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  • BlackBerry KEYone (Mercury) is now official: full QWERTY, all-day battery and full-on security

BlackBerry KEYone (Mercury) is now official: full QWERTY, all-day battery and full-on security

BlackBerry KEYone (Mercury) is now official: full QWERTY, all-day battery and full-on security

The BlackBerry KEYone (known also under its BlackBerry Mercury codename) has just gone official. The KEYone is the newest and most powerful 'Berry with a full QWERTY keyboard and the largest ever battery in a BlackBerry. 

An interesting detail to remember while reading about this new 'Berry is that the phone is now actually made by a different company, TCL Communications, while BlackBerry is a licensing partner that handles the software, but will not be responsible for the actual sales and distribution of the phone.

With this in mind, here are all the important features of the KEYone:

PlatformAndroid 7.1 Nougat
Dimensions149.3 x 72.5 x 9.4 mm
180 g weight
Display4.5-inch scratch-resistant IPS LCD
1620 x 1080p resolution
3:2 aspect ratio
System chip, RAMQualcomm Snapdragon 625
Cameras12MP rear, Sony IMX378 sensor, 4K video, f/2.0
8MP front camera
Storage32 GB + microSD
Battery3,505 mAh (non-removable)
Quick Charge 3.0
Special featuresFull QWERTY keyboard

The first phone with a fingerprint scanner built inside the Space bar key

As with any BlackBerry, the focus here is on the full QWERTY keyboard with customizable actions to each key and the ability to swipe on the keys for the neat flick typing function. It's also cool that the fingerprint scanner is built inside the space bar key. It's the first phone to have a finger scanner in the space bar, but then again, it's also the only modern phone with a QWERTY keyboard.

And just like other BlackBerry devices, the KEYone is extra secure: the phone has a hardened operating system, added security keys to the processor, and a pre-loaded DTEK security application. You can use this app to set your personal security standard, a more relaxed if you still want to share your life to social media, or a stricter one, if you value your security and don't want any details about your life out in public. The other signature feature that makes it stand out is the baked in BlackBerry Hub, a place that brings together all of your messages: emails, texts, social media, even with different accounts, all of this comes together in a unified BlackBerry Hub inbox.

The phone has a nice design too (it's designed by TCL, by the way), with a soft touch back material, an all-day battery life and the latest version of Android, 7.1 Nougat on board. The main 12-megapixel camera also features the excellent Sony IMX378 sensor, the same one as in the Google Pixel, which is currently one of the best camera phones out there.

The battery size comes in at the sweet 3,505 mAh, one of the largest battery for a phone with a screen measuring only 4.5 inches. The promise is for an all-day battery life, and the phone also supports the latest Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 standard, so that you can get a 50% charge on the battery in just 36 minutes.

Interestingly, there will be two U.S. and North America-bound models of the BlackBerry KEYone. One of them supports the bands for AT&T and T-Mobile (this one also has Verizon 4G LTE bands), and another one has the specific 4G LTE bands required by Sprint. This signals strong intentions to bring the phone to all major U.S. carriers. There will also be a third version made specifically for Europe, the Middle East and Africa with support for the relevant bands for those markets.

Price and Release date

The BlackBerry KEYone will be launched across the globe, but the release dates will differ for different markets. What is known is that the phone will be available starting in April. The price of the KEYone is set just below that of Apple's iPhones and Samsung's Galaxies. It's the following:

  • $550 in the United States
  • €600 in Europe
  • £500 in the United Kingdom

source: BlackBerry (now pulled) via Reddit

Story timeline

This story is part of: BlackBerry at MWC 2017(6 updates)

  • Options

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 07:19 11

1. Suo.Eno (Posts: 524; Member since: 17 Feb 2013)

3505mAh battery? YES! Fellas if you're looking for a "small/compact" smartphone that is not an iPhone SE, this is definitely it.

Now all they gotta do is make sure that the code side optimizations get up to snuff, done and done.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 07:22 1

3. AronWunarso (Posts: 58; Member since: 21 Feb 2016)

The phone it self looks a bit bigger. But, I don't know. That's just your opinion. Everyone opinion are different.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 14:20

64. Scott93274 (Posts: 5348; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)

I think it's a great size for a phone, though I think the keyboard is an absolute waste of space, but then again, I guess this phone wasn't made for me.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 07:35 13

6. BGChicago (Posts: 52; Member since: 16 Nov 2014)

Compact ??? I guess you are judging by screen diagonal but you are wrong. It is bigger than G S7 in every dimension.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 07:50 15

7. izim1 (Posts: 1243; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

This isn't small/compact. It's a 4.5 inch screen but with a full keyboard on the bottom.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 09:58

23. ibend (Posts: 6632; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

right, lol...
4,5inch BB passport is ~16% bigger in footprint size compared 5.1inch S7..
this one won't be different

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 13:14 1

47. zeeBomb (Posts: 2296; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

$550 dollars for a Snapdragon 625...That's a good joke.

posted on 26 Feb 2017, 17:58 1

65. drifter77 (Posts: 285; Member since: 12 Jun 2015)

You're right about the pricing. But the SD625 is a great processor that brings above average performance and efficiency in terms of battery life.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 07:20

2. AronWunarso (Posts: 58; Member since: 21 Feb 2016)

Wow! What a great looking phone!

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 09:37 1

21. SYSTEM_LORD (Posts: 1008; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)

Yes, but they should've rounded the top just like they found the bottom corners

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 11:53

34. DoggyDangerous (Posts: 1001; Member since: 28 Aug 2015)

It is beautiful the way it is. I love the looks, but can't buy it. I don't know why TCL/BB has chosen sd625? Maybe they don't want people like me to be their user. If any version with sd835 or Helio X30, then I won't waste much time in spending my bucks.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 15:28

52. SYSTEM_LORD (Posts: 1008; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)

Because they want better battery. I find that even mid range chips work well and don't stutter unless you have a gross heavy UI.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 12:44 1

35. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 2084; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)

It's an homage to the Passport SE and the Porsche Designs before it. If you knew anything about BlackBerry design history you would understand.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 07:24

4. Plasticsh1t (Posts: 2062; Member since: 01 Sep 2014)

MWC 2017 looks very exciting.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 07:31 1

5. dubaiboy78 (Posts: 268; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


posted on 25 Feb 2017, 09:21

20. PryvateiDz (Posts: 264; Member since: 31 Jul 2011)

A very well performing and battery efficient processor:



posted on 25 Feb 2017, 07:58

8. ImperialDynamics (Posts: 51; Member since: 30 Nov 2012)

I don't like hardware keys but as others have said it looks really good

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 08:05

9. Neoberry99 (Posts: 22; Member since: 30 Jun 2015)

Let's hope they get the price right

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 08:07 1

10. may_czos (Posts: 847; Member since: 22 Nov 2014)

SD625? Won't sell for more than $400. SD660 would be much better choice.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 08:30 11

14. jellmoo (Posts: 1993; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

Yeah! They totally should have used an SoC that isn't available!

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 11:21 2

33. nokia12 (Posts: 580; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)

if the price is 650 $ like some people mentioned on reddit then they should have used SD 821

if 400-500$ then SD 650/652 respectively

if it is 300 $ then SD 625 is fine

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 08:09

11. Kil4thril (Posts: 59; Member since: 05 Oct 2016)


posted on 25 Feb 2017, 08:18

12. aegislash (Posts: 1023; Member since: 27 Jan 2015)

A beautiful, unique design that we really haven't seen since Samsung's edge display entered the field.

I don't even care that it has an SD625. Everything else about this is exactly what I have been waiting for from BlackBerry. Android, A non-slideout physical keyboard, BlackBerry's top notch security, and a camera that'll rival all the big guns. BlackBerry has done me proud with the KeyOne.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 08:27 1

13. moslondon (Posts: 26; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)

It has nice design, a higher processor should make it better 653 at least

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 09:09 1

18. jellmoo (Posts: 1993; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

I think it's a very conscious decision to prioritize battery life over performance. This is clearly not designed to be a gaming device. Longevity and productivity are key, and the 625 is an excellent SoC in those regards.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 08:33 1

15. jellmoo (Posts: 1993; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

I really, really like this. It *should* have amazing battery life and it has the hardware to be the first truly great Blackberry camera phone (here's hoping the software side holds up).

The key is going to be pricing. At $400 it's a very competitive, if niche, device that satisfies the needs of a certain subset of consumers. Priced higher, they start running into roadblocks where there are too many devices in that price range that will be very attractive to most consumers.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 08:36

16. zenun12 (Posts: 175; Member since: 31 Oct 2016)

This is a phone meant to be held like a true phone.(portrait orientation) So, there are a few disadvantages for my own preferences, such as, how can I play minecraft in that? nevertheless, looking forward to how this phone will go.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 08:43 2

17. Nopers (Posts: 460; Member since: 01 Jun 2015)

Oh no we accidentally leaked all the specs and now hype will build all because of this silly mistake by us.

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 09:12

19. liberalsnowflake (banned) (Posts: 273; Member since: 24 Feb 2017)

Blackberry powered by tcl

posted on 25 Feb 2017, 10:52 4

30. meanestgenius (Posts: 16265; Member since: 28 May 2014)

It's more like TCL hardware powered by BlackBerry Secured Android software.

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