BlackBerry Mercury Surfaces, Might Have Hardware Keyboard

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Canadian software company and handset manufacturer started selling BlackBerry-branded Android handsets last year with the introduction of the PRIV. This was followed earlier this year by the DTEK50. The PRIV, showing above, comes with a slider keyboard chassis and BlackBerry's take on Google Android, which is a near-stock implementation of the software. The DTEK50 is an all-touchscreen Android smartphone which, again, uses Android as modified and hardened by BlackBerry. More recently, we have seen a new BlackBerry preparing a flagship device, the DTEK60, which has yet to be officially launched. This makes three smartphones that have either been launched or have all but been revealed and today, we've news that a new, fourth model, has been tested on GeekBench.

This new model carries the model designation BBB100-1 or the BlackBerry Mercury. From what can be seen, the BlackBerry Mercury has mid-range hardware: it's based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset paired up with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 is an interesting chipset from Qualcomm as it's based around eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 cores with a maximum clock speed of 2.0 GHz, plus the Adreno 506 GPU. However, the chipset is constructed at the 14nm process size, which brings about some important power consumption and heat production benefits. Furthermore, the BlackBerry Mercury is running Android 7.0 Nougat as tested according to the leaked benchmark. The combination of a power efficient, mid-range chipset plus Google's battery-optimized Android 7.0 Nougat could make the BlackBerry Mercury an interesting mid-range device. The device is also believed to have a 4.5-inch, 720p resolution display with an aspect ratio of 4:3, which sounds very much as though the BlackBerry Mercury will also come with a hardware keyboard – something that should interest BlackBerry fans from yesteryear. Other rumors also point towards the BlackBerry Mercury coming with a 3,400 mAh rechargeable battery and an 18MP rear camera.

Unfortunately, it's still unknown how far along the development cycle the BlackBerry Mercury is. With BlackBerry still yet to launch the DTEK60, it may be some weeks of even months before the new Mercury is ready for an announcement. However, the holiday season is coming up, which is traditionally an important time of year for smartphone sales. Considering this, it is possible that the new BlackBerry Mercury is close to an official release.

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