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BlackBerry announces Key2 launch date


The newest BlackBerry-branded smartphone is coming to Canada in July.

BlackBerry Ltd. announced Wednesday that the Key2, designed by Chinese smartphone maker TCL Communications, will be released in Canada on July 6, and available for preorder from the major carriers, including Rogers, which will begin offering preorders for the device on Thursday June 21.

Like its predecessor, the well-reviewed KeyOne, the Key2 runs on BlackBerry’s custom security-centric version of the Android operating system and features a physical keyboard.

“Although there are many different smartphones for consumers to choose from today, most tend to offer very similar experiences without much distinction from one to the next,” TCL senior vice president and BlackBerry Mobile president Alain Lejeune said in a June 20 statement. “With the… BlackBerry Key2, we’ve created a distinct smartphone that captures all the traits that have made BlackBerry smartphones iconic, while introducing new innovations and experiences that not only make this one of the best devices for security and privacy, but also the most advanced BlackBerry smartphone ever.”

In addition to its customized operating system, which uses Android 8.1 Oreo as its foundation, the Key2 is the first BlackBerry smartphone to feature a dual rear camera. It also includes the all-new Speed Key, a universal shortcut key that allows users to instantly access the apps, contacts, and functions they use the most.

Also like its predecessor, The Key2 comes in multiple colours. The black edition will be available on July 6 from Bell, Rogers, SaskTel, and Telus for two-year contracts starting at between $95 and $100.

The silver Key2, meanwhile, will be available for consumers to purchase outright from Amazon.ca, BestBuy.ca, Walmart.ca, Staples.ca, Blueshop.ca, and Visions.ca for $829.99.

You can read more about the Key2 here.