In stunning renders leaked today, we get a good look at the design of the Blackberry KEYOne successor, codenamed the “Blackberry Athena”.
Rumors have been circulating about a second iteration of the Blackberry KEYOne, which was a smashing success despite its launch price of about $615 USD.
We now know the Blackberry Athena will be called the Blackberry Key2, thanks to an official tweet from the company.
Blackberry Athena News
Update 1 April 28, 2018: We have just received photos from TENNA, the Chinese telecommunications regulatory body that confirms the Blackberry Athena has cleared inspections and should be ready for release soon!
See the updated pictures in our gallery at the bottom of the post!
Update 2, May 12, 2018: According to an official tweet from Blackberry, the company will hold an event in New York City on June 7th. In this event, we will see the Blackberry Athena, which we now know will be called the Blackberry Key2.
— BlackBerry Mobile (@BBMobile) May 11, 2018
Blackberry Athena release date, price, and specs
We don’t currently know much about Blackberry’s newest phone, however we can make some assumptions.
The Blackberry KEYOne was released in late April of 2017. Going on this schedule, we can expect a similar release date for the Blackberry Athena.
The price is a bit harder to gauge. Depending on how much Blackberry has upped the ante on the Athena specs, the price could fluctuate. We definitely hope it goes down, however it will most likely be within $100 of the KEYOne launch price.
The KEYOne featured a Snapdragon 625 alongside 3GB of RAM. We’re expecting upgrades to both of them, with at least 4GB of RAM becoming a defacto standard with new smartphones. It’s unclear if Blackberry will include a Snapdragon 845 in the Athena, as they did include an older chipset in the KEYOne. However this helped them achieve a quoted 26 hours of battery life in the KEYOne, so we can’t be too judgmental.
Blackberry Athena design
You can scroll down to view our full gallery of the Blackberry Athena renders, however we’re going to detail our view on Blackberry’s newest device.
First, it looks like Blackberry is following the design tactics of the Blackberry Ghost and the KEYOne Black Edition by switching the gray frame for a black one. The Blackberry Athena also appears to have sharper edges and corners, unlike the KEYOne which has rounded corners.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Blackberry without the QWERTY keyboard which the company has kept, to the delight of its fans. The keys on the keyboard are larger and more spaced out, for those people with bigger thumbs. The keys also appear to have a rougher, matte-style feel to them, as opposed to the polished keys on the KEYOne.
The front display has also been stretched to the top of the phone, while integrating a smaller top bezel that flows much better with the screen. This top bezel houses the front camera, earpiece, and the ambient light and proximity sensors.
It looks like Blackberry aligned the buttons on the right side of the device. On the KEYOne, the power button was by itself on the left side. Yet it has now joined the volume button and the textured convenience key on the right. It remains to be seen if this was a poor design choice, however the buttons are far enough spaced out that we aren’t expecting too many complaints from consumers.
On the bottom of the Blackberry Athena, we see that the USB-C port is situated between two loudspeakers. On the top, Blackberry has listened to its users and kept the 3.5mm headphone jack as well.
Blackberry Athena gallery