Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next.
TCL’s budget televisions have been a massive hit over the past two years, so it’s no surprise that the Chinese company is using aggressive pricing to sell its latest smartphone — the BlackBerry Key2 LE. As its familiar name suggests, the Key2 LE has a lot in common with the recently released BlackBerry Key2, but it starts at $399 — a significant $250 drop from its predecessor.
Most of the Key2’s design language and features are preserved in the Key2 LE, including a 4.5-inch screen with 1620 x 1080 resolution, a backlit 35-key physical keyboard with an integrated fingerprint sensor, an 8MP front camera, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and broad but region-specific cellular support. The phones look virtually identical from the front, apart from three new color options — slate gray, champagne gold, and atomic red — and an almost imperceptibly smaller 150.25 x 71.8 x 8.35mm chassis.
Whether the downgrades matter to you will depend on how much you appreciate higher-end components. The Key2 LE uses a lightweight plastic body with a soft textured back and switches from a dual 12-Megapixel rear camera to a 13- plus 5-Megapixel combo. TCL also drops Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 for a lower-end 636, which means you still get an eight-core processor, but it runs at 1.6 to 1.8GHz, instead of 1.8 to 2.2GHz.
That — and some other modest spec drops — may have a small impact on the performance of Android 8.1 Oreo, which comes pre-installed on the Key2 LE. Battery size drops from 3500mAh to 3000mAh, resulting in a promised 22-hour continuous run time. Memory falls from 6GB RAM and 64GB of storage to 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage, though you can bump up to 64GB for an additional $50 or supply your own microSD card instead. Almost all of the Key2 LE’s other features mirror the Key2’s.
TCL is offering the Key2 LE in four cellular versions — single- and dual-sim variants for the EU, Africa, and Australia, plus a single-SIM North America and Latin America model and a dual-SIM North America model. For the time being, there aren’t models specific to China or the Middle East/Asia-Pacific markets, unlike the original Key2.
Major markets will start to see Key2 LE beginning in September.
VentureBeatVentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
- up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
- our newsletters
- gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
- networking features, and more