The beginning of a new era for BlackBerry-branded consumer hardware is slightly delayed, as CEO John Chen himself recently admitted, with the response to the Canadian company’s TCL-made KEYone global unveiling deemed “overwhelmingly positive” by the licensee’s North American President & GM.
According to Steve Cistulli on Twitter, “further details” on the US, Canadian and presumably international launches of the QWERTY smartphone will be shared “as we get into May.” If you can’t wait until then to make sure you’re among the first to own the nostalgia-inducing handheld, a couple of British retailers let you pre-order the bad boy today, promising delivery as early as May 5.
That’s not so late, although Unlocked-Mobiles.com opened pre-sales immediately after February’s Mobile World Congress, being led to believe by the phone’s manufacturers and licensors that shipping could start around mid-April.
It remains to be seen now if this May 5 release date is just another rough estimate or a solid, official deadline, as well as what other markets (if any) it might be applicable to. The local price of the BlackBerry KEYone appears to be carved in stone, as both Unlocked Mobiles and Clove are ready to charge early adopters £499 a pop, including VAT.
Not exactly a bargain, converting to around $625, but you arguably get decent bang for your buck pound. Namely, an iconic physical keyboard, paired with a modern 4.5-inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, microSD support, 12/8MP cameras, 3505mAh battery, fingerprint sensor, Android 7.1, and all the latest security enhancements.