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BlackBerry KEYone hits Amazon and Best Buy on May 31st

If you crave a hardware keyboard on your phone, relief is in sight.
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Chris Velazco/Engadget

BlackBerry and TCL have teased the KEYone for nearly half a year, and now Americans can finally see what all the fuss is about without jumping through hoops. The two have revealed that unlocked, US-friendly variants of the Android-powered BlackBerry will be available at both Amazon and Best Buy on May 31st. Spend $550 and you'll get the phone in either a GSM-tuned version (for the likes of AT&T and T-Mobile) or, if you shop at Amazon, a CDMA model optimized for Verizon. If that up-front price is just too much, Sprint and other carriers should offer the KEYone this summer.

As we explained in our review, whether or not you like the KEYone comes down to one question: how much do you want a physical keyboard? It's a very capable phone with high build quality, a good camera, thoughtful touches (such as a keyboard that doubles as a trackpad) and exceptional battery life, but you still need to like the notion of pecking on plastic instead of the usual virtual keys. This is for people who still miss their old-school BlackBerry phones -- it's great for them, but a niche device for everyone else.

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