BlackBerry KEYone to Get Android Oreo Beta Soon With Invite-Only Program

BlackBerry has announced a new invite-only Android Oreo beta program for KEYone owners.

BlackBerry KeyOne

BlackBerry’s unique KEYone is one of the few high-end smartphones released in 2017 to still be running on the outdated Android 7.0 Nougat operating system. However, there is some good news at last for KEYone owners. The company has announced an invite-only Android Oreo beta program for the KEYone, which means the final Oreo update should arrive for users within the next few months.

BlackBerry KEYone: Android Oreo Beta Program Announced

While a few other Android OEMs have started beta programs for Android P, BlackBerry’s announcement of an Android Oreo beta program certainly surprises us. The KEYone was launched in April last year with the Android 7.1 Nougat operating system out of the box. While other high-end devices launched around the same period have been updated to Android 8.0 Oreo, the KEYone is yet to receive the official Oreo update.

BlackBerry has started sending out emails to users who have been part of its beta programs in BlackBerry Beta Zone. It appears those who receive the email from BlackBerry will be able to sign up to the new BlackBerry Beta community. Once you have registered on the new community, you will be eligible to receive an invite to the company’s new open programs. If you are a KEYone user, you can sign up to the new BlackBerry Beta community and complete your profile in order to secure an invite to the Android Oreo beta program. Even if you haven’t received an email from BlackBerry, you can still try signing up for the beta program here. And now that the company has come up with a beta program, we can expect the stable Oreo update for the KEYone to begin rolling out before the end of the year.

BlackBerry KEYone: Price in India

The BlackBerry KEYone Limited Edition Black version was launched in India in August last year at Rs.39,990. You can now purchase one from for just under Rs.34,000. While the KEYone is a decent device, it does seem slightly overpriced when considering the hardware on offer, especially when compared to newer competition. However, if you are a BlackBerry fan and want a smartphone that has a QWERTY keyboard, there is no alternative currently. While BlackBerry did release the KEY2 globally a few weeks back, the smartphone hasn’t been launched in India yet.

BlackBerry KEYone: Specifications, Features

The BlackBerry KEYone Limited Edition Black comes with a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1080 x 1620 resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection on top. Below the display is a touch-enabled 35-key backlit physical QWERTY keyboard with a space-Bar and an integrated fingerprint sensor for secure unlocking. It runs on Qualcomm’s very popular Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0 GHz with an Adreno 506 GPU. In the memory department, the KEYone Limited Edition Black launched in India features 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. For further expansion up to 256GB, the smartphone includes a microSD card slot.

At the rear is a 12MP rear camera with large 1.55um pixel size, phase detection autofocus, and a dual-LED flash module. The smartphone can capture up to 4K resolution videos at 30 fps. On the front of the handset is an 8MP selfie camera with an f/2.2 aperture and 1.12um pixel size. Connectivity-wise, the KEYone supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band, Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, NFC, FM radio, 4G VoLTE and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. Fueling the internals of the KEYone is a 3500mAh non-removable battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support. BlackBerry claims users can expect the battery to achieve 50% charge in just 36 minutes. The handset measures 149.1 x 72.4 x 9.4mm and weighs in at 180 grams.