BlackBerry's big comeback revealed with BlackBerry KeyOne release date

BlackBerry KeyOne is the big comeback for everyone's favorite (and pretty much only) option for a smartphone with a tactile physical keyboard.

It's being dubbed the world's most secure Android phone, runs Android 7.1 Nougat with Google Assistant, and has the same camera sensor at the Google Pixel.

When can you get your fingers on that old-school keyboard in a modern phone? It goes on sale May 31 in the US with a KeyOne price tag of $549 (it'll be about AU$735 in Australia).

Canada is getting first dibs on this phone. Even though it's being made by TCL Communications out of China, the Canadian brand still has home field advantage with pre-orders starting on May 18 for $199 CAD and the same May 31 delivery date as the US.

Does BlackBerry stand a chance?

We first saw the BlackBerry KeyOne at CES 2017, and it's an impressive attempt at reinventing the enterprise-focused smartphone.

It's all about the physical keyboard, which felt like a great throwback to the days before all-screen phones and on-screen keyboards.

BlackBerry's software is the other half of the story. BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and easy-to-make security tweaks are a real selling point.

You won't find top-of-the-line specs to compete with the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 7, but it's also cheaper than both Apple and Samsung's flagships.

Is this enough for BlackBerry to become an iconic smartphone brand again in the year 2017? We'll know for sure by the end of next month.

Matt Swider