“The BlackBerry KEY2 LE is a toned-down variant of the KEY 2 and comes in funky colours”
If there is one brand that’s still hanging on to the nostalgia, it has to be BlackBerry. Apart from trying its hands on touchscreen Android smartphones, the handset maker is also doing what it’s known for best – making secure smartphones with full-sized keyboards. Earlier this year, the brand launched the BlackBerry KEY2 (review), and now it has launched a toned-down edition of the handset called the BlackBerry Key2 LE (first impressions) in the country. The LE variant of the smartphone comes with a more affordable price tag but the same design. So what’s changed? Let’s find out.
BlackBerry KEY2 vs KEY2 LE: what’s different
Both Blackberry KEY2 and KEY2 LE come with the same design, full QWERTY keyboards and the same dimensions. However, the KEY2 LE gets funkier Slate, Champagne, and Atomic colourways, with the last one coming with attractive red accents all around. It’s evident that with the KEY2 LE, the brand is trying to appeal to the younger audience. Further, the material used on the KEY2 LE is lighter compared to the regular variant, making it ergonomic and easily manageable.
Moving on to the performance, the BlackBerry KEY2 came powered by the Snapdragon 660 SoC, aided by 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB native storage. The new LE variant, on the other hand, is equipped with the lesser powerful Snapdragon 636 chipset backed by 4GB RAM. The smartphone is being offered in two storage variants – 32GB and 64GB. The KEY2 LE utilises a 3,000mAh battery, which is significantly smaller than the 3,500mAh cell present in the KEY2.
Blackberry has shuffled things in the imaging department as well. The KEY2 came with a pair of 12-megapixel shooters on the back with dual-tone LED flash, 4K recording at 60fps, and phase detection autofocus. On the other hand, the KEY2 LE ships with a dual camera setup that comprises a 13-megapixel primary camera and a 5-megapixel secondary snapper, which get the same features as the regular KEY2. The selfie shooter has also been downgraded to a 5-megapixel unit from 8-megapixel camera on the KEY2.
BlackBerry KEY2 vs KEY2 LE: what’s similar
The first thing that’s similar on both smartphones is the 4.5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1,080 x 1,620 pixels. The display bears an aspect ratio of 3:2 and comes with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top. Further, both smartphones flaunt full-size keyboards with the “Speed” key that allows quick access to configurable applications and features. The keyboard is touch-enabled to work as a trackpad when scrolling, and features a fingerprint scanner embedded in the space bar.
On the software front, both KEY2 and LE variant booth Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with the BlackBerry Launcher on top. You get the same proprietary Blackberry features and apps like BlackBerry Hub, DTEK security, Privacy Shade and BlackBerry Locker, among others. The phones also share connectivity options including 4G LTE, dual-SIM slots, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and A-GPS.
When the BlackBerry KEY2 was launched, the handset received flak for being priced on the higher side at Rs 42,990. With the KEY2 LE, the brand has reduced the price to Rs 29,990, but at the cost of reduced performance and camera capabilities. So if you are simply looking for the QWERTY experience, then the KEY2 LE might serve your needs well. On the other hand, if you’re looking for better performance and imaging prowess, then the pricier variant is the one to go for.