Blackberry seems to have made a great comeback with the KEYOne physical keyboard under TLC Communication's moniker, ahead of the forthcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. TLC has launched its first Blackberry licensed phone with physical keyboard, which used to be the most iconic feature of a Blackberry.
The Blackberry KEYone sports a touch display along with a physical keyboard to give users more usable space for typing than the usual 5.5 inch touch screens and also it comes with BlackBerry Ltd's security and software, TCL said.
"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," said Alex Thurber, general manager of BlackBerry Ltd's Mobility Solutions unit.
The device runs Andriod 7.1 out of the box. It uses 12 MP rear and 8 MP front camera powered by a Sony sensor. It also includes a scratch resistant 4.5 inch screen display covered in Gorilla Glass. Also the device would run BBM secure-messaging system, which would be available for software developers to build into their own products.
TCL scored new brand-licensing deal in December with BlackBerry Ltd., which now focuses on making the security software that was another key factor underpinning the Canadian company's phenomenal success in the pre-smartphone era. TCL gives BlackBerry a manufacturer that can still compete at global scale following a decade-long slide in BlackBerry sales, while TCL gains a new brand to shore up its own flagging growth in smartphones.
The KEYone will be available from April and priced around $549, in line with premium smartphones.
TCL is best known as the maker of Alcatel handsets and ranked as the world's No. 7 phone maker, according to recent data from research group IDC.
You can see the launch program here: