Brands often turn to new color options as a means of reviving interest in an aging device, and that's exactly what TCL is doing today. The BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition is now up for sale on Amazon for $699, with the phone offering 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The bold color definitely provides added flair to the KEY2, and round the back you get a diamond patterned finish that makes it easier to hold the device. The overall effect is quite stunning, as you can make out in the photos below.
The phone also comes in "reimagined" packaging along with color-matched WH70 earbuds. Aside from the paint job and increased memory and storage, the internal hardware is identical to the standard KEY2: there's a 4.5-inch panel with a resolution of 1620 x 1080, Snapdragon 660, MicroSD slot, dual 12MP cameras at the back, 8MP front shooter, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.0, and a 3500mAh battery with 18W fast charging.
There's a fingerprint sensor built into the spacebar on the keyboard, and you also get a 3.5mm jack. The KEY2 Red Edition runs Oreo out of the box — inexcusable for a phone launching in Q2 2019 — but you do get monthly security updates and BlackBerry's DTEK security suite. The $700 asking price is a lot for a phone that launched ten months ago, but if you're looking for a physical keyboard, there really isn't any other option available today.
Plus, the paint job makes the KEY2 Red Edition one of the most beautiful BlackBerry devices ever made, and that alone is worth the premium over the standard KEY2.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.