just 207,900 of the 432 million smartphones sold in the last three months of 2016 were powered by the BlackBerry operating system. More recently, the once high-flying Ontario-based firm has switched its phone over to Android and outsourced manufacturing to electronics firms in Asia.
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