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:

BlackBerry
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
3 GB RAM
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


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

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Related phones

KEYone
  • Display 4.5" 1080 x 1620 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3505 mAh

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63 Comments

1. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 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.

3. AronWunarso

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

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

64. Scott93274

Posts: 6031; Member since: Aug 06, 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.

6. BGChicago

Posts: 224; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

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

47. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

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

65. drifter77

Posts: 400; Member since: Jun 12, 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.

2. AronWunarso

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

Wow! What a great looking phone!

21. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

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

34. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 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.

52. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 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.

35. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3122; Member since: Jan 23, 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.

4. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3097; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

MWC 2017 looks very exciting.

5. dubaiboy78

Posts: 442; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

sd625???

8. ImperialDynamics

Posts: 84; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

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

9. Neoberry99

Posts: 68; Member since: Jun 30, 2015

Let's hope they get the price right

10. may_czos

Posts: 955; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

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

14. jellmoo

Posts: 2562; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

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

33. nokia12

Posts: 610; Member since: Nov 19, 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

11. Kil4thril

Posts: 80; Member since: Oct 05, 2016

"Accidentally"

12. aegislash

Posts: 1475; Member since: Jan 27, 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.

13. moslondon

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

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

18. jellmoo

Posts: 2562; Member since: Oct 31, 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.

15. jellmoo

Posts: 2562; Member since: Oct 31, 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.

16. zenun12

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 31, 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.

17. Nopers unregistered

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

19. liberalsnowflake

Posts: 273; Member since: Feb 24, 2017

Blackberry powered by tcl

30. meanestgenius

Posts: 21769; Member since: May 28, 2014

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

22. horialin

Posts: 23; Member since: Jan 29, 2014

That bottom bezel. Holly bezel! Look at that bezel!

36. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3122; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

That bezel is a design consideration for physical keyboards.

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