On some level, it feels as though the BlackBerry KEY2 might be the right device at the right time. You might not have been personally affected by all-too-regular data breaches, but the events surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have forced a lot of us to think more pointedly about how safe our data is. BlackBerry's approach to software reflects a larger trend of thoughtfulness around how we want our information to be collected and stored. Just look at DTEK, that app that tells you how secure your phone is (or isn't). It now has a more straightforward design, but — more importantly — it's also more proactive about letting you know when apps try to access specific sensors on your phone. It'd be weird if, say, a calculator app tried to quietly access your camera or your microphone, right? The new DTEK offers notifications alerting to you those kinds of potentially shady moves, and you can define what sensors you want to get notifications for. And BlackBerry's Locker, a secure space where you could store your files, now lets you hide apps too — you'll need to use either your PIN or the fingerprint sensor in the space bar to access the goods.
Now, our hands-on time also left us with a few unanswered questions. Consider the dual camera around back: it's the first time this kind of camera system has ever appeared on a BlackBerry, and it pairs two 12-megapixel sensors mounted side by side for features like portrait mode and enhanced zoom. The results of my impromptu shooting sessions were purely fine — not amazing, not awful, just fine. I had higher hopes for the cameras after being mildly disappointed by the KEYone, but the units we tested were still running non-final software so there's hope the retail-ready models will perform better. We're also really curious to see if the improved design, enhanced keyboard and more fine-grained control over data privacy strikes more of a chord with people now than it did before. Thankfully, we won't need to wait too long: the phone officially drops this month with prices starting at $649.