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BlackBerry to use the oldest trick in the book to push new keyboard phone

By Brenda Stolyar

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blackberry key2 both in hand
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

BlackBerry may have another device on the list for 2018 a lower cost version of the Key2 possibly known as the Key2 LE.We’ve already had indirect hints about the device — when Digital Trends spoke to BlackBerry’s global head of device portfolio, Gareth Hurn, in January, he told us there would be two phones with keyboards released in 2018. The BlackBerry Key2 turned out to be the first, and now it appears the Key2 LE will be the second.

Information and rumors for what could be the BlackBerry Key2 LE are already surfacing. Here’s everything we know about it so far.

Name, release date, and price

The device is apparently code-named BlackBerry Luna, and the less expensive materials used in its construction should make the phone cheaper to buy than the Key2, which starts at $650. While it was expected that the device would be launched as the BlackBerry Key2 Lite, a recent tweet by leaker Roland Quandt suggest otherwise. A BlackBerry smartphone with model number BBE-100-5 has passed certification by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is reportedly called the BlackBerry Key2 LE.

Before that, two other smartphones with the BlackBerry brand also passed FCC with model numbers BE 100-1 and BBE 100-2 — both of which are reportedly variants of the “Lite” BlackBerry. With another model number added to the mix, it’s believed this could be the third variant that will be available.

Sharing the Key2’s basic design means the phone will have a physical keyboard, potentially introducing the feature to a wider audience. Outside of the expensive KeyOne and Key2, the only other Android-based BlackBerry phone you could buy was the all-touchscreen BlackBerry Motion.

Blass also tweeted the phone could launch at the end of August or in September, potentially at the IFA technology show in Berlin, which begins on August 31 and runs until September 5.


We don’t know anything about the specifications yet, or if BlackBerry will remove some of the Key’s special keyboard functionality to lower the price further. It’s always possible the Key2 LE will use the KeyOne’s keyboard, just with the Key2’s improved design. Evidence of its possible existence comes from a leaked picture allegedly showing what’s being called the BlackBerry Key2 Lite, which highlightd the back of a phone with BlackBerry’s familiar logo, and a Key2-like shape.

Evan Blass/

The device differs from the Key2 slightly. The chassis on the pictureddevice is red, and will apparently be made of plastic rather than metal. It will come in a blue or copper color as well, according to mobile leaker Evan Blass, who posted the picture on Twitter. The dual-lens camera BlackBerry introduced on the Key2 is present, although the specifications may not be the same. While the Key2’s rear panel is also textured, the effect is different on the Key2 Lite.

Updated July 27: After getting clearancefrom the FCC, the BlackBerry Key2 Lite could launch as the BlackBerry Key2 LE

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