BlackBerry KEYone Launched in India at Rs. 39,999/-. It is QWERTY Good!

Will a QWERTY hybrid device sell in the current Indian market?


Blackberry Keyone

BlackBerry’s latest flagship smartphone, Blackberry KEYone will be launched in India today finally. It was launched in the US and Canada back in May this year. For manufacturing and distribution in India, it has given license to TCL in India, which makes sure that the phone is not too expensive.

This phone has both, a QWERTY keypad at the bottom and a big 4.5-inch touchscreen at the front. This allows users to enjoy the form factor of the older BlackBerry Passport along with all the latest features of an Android smartphone.

Take a look at the specifications below –

  • 4.5-inch 1620×1080 IPS LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4, 433 PPI and a 4:3 aspect ratio
  • Android Nougat 7.1
  • Full QWERTY keypad with touch gestures
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-Core 2.0 GHz, 64-bit Adreno 506 coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage with micro SD card support upto 2TB
  • 12MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus, dual-tone LED flash, 4K video recording at 30fps; with a Sony IMX378 sensor
  • 8MP fixed focus front camera with wide-angle lens, light-up LCD flash, full HD video recording
  • USB Type-C; 3505mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0
  • LTE ready, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Fingerprint sensor embedded in the space bar

DTEK Security

The most important thing is DTEK security app that this smartphone comes with, which allows users to get safe and secure access to internet, their browsing history and even storing personal items on their phone.

Targeted specifically at corporate professionals, KEYone fails to consider the pace of technology. With such specifications, it can only match upto the likes of Moto Z and OnePlus 5, which sell at Rs. 7,000/- to 8,000/- lower than this smartphone.

For someone who has no interest in a QWERTY keypad, this smartphone makes no sense whatsoever. It will also not be able to bring back the QWERTY era because a lot of people have moved on to virtual keypads, which are equally comfortable for most. However, it can lower the price tag by another Rs. 5,000 and see sales increase a little.

The smartphone is due to launch today and it will be clear what value proposition BlackBerry is bringing to this segment. We hope BlackBerry doesn’t repeat its mistakes from the past. But looking at the leaked pricing, it is going to affect this phone’s sales as well.

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