It’s only been a few weeks since the BlackBerry KEY2 started selling in major markets including the U.S., but fresh reports coming in suggest that there’s a cheaper variant of this handset dubbed BlackBerry KEY2 LE or rather KEY2 Lite on the way, probably with an IFA 2018 launch on the cards.
Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the BlackBerry KEY2 offers a unique take on any Android smartphone thanks to the company’s iconic physical QWERTY keyboard, but there’s more to this device. TCL went for more powerful specs under the hood and premium features, moves that have ensured the KEY2 has a steeper price tag compared to the KEYone.
On the hardware front, asking $650 for the BlackBerry KEY2 is actually a lot in a world that has the likes of OnePlus 6 and Asus ZenFone 5Z, but for those who want everything to do with BlackBerry’s iconic physical keyboard and feel the KEY2’s asking price is closer to the roof than to the floor, your prayers might have just been answered.
BlackBerry KEY2 Lite specs
- 4.5-inch 1080 x 1620p LCD display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB or 64GB storage
- Dual 13MP + 5MP main camera
- 3,000mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
Codenamed BlackBerry Luna, the KEY2 LE, like any other “Lite” phone, is expected to ship with weaker hardware specs compared to the standard KEY2. However, it has been reported that the form factor, which we can also see in the featured image and the one below, will remain the same, including the 4.5-inch display screen and physical QWERTY keyboard.
It is claimed that the KEY2 LE will have a slightly different keyboard configuration and while it will still keep the KEY2’s fingerprint space bar and the shortcut key, there won’t be the trackpad functionality seen on the KEYone and KEY2. While the KEY2 Lite will still get a dual-lens camera on the back, the setup is expected to be weaker than its counterpart. There’s talk of a 13MP + 5MP setup, but we still don’t know what will appear on the front-facing camera. An earlier image of the KEY2 LE (featured) also revealed a red trim around the phone, including the buttons, which makes up for an interesting finish.
Some have already made their feelings known about the inferior Snapdragon 660 chipset on the pricey KEY2, but in the KEY2 LE, there’s an even more inferior processor, the new Snapdragon 636 chipset alongside half the RAM on the standard model. However, this is just privy info and nothing is official yet.
BlackBerry KEY2 Lite price and availability
According to Evan Blass, the man behind this BlackBerry KEY2 Lite leak, the phone will be launched towards the end of August or in early September 2018. This, by all means, points to the IFA 2018 event that will be held at the same time in Berlin, Germany.
*This plastic 'Berry is said to launch late August / early September, perhaps at IFA.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 18, 2018
The device has already made a stop at the FCC with the name BlackBerry KEY2 LE (Lite Edition?) and with this, we can guarantee that the launch date isn’t too far away. In addition to the leaked black and red variant, the KEY2 Lite is also expected to come with blue and copper variants, but for now, we can’t really say much about their price details. Still, from the name, we do know that it will be cheaper than the standard KEY2, which, as pointed out already, is quite an asking at $650.