TCL Communication unveiled a cheaper version of its flagship BlackBerry smartphone on Thursday, with larger physical keys as it doubles down on efforts to win back customers who still aren't sold on touchscreen keyboards.
The BlackBerry KEY2 LE smartphone features a redesigned physical keyboard with keys that are nearly 10 percent larger than on the device's previous model, the KEYOne. The phone is manufactured and sold by TCL Communication, a Chinese tech company that bought the licensing rights to BlackBerry's brand in 2016.
Other key features of the new phone include:
- A dual rear camera that includes portrait mode
- Google's Android operating system
- 4.5-inch display
- Three color options: slate, champagne and atomic.
The KEY2 LE retails at $399 for the 32-gigabyte variant and will be available from early September. The smartphone is a cheaper version of the KEY2 that was released earlier this year with a starting price of $649. The move by TCL comes amid miserable smartphone sales, with the Chinese firm unable to penetrate the market or challenge larger players like Apple and Samsung.