This is what the BlackBerry Key2 looks like

This is what the BlackBerry Key2 looks like

The BlackBerry Key2’s official announcement is scheduled for the end of this week. Unlike most phone launches, TCL has done a sterling job of keeping the KEY2 under wraps, with no real leaks to speak of.

Until now, that is. VentureBeat’s Evan Blass (aka “EvLeaks”) came across the following images which depict the Key2 in all of its physical keyboarded glory.

It actually looks really good. The Verge described the Key2 as a “refined version of the KeyOne,” and I’d have to agree with that assessment.

TCL has also gone to the effort of removing the holes and sensors that pock-marked the original KeyOne. It’s also opted for an understated (but nonetheless gorgeous) gray and black color scheme, and a keyboard that appears to be slightly wider.

One thing that isn’t a surprise is the fact that it comes with a dual-camera setup. TCL revealed this to us in a teaser trailer. I recall the KeyOne having a fairly solid camera, so it’ll be interesting to see what this upgrade brings.

The Key2 has a fair bit in common with its predecessor. Like the KeyOne, it boasts dual speakers, a USB-C port, plus a headphone jack at the top of the device. It’ll also keep the same 4.5-inch screen, but is believed to ship with a more potent SoC — namely the Snapdragon 660.

Make no mistake, the Key2 will only appeal to a small niche of physical keyboard fans. This is a niche, I’ll admit, that I sit squarely in the middle of, so suffice to say I’m champing at the bit for the Key2.

I used the KeyOne for the best part of a year, and honestly, as a productivity device, nothing came remotely close. Hammering out emails and documents was a genuine joy.

But for the Key2 to to become a real success, and not perceived an anachronistic oddity, BlackBerry has to preach to the unconverted. For what it’s worth, that’s exactly what the BlackBerry Mobile and TCL is doing in China.

BlackBerry blog CrackBerry recently reported that dedicated BlackBerry stores had opened in Shanghai and Nanjing, where punters could try out the venerable phones, and see if it’s for them.

The Key2’s global launch is on June 7, with the Chinese launch taking place one day later. We’ll find out more about the device then, so stay tuned.

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