BlackBerry Key2 LE announced as an affordable alternative to the Key2

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The BlackBerry Key2 is a business-focused phone with a hardware keyboard and a dual-lens camera, but now the BlackBerry Key2 LE has been announced, ticking all those boxes at a much lower price.

The BlackBerry Key2 LE has a 4.5-inch 1080 x 1620 LCD screen with a physical keyboard underneath it, just like the full fat Key2. And like that phone it also has a handy Speed Key, which acts as a shortcut to various functions, plus 52 customizable keyboard shortcuts.

As noted above it also has a dual-lens camera, but this is one area where you can see how the price was kept down, as the BlackBerry Key2 LE has a 13MP and 5MP pairing, while the standard Key2 has a pair of 12MP cameras.

The Key2 LE’s Snapdragon 636 chipset and 4GB of RAM also make it slightly less powerful, and its battery is smaller too at 3,000mAh, but you still get a fingerprint scanner, an 8MP front camera, up to 64GB of storage, a microSD card slot, Android 8.1 and access to all the sorts of features you’d expect from a BlackBerry handset.

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The BlackBerry Key2 LE in Slate

The BlackBerry Key2 LE in Slate
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The BlackBerry Key2 LE in Champagne

The BlackBerry Key2 LE in Champagne

Putting security first

That includes a ‘Locker’ where you can keep apps, documents and photos private, BlackBerry’s DTEK app, which can detect potential security risks, support for dual accounts so you can keep work and personal separate on a single phone, and BlackBerry Hub, which houses all your messages from various different sources in one place.

The battery, while fairly small, apparently lasts up to 22 hours and supports fast charging, and the design of the BlackBerry Key2 LE includes a newly designed soft textured back, to provide better in-hand grip and minimize the risk of it being dropped.

And as noted, this is cheaper than the standard BlackBerry Key2. That phone costs $649/£579 (around AU$1,035), while the BlackBerry Key2 LE starts at $399 / £349 (roughly AU$625) for the 32GB model and rises to $449 / £399 (around AU$710) for the 64GB one.

It’s not available yet, but is set to launch starting next month, and when it does you should be able to choose between Slate, Champagne and Atomic colors.