If you’re a hardcore, key-mashing typist who must feel the key travel at each and every press, you really don’t have much choice as far as smartphones go. Fortunately, now you have a new choice, depending on the design, specs, and price that you find most convincing. The BlackBerry KEY2 definitely changes the game a bit and BlackBerry’s third Android QWERTY smartphone will finally be available to US buyers in just a few weeks.
The BlackBerry KEY2 old school in more ways than just the keyboard. No notches, no glass backs, not even full metal bodies. It’s definitely a classic, which might be a breath of fresh air amidst the increasingly identical smartphones in the market.
At the same time, the KEY2 brings a lot of new things to the table, at least for BlackBerry. There’s the new Speed Key that can turn every key into a shortcut. Twice even, if you differentiate long and short presses. It’s also BlackBerry’s first dual camera phone, though the jury’s still out on how well that works. You can head on over to our First Look to read what our Chris Davies has to say about the KEY2.
All of that you will be able to get for $649.99. That’s pretty much on par with a BlackBerry phone. Slightly higher than the competition on the same (mid-range) tier but worth every cent for those who live and breathe QWERTY keys and BlackBerry’s innumerable pre-installed apps.
The BlackBerry KEY2 will be available in Black and Silver options starting July 13, but Amazon and Best Buy will be accepting pre-orders starting June 29. If you haven’t guessed by that yet, it will be carrier unlocked and compatible with GSM networks, a.k.a. AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s. Curiously, no word on Verizon and Sprint, both of which use CDMA.