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To meet price expectations, it looks like BlackBerry is releasing a slimmed-down Key2

A cheaper way to get that sweet keyboard to more users.

the back of a blackberry key2 smartphone
Image: Joe Rice Jones / KnowTechie

The BlackBerry Key2 hasn’t been out that long and there’s already a successor looming on the horizon. It appears BlackBerry took note of how many reviewers mentioned the $650 unlocked price as being slightly steep, and a cheaper version is in the works.

This will bring the iconic, and honestly, great keyboard to more users, hopefully. The device is loosely referred to as the Key2 Lite and has a codename of Luna. It’s almost identical to the Key2 but with a few key changes.

For a start, the chassis will be plastic to shave off some of the cost, rather than the excellent aluminum one that was used in the premium Key2.

The veritable leaker Evan Blass got some images of what this will look like. According to him, it will be available in three colorways: red, blue and copper.

You can probably expect some shaving down of the internals also when it launches, probably a lower-specced Snapdragon chipset and lower RAM/storage. That will make it more in line with the price band they’ll be targeting.

This move to release a Key2 Lite reminds me of another time BlackBerry released a cut-down version of their flagship, back when the BlackBerry Q5 was released after the BlackBerry Q10. Lots of similarities here, with the lower priced device having a playful, colorful aesthetic and lower specs.

The Q5 didn’t do well in the market, as it shipped with the unpopular BlackBerry 10 OS when most of the market was using Android. That’s not the case here, BlackBerry’s implementation of Android is done well on the Key2, with only minor tweaks to boost productivity.

I loved the physical keyboard on the premium device, and I hope that it doesn’t change much (apart from a couple minor bugfixes) on the Key2 Lite. It was versatile enough that I wrote my full review on the device, something that I wouldn’t dream of on a touchscreen-only device.

We don’t know any details about cost or release date as yet but have reached out to BlackBerry to see if we can get any information.

Would you cop a new, price-conscious BlackBerry? Sound off below.

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