BlackBerry’s Key2 didn’t exactly win over the world when it came out. The best that can be said is that it’s a phone with a physical keyboard for people who really like phones with physical keyboards.
But that isn’t stopping BlackBerry (and TCL, which sells devices using the BlackBerry Mobile name and brand) from trying again with the new Key2 LE. It’s a lower-specced, cheaper version of the Key2 that brings features like the iconic keyboard at a more affordable price.
Keyboard aside, the price may be the most important part. The Key2 LE is set to cost $399 for a 32GB model, or $449 for a 64GB model. That’s dramatically less than the standard Key2’s $649 price tag.
That discount comes at a cost, however: the Key2 LE has a weaker processor, less RAM, worse cameras, and a smaller battery than the Key2. So instead of the already less-than-ideal Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, it’s a Snapdragon 636. There’s also 4GB of RAM instead of 6GB, a 3,000mAh battery instead of a 3,500mAh one, and the rear cameras are a dual 13-megapixel / 5-megapixel setup instead of two 12-megapixel lenses.
That said, the Key2 LE is still a perfectly respectable midrange Android phone on paper, and the price does seem right for what you’re getting, assuming you’re okay with the other sacrifices that every Key2 has demanded, like the small screen.
The Key2 LE will be available next month starting at the aforementioned $399 price. It’ll come in three colors: atomic (red), champagne (gold / beige), and slate (black).
Correction: Better clarified BlackBerry Mobile and TCL’s relationship.