BlackBerry will be unveiling its new “Mercury” device, which carries the DTEK70 label, on February 25th at the Mobile World Congress 2017, Barcelona. The new BlackBerry Mercury is another BlackBerry device equipped with a QWERTY keyboard and running BlackBerry’s take on the Android platform. Thanks to various leaks and reports over the last few months, we know a fair deal about the new BlackBerry device: the new BlackBerry will be based around a combination of a 4.5-inch, 4:3 aspect ratio touchscreen of unknown resolution and a fixed physical QWERTY style keyboard. This keyboard includes a fingerprint sensor embedded on the space bar and the whole unit uses BlackBerry’s touch-sensitive input system, meaning customers are able to treat the keyboard as a trackpad. There will be a USB Type-C port on the side and a 3.5mm headphone port on the top. A number of reports have given the BlackBerry Mercury a mid-range chipset, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 being mentioned, which could be backed up by 3 GB of RAM. The main rear camera is expected to be an 18MP unit and there will be a 3,400 mAh battery, which promises respectable longevity given the relatively small size of the screen.
As far as software, we can expect the device to run Android 7.0 Nougat along with BlackBerry’s specific touches added to the software. This includes hardening certain aspects of the handset to make it much harder to compromise, together with a more robust approach to device security compared with stock Android. BlackBerry device also include a number of BlackBerry’s customized applications, such as the BlackBerry Hub, which is a means of collating all messages, emails, calls and text messages in the one place.
The BlackBerry Mercury is likely to be pitched to enterprise and big business customers in a similar fashion to the BlackBerry Classic, one of the last BlackBerry devices produced running BlackBerry 10. The BlackBerry Classic also has a smaller-than-typical touchscreen paired up with front facing QWERTY keyboard, combined with mid-range specifications. The new BlackBerry DTEK70 Mercury may also appeal to “prosumers” too, or those customers with fond memories of the older BlackBerry devices (or more likely, the hardware keyboards). Unfortunately, at this time neither BlackBerry nor TCL is saying anything about the underlying hardware or software, other than confirming the device will be shown off on February 25th.