Blackberry is back with the cool KeyOne Android phone – plus that keyboard

The Switch is on

It’s backpatting time at Nintendo as the new Switch gaming system is a certifiable hit. Time reports the Switch is selling even better than Nintendo had hoped, moving close to three million units since launch, which is far more than the company anticipated selling even in its rosiest of sales predictions. Good reviews of both the Switch and its halo game, the Zelda reboot Breath of Wild, have helped propel the hot sales pace.

And Zelda has reach beyond the Switch as well: Nintendo says Wii U owners love the game as well, and it’s on pace to top four million total units sold soon. Pretty good for a game and system introduced outside the hallowed “holiday season.” Time says Nintendo hopes to sell 10 million Switch systems this year, but analysts say they wouldn’t be surprised if the number is closer to 15 million. Well played, Nintendo.

Tic tic tic tic tic….

Despite having a miraculous smartphone in your pocket, you miss that old Blackberry phone you closed deals with back in the day. Good news: TCL, the Chinese company that has partnered with Blackberry, is about to make your dreams come true with a new phone called the KeyOne. And oh yes, it has that plastic fantastic physical keyboard you’ve been pining for. But this is no throwback phone – it’s Android powered and thoroughly up to date.

The Android Nougat OS has a layer of Blackberry’s special sauce laid over it, and the keyboard is capacitive: you can swipe it and so on, just like a touch screen. But, yes, it still has those little tiny keys. The rear camera is the same 12mp Sony unit the Google Pixel phone uses, and there’s a Snapdragon 625 CPU running the show. It comes with 3 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of memory, but there’s a card slot for expansion of up to 2 terabytes more memory.

The screen is more square than most other smartphones, but it’s still high-resolution. Overall, pretty impressive. The KeyOne comes out May 31st and will cost $550 in the US. DT mobile tech editor Julian Chokkattu got his fingers on one and has more details at this link.

Wait until they get Netflix

Following the thawing of US relations with the island nation of Cuba, American companies have been racing to gain a foothold in the communist country that sits just a few dozen miles south of Key West. One of the first big tech outfits to reach the Cuban beach is Google. Forbes says Google has just opened a data center in Cuba, and it’s designed to basically store up internet content for quicker delivery across the country’s ancient internet infrastructure.

Basically, anything helps. Only about 25 percent of Cuba’s residents even have net access, and their data is piped through an undersea cable coming from Venzuela, a scheme that probably makes dial-up look like broadband. Internet cafes charge almost 5 bucks an hour to get online – and that’s the better part of a week’s pay for many Cubans. Cuban internet is still censored by the government, but hopefully they can start getting addicted to cat videos at least.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to say TCL is a partner with Blackberry, they do not own the company outright. Digital Trends regrets the error.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.


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