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(Pocket-lint) - Having already given a hardware teaser at CES earlier in the year, BlackBerry has now officially outed its next smartphone, the KeyOne, designed to tempt the hard-core BlackBerry fans to switch to Android, and invoke serious nostalgia in a serious phone. For those who have a soft spot for traditional BlackBerry phones, this could well be the key device of 2017. 

The most important feature is undoubtedly the four row physical keyboard on the front, which has the Priv-like capacitive sensors built in to allow you to swipe around screens, and select predicted words when typing. Somewhat unusually, the fingerprint sensor is built into the space bar.


The metal frets between each row is a classic BlackBerry move, while the combination of a solid metal frame with its curved edges and soft-touch plastic back panel is a welcome design choice.  

Other standard features include a 4.5-inch 3:2 aspect ratio IPS LCD display boasting a resolution of 1620 x 1080, giving it a respectable pixel density of 434 pixels-per-inch. 

Inside, powering the device, is a mid-range Snapdragon 625 processor paired with 3GB RAM to ensure that all tasks are performed effortlessly. And, while the the chip isn't the most powerful available, it's more than capable for meeting the needs of the busy, productive business people and Classic fans BlackBerry envisions using the device. 

To ensure you get through at least one full day, BlackBerry packed in an impressive 3,505mAh battery, and has ensured that even when it does run out you'll be able to top it up quickly again. With Quick Charge 3.0 juicing up the device through its Type C port, the company claims you can get 50 per cent charge in 36 minutes. 

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As for the rest of the specs, there's a 12-megapixel camera on the back equipped with PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), video and image stabilisation, 4K video recording and an f/2.0 lens. 

On the software side, Android 7.1 runs the show with the usual smattering of BlackBerry influences. That includes a host of apps, most notably the security-focused DTEK app for easily checking your device's security, and getting an easy overview as to which apps are getting far more access to your personal information than they reasonably should. 

The BlackBerry KeyOne will be available globally in April and will cost £499 in the UK, €599 in mainland Europe and $549 in the US. 

Writing by Cam Bunton.