BlackBerry will be launching its smartphone codenamed 'Mercury' at a pre-MWC 2017 event tonight at 7pm CET or 11:30pm IST. The smartphone is expected to be called the BlackBerry DTEK70, and is being touted as the "last phone designed and engineered in-house by BlackBerry". It was earlier showcased by the company at CES 2017 but the company didn't provide specific details about the device at the time. As we prepare ourselves for the smartphone launch, here is a list of what can be expected from BlackBerry's event tonight.
BlackBerry Mercury features
In terms of features, BlackBerry Mercury aka DTEK70's biggest highlight has to be its QWERTY keyboard. Even though BlackBerry was the company that made smartphone keyboards popular, with most phone manufacturers now opting for on-screen keyboards, this could be the last smartphone that features a QWERTY keyboard for a very long time.
Notably, the physical keyboard on BlackBerry Mercury doesn't slide in and out like company's earlier Priv smartphone. As we mentioned, the company did showcase the smartphone at CES 2017, revealing it The company also revealed that the spacebar has a fingerprint sensor built into it, while the keyboard itself has capacitive touch capabilities for scrolling. It will also feature a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfers, and it will run Android Nougat.
BlackBerry Mercury price
There is currently no information available regarding the pricing of the BlackBerry Mercury aka DTEK70 smartphone.
BlackBerry Mercury specifications
The smartphone has been tipped to run Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box and feature a 4.5-inch (1080x1620 pixels) display with pixel density of 420ppi. BlackBerry Mercury aka DTEK70 smartphone is expected to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor.
As per the leaks, BlackBerry Mercury packs 3GB of RAM and comes with 32GB of built-in storage. It is expected to house a 3400mAh battery. The smartphone has further been tipped to sport the same 12-megapixel camera unit with Sony IMX378 camera sensor at the back as seen on the Google Pixel smartphones.
BlackBerry Mercury release date
The BlackBerry Mercury aka DTEK70 smartphone will initially be sold by TCL Communication Technology Holdings (TCT). As per the licensing agreement between BlackBerry and TCL in December last year, TCL holds the right to make and sell BlackBerry-branded smartphones in all countries except India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Notably, these are among the biggest markets for BlackBerry.
Further, TCL Communication Technology Holdings (TCT) confirmed to Gadgets 360 at sidelines of CES 2017 that the smartphone codenamed Mercury won't be launched by the company for Indian market.
However, BlackBerry later announced that the company is looking to partner with more manufacturers and distributors to compete in local space. The company has already tied up with BB Merah Putih to bring BlackBerry-branded phones to Indonesia and said it is looking to tie up with more partners in other parts of the world to sell these smartphones in more markets.
To that end, it earlier this month announced it was extending its partnership with Optiemus Infracom to manufacture and sell future BlackBerry smartphones in India. Previously, the Indian company only had distribution and sales rights for the BlackBerry DTEK50 and DTEK60. The company has yet to confirm if that includes the BlackBerry Mercury smartphone.
There has been no confirmed release date for the BlackBerry Mercury smartphone at this point but is expected to be announced by the company at its launch event tonight.
Budget BlackBerry smartphone?
A recent leak claimed BlackBerry was making a budget smartphone codenamed BBC100-1 for Indonesia. The smartphone is rumoured to pack Snapdragon 425 SoC clocked at 1.4GHz and feature 5.5-inch HD display. The handset is said to pack 4GB of RAM and come with 32GB inbuilt storage. In terms of cameras, the BBC100-1 is rumoured to sport a 13-megapixel rear camera alongside an 8-megapixel front camera. The smartphone is said to support dual-SIM functionality and may make its way to other markets apart from Indonesia. It is further said to pack 3000mAh battery.
TCL BlackBerry Tablet
Interestingly, on MWC 2017 website, BlackBerry's name has been tagged with Tablet Devices as well, as pointed out in a report by PhoneArena. This might indicate that TCL might be manufacturing a BlackBerry tablet as well that can possibly be displayed at their launch event. However, as there has been no leak that indicates the presence of the tablet and because this is a far-fetched assumption, we will have to wait for the event to see if anything happens in this regard.