BlackBerry Mercury taken by CrackBerry

BlackBerry with keyboard teased. Could this be the brand’s savior?

In Phones by Alora Uy GuerreroLeave a Comment

YOU have to give it to brands that just don’t give up no matter how many times they have been knocked down. Think Nokia. And this time, think BlackBerry. It seems that TCL, the Chinese electronics company that inked a deal with BlackBerry Limited to make smartphones under the BlackBerry brand, is hell-bent on reviving the once-iconic name.

At CES 2017 in Las Vegas, its executives showed engineering units of an aluminum device code-named Mercury, which is supposedly aimed to compete with flagship phones such as the Apple iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7. It comes with a QWERTY keyboard with capacitive gesture capabilities that’s reminiscent of the physical keyboard you’ll find on the BlackBerry Priv. Embedded into the space bar is a fingerprint sensor, surely a different way of implementing it. At the bottom are two speaker grilles and a USB Type-C port, and on the right side are the volume keys and the power button. The ones shown off are running Android 7.0 Nougat, with the usual software fare that the brand is known for, such as its security and BlackBerry Hub and Messenger.

BlackBerry Mercury teaser

Again, the units teased at CES were just production ones, so those specifications may change once the BlackBerry Mercury becomes official at the Mobile World Congress or MWC 2017, which will be held from February 27 t0 March 2 in Barcelona, Spain. No word yet on other details and even pricing and availability. However, rumors are ripe that the device will feature Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 and a 4.5-inch screen with 1,680 x 1,080 resolution.

Well, we’re just glad that this time, TCL — which also manufactures Alcatel handsets — didn’t come up with Alcatel-rebranded phones for the brand. Of course, we’re referring to the BlackBerry DTEK50 and DTEK60, which are basically just the Alcatel Idol 4 and Idol 4s. Thumbs up for that.

We’re just glad that this time, TCL — which also manufactures Alcatel handsets — didn’t come up with Alcatel-rebranded phones for BlackBerry.

But will the BlackBerry Mercury be the brand’s savior? We doubt it (though we’d like to be proven wrong). If TCL doesn’t take any missteps, BlackBerry may be able to claw its way out of the woodwork in 2018 at the earliest.

Image via CrackBerry

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Alora Uy Guerrero

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Editor-in-chief: Alora Uy Guerrero has 22 years of experience as an editor for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. She took time off journalism to manage OPPO’s digital-marketing campaigns. When not busy with her babies, she’s working on Revü, a passion project — or probably traveling or obsessing over her favorite bands, movies, TV shows, and basketball teams.