TCL president Cistulli hints that big news about the BlackBerry KEYone is coming next week

If you've been waiting for news about the BlackBerry KEYone, it seems that something of importance will be released next week. TCL president and GM Steve Cistulli said in a tweet disseminated today that the company will have "some more KEY news coming your way next week." The KEYone will be the last BlackBerry handset designed in-house by BlackBerry. As most of you know, the company has entered into licensing agreements with three firms, including TCL, to design, produce, market and sell BlackBerry branded handsets. BlackBerry  provides the software and collects royalties.

Originally slated for an April launch, late last month BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that the BlackBerry KEYone will start going into production at the end of April. Earlier this month, U.K. retailer Clove said that the KEYone would be launched in Europe on May 5th at a price equivalent to $640 USD. The news that is coming out next week could have something to do with the U.S. release of the phone.

To refresh your memory, the BlackBerry KEYone features a 4.5-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1620. The Snapdragon 625 chipset is under the hood containing an octa-core 2GHz CPU, and the Adreno 506 GPU. 3GB of RAM is inside along with 32GB of native storage. A 2TB capacity microSD slot is available to those seeking additional storage. The 12MP rear-facing camera is equipped with an aperture of f/2.0, and there is a front-facing 8MP snapper on board to shoot selfies. A fingerprint scanner is cleverly embedded in the keyboard's space bar, and keeping the lights on is a 3505mAh battery. Android 7.1 is pre-installed.

We would be amiss if we didn't point out that the picture attached to Cistulli's tweet contains a bit of the device's retail box. It's not much, but we can see that it is a black container with the BlackBerry KEYone logo embossed on top in raised letters. It does give the impression that the KEYone is being marketed as a premium device.

source: @SteveCistulli via MobileSyrup

Related phones

  • 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



1. aegislash

Posts: 1518; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

This is a day one purchase for me. It's going to be wonderful to get that nostalgic feeling of holding a truly old-school designed BlackBerry device, crossed with the latest and greatest from Android.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

Could have sworn the launch price of the KEYone was equivalent to $549USD, Alan. Maybe it has something to do with the conversion rate? Anyway, I can't wait to get my hands on the KEYone! I love the design, and totally love the fact that the physical keyboard is always exposed. I prefer BlackBerry smartphones designed like this, as opposed to the slider form factor of the Torch or PRIV, or the clamshell form factor of the BlackBerry Style 9670 (although, I do like both form factors as well). That big battery paired with the SoC that the KEYone has will provide excellent battery life, something that I prefer over many other qualities of a smartphone.

6. aegislash

Posts: 1518; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Honestly every single time I see the KEYone, I can't get over how beautifully designed it is. Despite trying my hardest to love my Priv, I just was not a fan of the slide out keyboard; ended up using the on-screen one 99.9% of the time. I am beyond excited to get my hands on the KEYone. It is legit everything I've been waiting for from BlackBerry. A stellar redesign of their old school looks, specs that will make for insanely long battery life, and Android fused with the security we've come to know and love from BlackBerry. All in all, BlackBerry has hit the nail on the head with this one.

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

Totally agree with you. I have been waiting for a BlackBerry Secured Android handset with this type of a design ever since the PRIV was released, and while I do like the design of the PRIV and it's physical keyboard, I prefer the traditional BlackBerry design much more. Glad that BlackBerry Mobile/TCL has released this beauty.

10. Alan01

Posts: 627; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

I'm pretty sure that the dollar dropped sharply one day which affected the forex rate. If you can remember which story that was from, let me know and I'll check out how the market moved. I agree with you on the KEYone. I think that the Priv is nowhere near the great fretted QWERTYs of BlackBerry's past. I would love to get my hands on the KEYone and the Passport. While I did own the Storm from launch day, I never got to mess around with BB10. Also love the Bold 9000 keyboard, but prefer the touch screen on the 9930. One intriguing thing to me is the name KEYone. Its a slim possibility, but maybe there will be a KEYtwo, etc. For all of those PA readers who think I hate BB, nothing is further from the truth. I am hoping that KEYone is a monster hit. If you are looking for scapegoats, blame Lazaridis and Balsillie for not taking touch screen seriously. Regards, Alan F.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

Thanks for responding to me, Alan. Much appreciated. ^That's the latest article about the KEYone that mentions pricing of it in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. Yeah, I love the PRIV, and while I think that the physical keyboard on it is nice, it doesn't compare to the physical keyboards on the Bolds, Passport, or even the Style. It has the innovations of the Passport keyboard, but the other physical keyboard devices I mentioned make for a better typing experience. The Passport is a great handset, and BB10 is an awesome OS, but the lack of marketing and 3rd party developer support killed the sales for it. I've read somewhere that the KEYone name is the first in a series of handsets with the "KEY" name in it. I'll dig around to see if I can find the article. Lazaridis and Balsillie, (or "Heckle and Jeckle", as I like to call them), truly dropped the effin ball with their lackadaisical approach to the competition. Thorstein wasn't any better, and I'm glad Chen was hired to right the ship. Now, BlackBerry is out of its turnaround phase and can focus on growth going forward as a software and services security company that has licensing deals on the side to produce and market their branded handsets.

3. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Maaaaaaaaaan, come ta poppa, sexy! You gettin' copped on day one! Already got the cash set aside for this sexy jawn! If dope battery life paired with an innovative physical keyboard an' awesome software an' support ain't for ya, then kindly keep it movin'. No need ta troll the article, an' no worries.

16. Mxyzptlk unregistered

No one has trolled the article. Just because someone doesn't want to pay the premium to get the KeyONE with the specs that it has doesn't make them a troll.

18. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Stop attackin' me cornball, and reread my comment. I ain't say someone trolled the article, now did I? Just because I made a comment tellin' the trolls don't bother ta comment if ya gonna troll, doesn't mean ya should attack me for it. Only a troll would take offense ta my sayin' so, so thanks for exposin' yaself. Go find someone else ta entertain ya lame @$$ on the weekend, or go do what ya do best and play wit' yaself.

19. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Wasn't attacking you. No need to get so defensive. Open forum, remember, or does that only goes one war for you?

20. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

You were attackin' me. No need ta be Pinocchio about it. Or are ya only honest when ya use your other account?

21. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You tell me. You're the only one here with dual accounts.

23. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Ya nose is growin', Pinocchio.

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Your paranoia is growing, jpmean.

26. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Ya nose is still growin', mxyzbatmite.

27. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Your paranoia is growing, jpmeanest.

28. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Ya nose is still growin', mxyzbatmite.

29. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Ok meanest.

30. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Bounce, batmite.

31. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You first meanest.

33. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Momma always said age before beauty an' ladies first, so go right ahead, batmite.

35. Mxyzptlk unregistered

*yawn* You're boring now. Can't you do anything else?

37. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Can't you? I fell asleep from ya boring recycled posts four times already.

39. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Sounds like something your date did to you. #Badumtiss

41. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Ya right 'bout that. She fell right ta sleep after I put that work in! #HitYaWitTheBoomBap

4. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3157; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The only thing missing would be the toolbelt but I guess the keyboard is a decent enough replacement for the trackpad. I still would love to see physical send/end buttons. I'll take those over a camera button any day and twice on Sunday.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

The BlackBerry toolbelt would have totally rocked on this.

5. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Beautiful phone. PKB's do the business world serious favors.

7. Derass

Posts: 149; Member since: Aug 06, 2015

Hey, TCL. Can we get a Idol 5 leak already?

13. Alan01

Posts: 627; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Here is the Alcatel Idol 5S carrying a 5.2-inch screen posing next to the Alcatel Idol 4. We aim to please! Regards, Alan F.

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