BlackBerry’s New Smartphone with Physical Keyboard Teased Ahead of Launch


Throughout much of last year, we were hearing about plans by Canadian device maker BlackBerry to release at least 3 new smartphones running Android. The 3 were codenamed Neon, Argon and Mercury.

We have seen 2 of the 3. Neon turned out to be the “world’s most secure Android smartphone” aka DTEK50 while Argon was a follow up to the DTEK50 albeit larger but still borrowing heavily from the looks of Alcatel-branded devices from device maker TCL, the Chinese company now tasked with bringing new BlackBerry-branded devices to the market.

A senior TCL executive, Steve Cistulli, shared a 4-second video on Twitter teasing a new BlackBerry smartphone with a physical keyboard hinting at a reveal at the ongoing International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The device is expected to be what has been known for a while under the codename Mercury thus completing the trio of Android-based BlackBerry smartphones the market was expecting as BlackBerry CEO John Chen had promised.

Some of the features of the BlackBerry Mercury may include a rather small (in comparison to the DTEK50 and the DTEK60) 4.5-inch display, a Snapdragon 625 processor backed by the Adreno 506 GPU, 3GB memory and 32GB onboard storage. A 3,400mAh battery that should last for over a day, a fingerprint scanner and Android Nougat goodness are the other rumoured features.

BlackBerry’s performance in the smartphone market was far from impressive in 2016 and the company would be hoping that devices like the Mercury and any other(s) that come after it will go a long way in reversing that.

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Emmanuel writes on mobile hardware, software and platforms.