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MWC: BlackBerry makes a comeback

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TCL Communication has unveiled a new BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone, the first BlackBerry smartphone released from TCL Communication under a new brand licensing agreement signed in December 2016.
“Impressively designed to be distinctly different, the BlackBerry KEYone reimagines how we communicate by offering unmatched productivity and the world’s most secure Android smartphone experience,” says Nicolas Zibell, CEO of TCL Communication. “We’re humbled to play such an important role in the future of BlackBerry smartphones, which have been so iconic in our industry, and we’re eager to prove to the BlackBerry community that their excitement around this new BlackBerry smartphone is something they can be proud of as well.”
“We want to congratulate TCL Communications on the launch of KEYone,” says Alex Thurber, senior vice-president and GM of Mobility Solutions for BlackBerry. “We have worked closely with TCL to build security and the BlackBerry experience into every layer of KEYone, so the BlackBerry DNA remains very much in place. We couldn’t be more excited to help bring it to market and introduce it to BlackBerry fans.”
With an anodized aluminum frame and soft touch textured back, the new BlackBerry smartphone features a 4,5-inch display (1620×1080 resolution / 434 PPI 3:2 aspect ratio) with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 that offers greater impact and scratch resistance.
It combines a touch display with a physical keyboard to give users more useable space for typing than a typical 5,5-inch all-touch smartphone.
The device’s Smart Keyboard responds to touch gestures mimicking the heritage of the BlackBerry trackpad making web browsing, reading emails and writing messages with flick typing a much smoother and intuitive experience. This Smart Keyboard can also be easily programmed to launch up to 52 customizable shortcuts, such as pressing “I” for your inbox or “M” to access maps; providing even greater ease of use.
In addition, KEYone is the first smartphone to provide the security of a fingerprint sensor built directly into the keyboard spacebar, for added functionality and security.
Out of the box, the device runs Android 7.1, and comes loaded with BlackBerry Hub, to bring messages into one consolidated place; including emails, texts and messages from any social media account. BlackBerry Hub can also manage multiple email accounts without switching between apps, with support for Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, Microsoft Exchange accounts, and many other IMAP and POP3 email providers.
From a hardened operating system to BlackBerry Limited’s proprietary technique for establishing a hardware root of trust adding security keys to the processor, the BlackBerry KEYone is intentionally designed to offer the most secure Android smartphone experience possible. The device comes pre-loaded with DTEK by BlackBerry, offering constant security monitoring and protection of your operating system and apps by letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it.
At the core of the new smartphone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 mobile platform with the Qualcomm Adreno 506 GPU. This means BlackBerry KEYone users will enjoy long battery life thanks to more efficient battery usage and fast LTE speeds for super-fast file sharing. It includes Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology, making it possible for the 3505 mAh battery on the KEYone.
The BlackBerry KEYone includes a 12MP rear camera with the industry leading Sony IMX378 camera sensor, with a large pixel size(1.,55μm) and Phase Detect Auto Focus. It also includes an 8MP front camera with fixed focus and 84-degree wide angle lens.