The new BlackBerry Key2 now has an official launch date for the United States, going up for pre-order next week.

BlackBerry Key2 US Launch

BlackBerry's latest Android smartphone is all set to go up for preorder next Friday, June 29, in the United States, and will officially hit store shelves on July 13. The BlackBerry Key2 will go on sale at a $649.99 price point, which is $100 more than the cost of its predecessor, the KeyOne when it first launched.

Come next week, interested customers will be able to preorder the BlackBerry Key2 from Best Buy and Amazon.

BlackBerry Key2 Specs

The BlackBerry Key2 is similar to the KeyOne in many respects, coming as an upgraded version. It sports a slight redesign with slimmer bezels and a larger physical keyboard, but it doesn't stray too much from the design of its predecessor.

Other notable upgrades include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor for the BlackBerry Key2 instead of the Snapdragon 625 SoC of the KeyOne, as well as 6 GB of RAM, which is double the amount of RAM available on the KeyOne.

The BlackBerry Key2 also comes with more internal storage than its predecessor, offering 64 GB or 128 GB configurations. The higher-capacity model will automatically be more expensive, but it remains unclear at this point just how much it will cost exactly.

In the camera department, the BlackBerry Key2 features a 12-megapixel dual rear camera setup while an 8-megapixel shooter will take care of selfies and video calls.

Otherwise, the BlackBerry Key2 sports the same 4.5-inch IPS LCD display as its predecessor, with a resolution of 1,620 x 1,080 pixels, but this time, with a 3:2 aspect ratio to accommodate the slightly larger physical keyboard. The smartphone also packs a 3,500 mAh battery, which should deliver a more than decent performance on a single charge.

Larger Physical Keyboard

Thanks to the slimmer bezels, BlackBerry increased the size of the physical keyboard by as much as 20 percent, which should allow for better comfort and typing accuracy. The fingerprint scanner is located on the space key. The BlackBerry Key2 also comes with a new Speed Key that enables users to set shortcuts for specific apps and long-press the key in question for a quick launch.

Both Best Buy and Amazon will offer the unlocked version of the BlackBerry Kkey2, but it's worth pointing out that BlackBerry said the smartphone is optimized for GSM carriers. This means that it will surely work well on AT&T and T-Mobile, but may not play as nice with CDMA carriers such as Verizon and Sprint.

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