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BlackBerry KeyOne caters to physical keyboard diehards

BlackBerry's comeback phone arrives courtesy of Chinese company TCL, which is tasked with reviving the struggling brand.

Say hello to the latest in a long line of purported BlackBerry comeback phones.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Meet the BlackBerry KeyOne, the latest iteration of the BlackBerry comeback phone.

Chinese phone maker TCL on Saturday pulled the curtain back on the KeyOne, previously known by its codename, "Mercury." The company showed off an early version of the KeyOne at CES 2017, but it dived into all the details of the device today.

The KeyOne is the latest attempt to make the once-vaunted BlackBerry brand relevant again. BlackBerry has struggled with dwindling market share for years, essentially hitting 0 percent by the end of last year, as companies like Apple and Samsung extend their dominance over phones.

BlackBerry licensed the rights to produce phones with its brand to TCL, which has promised to give it a stronger and more consistent push. TCL is best known for making budget televisions, and also produces phones under the Alcatel name.

The KeyOne packs a physical keyboard that sits right below the display. Like previous BlackBerrys, the phone's keyboard has a capacitive touchscreen, allowing you to swipe across the keys to scroll through the display above. TCL put a fingerprint sensor on the space bar.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 625 processor powers the KeyOne.

The phone will also run the latest version of Android, known as 7.1 Nougat. BlackBerry Senior Vice President Alex Thurber promised monthly security updates for the phone.

The phone will have a 3,505 mAh battery -- the largest battery put into a BlackBerry ever.

This is a developing story. More to come.