Some OEMs are rushing to put out new phones in the coming days and weeks but TCL is just being chill and rolling out what it announced just over a month ago. After all, its BlackBerry-branded QWERTY phones don’t exactly have universal appeal. It does have its fair share of fans, some of whom might have wished to get their hands on a BlackBerry KEY2 if they could afford it. Fortunately, there is the KEY2 LE which is now available for those in the US to pre-order.
The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is the cheaper version of the $650 BlackBerry KEY2, no getting around that. But to write it off simply as that would be a mistake. Because while the $200 savings is significant, the differences between the two in terms of specs and features aren’t that much.
The KEY2 LE gets a slightly weaker Snapdragon 636 but it’s not like the KEY2’s Snapdragon 660 is a huge leap forward. You do only get 4 GB of RAM instead of 6 GB and a 3,000 mAh battery instead of 3,000 mAh, which should still be fine considering the overall specs. The polycarbonate material also has hidden benefits, making the KEY2 LE slimmer and lighter in the process.
In all other significant aspects, the BlackBerry KEY2 LE and KEY2 are nearly the same. That goes for the 4.5-inch 1620×1080 screen as well as the QWERTY keyboard with the all new Speed Key and the Spacebar fingerprint sensor. The dual cameras are indeed downgraded but there’s still two of them at least. The front camera, amusingly, retains the same 8 megapixel sensor.
So the $449.99 BlackBerry KEY2 LE definitely seems like a great deal, especially since you’re getting 64 GB of storage and dual SIM support. The Unlocked version on pre-order at Amazon is compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The bluish Slate color is scheduled to ship October 12 while the gold-like Champagne will roll out on November 2.