BlackBerry announces the Key2 LE, a cheaper version of its keyboard-equipped Key2 smartphone
BlackBerry isn't dead yetBy Cohen Coberly
If you've long since forgotten about the former king of the smartphone market, BlackBerry, you wouldn't be alone.
Though it still retains a loyal core fanbase, the company's flagship devices have all but failed to capture the imagination of the public.
BlackBerry was clearly hoping that would change with the launch of its Key2 device, which sought to blend modern smartphone touchscreens with the classic keyboard-equipped device layouts the company has always been known for.
Unfortunately, the device didn't make quite the splash its maker may have hoped. The device does have a few unique features, such as a physical keyboard gesture system, but early reviews were still fairly lukewarm.
However, it seems BlackBerry is eager to take yet another crack at the device, convinced that the Key2's $649 price tag was its main failing. This time around, BlackBerry is announcing the Key2 "LE," a stripped-down, cheaper version of its predecessor.
The Key2 LE will run you about $399 on launch for the base model (which contains 32GB of storage), or $449 for the higher-end model, which doubles the available storage capacity to 64GB.
For reference, the normal Key2 features either 64GB or 128GB of storage depending on which model you go with. However, storage isn't the only thing that's been downgraded with the Key2 LE, according to The Verge.
The device's processor has also been knocked down a peg to the Snapdragon 636 (the ordinary Key2 houses a 660), and the RAM has been reduced from 6GB to 4GB.
If you're enamored by the idea of a touchscreen/keyboard hybrid device and you can live with the Key2 LE's downgraded hardware, you can snag the one of the smartphones sometime in September; pre-orders don't seem to be available for now.