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Blackberry Key 2

Source: Blackberry / Blackberry

We learned that a Ja Rule & Ashanti album is on the way and with this latest news we will continue to wonder what year we are in? Blackberry’s latest smartphone is on the horizon, and they hope there are still enough BBM fans out there who care.

The tech world has finally gotten their hands on the Blackberry Key2 the latest offering from the iconic mobile phone company. The smartphone is a combination of new technology and old favorite specs that made Blackberry the must-have smartphone at one point. It runs on Android 8.1 Oreo (with BlackBerry app suite), has dual 12Mp rear-facing cameras (up to 4K video recording 24 / 30fps), an 8MP front-facing camera, 4.5-inch IPS display at 1620 x 1080 resolution, 434ppi, and 3:2 ratio and yes for Blackberry loyalist a keyboard remember those?

As far as price, the Key2 is not as expensive as an iPhone or Galaxy and will only cost you $650. It will be available in the U.S. through Best Buy and Amazon starting July 13th with pre-orders beginning on June 29th. T-Mobile and At&T will be only the carriers, for now, that phone will work on.

The reviews are pouring in, and surprisingly the reaction to the phone is mixed. Some are happy with the phone returning while others are not suggesting ditching your iPhone or Galaxy phones for the Key2.

Stefan Etienne of The Verge had this to say about the Key2:

“The Key2’s biggest problem is its devotion to nostalgia, despite BlackBerry Mobile’s efforts to modernize it. The dual-camera system, gesture-equipped keyboard, and BlackBerry app suite are all attempts at updating an old platform, but not creating a new one.

Having a hardware keyboard requires compromises in other key areas, namely the display. It forces the Key2 to have a small, squarish screen that is the exact opposite of the massive displays on every other phone. The BlackBerry Key2 tries and fails to get around these issues with gestures that aren’t useful. The camera takes unimpressive photos and the app suite is something that can be easily replicated by apps from the Play Store on any other phone. On top of that, the keyboard just isn’t very good — it’s hard to type on with one hand or for any length of time.”

Yikes. Sam Rutherford of Gizmodo was cautiously enthusiastic about Key2 in his review stating:

“That camera performance means your typical hypebeast or Insta-addict better stay away. Yet in a world already overcrowded with phones sporting glass sandwich designs, it’s so nice to have something that feels different! The Key2’s aluminum chassis is both sleek and stylish (and noticeably slimmer than last year’s KeyOne), while the soft-touch textured plastic in back is a joy to touch. Combine that with more than solid battery life, good enough performance, and a reasonable price, and the Key2 feels like it’s a phone for more than just the physical keyboard die-hards out there. While the era of the tactile smartphone keyboard is clearly over, the Key2 makes a great case for why it’s too soon for that feature to completely disappear. If touchscreens have left your frustrated, TCL has provided an able solution.”

Digital Trends‘ Julian Chokkattu is completely sold on the Key2 stating:

“Stellar battery life. A tactile and genuinely useful keyboard. Great software with a focus on security and privacy. What more could you want? The BlackBerry Key2 is an exceptional phone.”

There is a range of reviews that just also feel there is no longer a need for a keyboard on a smartphone anymore.

In the end, the decision is up to you but make sure you do your research if you are seriously considering buying the Blackberry Key2. Do you think Blackberry should just give it up? Or are one of those excited blackberries is still around? Let us know below.