Next Blackberry phone featuring full QWERTY hardware keyboard and a svelte design to be announced at MWC
For the past three years BlackBerry has been struggling to stay afloat. Having hit quite a few rough patches, the Canadian manufacturer finally gave in and decided to license the BlackBerry brand to TCL. The very last phone made by BlackBerry was supposed to be a device codenamed Mercury, as we reported last week. The handset was expected to go official at CES and it did. Well, sort of, anyway. The Mercury is not even on sale yet and TCL is already teasing another device. The next Blackberry phone featuring full QWERTY hardware keyboard and a svelte design probably will be announced at MWC, at the end of February.
TCL sheds some light on the BlackBerry Mercury and confirms it has another smartphone in the works.
We will be back to the new BlackBerry later, and for now let’s focus on the Mercury. It was supposed to be BlackBerry’s goodbye smartphone, but curiously, it was showcased by TCL. Apparently, the device is nowhere near ready to hit the market, since even it’s official name hasn’t been revealed yet. TCL did, however, have a working prototype and was able to confirm a few rumors.
The Mercury looks pretty much like it was expected to look – it has a candybar design with a big touchscreen, physical QWERTY keyboard below and textured back. The keyboard doubles as touchpad so you will be able to swipe, scroll, flip through websites, etc. without taking your thumbs off the keyboard. This solution will be very useful, especially considering the phone’s design – you would have to have unusually long thumbs to reach the top portion of the screen without dropping the device.
Fingerprint scanner is embedded in the space bar and it does exactly what fingerprint sensors on other phones do, that is it serves to unlock the handset and authorize various operations. The Mercury will be launched with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box with BlackBerry software such as BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry Hub and a DTEK app.
Disappointingly, this is as much as TCL was ready to officially reveal about the Mercury. Unofficially, the phone is said to come with a 4.5-inch Full HD screen, Snapdragon 625 or 821 chip, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. Other rumored features include 16-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front cameras and a large battery.
As for the next BlackBerry phone, the only thing we do know for sure is that it will have BlackBerry’s signature physical QWERTY keyboard and, like BlackBerrys of the past, it will focus on security, productivity and reliability. TCL also mentioned design which is expected to be “svelte.” The next BlackBerry will be unveiled at MWC at the end of February, hopefully in greater detail than the Mercury.
source: Phone Scoop