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Do these pictures show off the QWERTY equipped BlackBerry Mercury?

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Do these pictures show off the QWERTY equipped BlackBerry Mercury?
The last two BlackBerry handsets, both powered by Android, are the DTEK50 and the DTEK 60. The pair are named after the BlackBerry DTEK Android security app that debuted on the BlackBerry Priv. The DTEK 50 is a re-branded, modified version of the Alcatel Idol 4. The DTEK60 is based on the TCL 950, a phone that was unveiled by Alcatel parent TCL in September.

The next new 'Berry will supposedly have the name BlackBerry Mercury. It is rumored to be the last BlackBerry handset with a physical QWERTY keyboard to be developed in-house. Images said to show off this device surfaced today on weibo. The pictures, if legit, suggest that the phone will strongly resemble the BlackBerry Passport.

Less square than the Passport, the form factor resembles a traditional looking smartphone with a QWERTY that borrows generously from the Passport. And while we can't be sure that the images of the phone are real, we do believe that what is real is the demand by the BlackBerry faithful for another Android powered model sporting a physical keyboard.

Back in October, the BlackBerry Mercury appeared on Geekbench with the model number BBB100-1. A Snapdragon 625 chipset powered the phone, which carried an octa-core SoC with a 2.02GHz clock speed for the test. 3GB of RAM was inside along with 32GB of internal storage. A 4.5-inch screen (same size as the display on the Passport) featured a resolution of 720 x 1280. Keeping the lights on was a 3400mAh battery. An 18MP camera was found on back with a 8MP front-facing shooter. Android 7.0 was pre-installed.

We do recommend that this story be taken with a grain or two of salt.


Do these pictures show off the QWERTY equipped BlackBerry Mercury?
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source: weibo via Crackberry

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posted on 03 Dec 2016, 04:37 4

1. Bondurant (Posts: 544; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


looks interesting enough to be my next phone if it was more powerful.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 22:45 3

27. midge27 (Posts: 39; Member since: 19 Oct 2014)


625 is a pretty good chipset. Designed to conserve battery instead of draining it.

Ontop of the keyboard being a trackpad and a space key fingerprint scanner it allows users to add up to 35 customisable hotkey shortcuts that perform tasks within apps from the home screen.

In other words it'll be 2-3 times faster than any other android/ios device on the market. Compromise is viewing area for media consumption.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 04:51 6

2. patrioticwarrior (banned) (Posts: 134; Member since: 09 Nov 2016)


Blackberry please just keep the price reasonable.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 12:13 5

21. meanestgenius (Posts: 15409; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I think they will, considering the prices on their DTEK smartphones.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 05:27

5. ibend (Posts: 6450; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


rebrand from what?
didnt they just gave up making hardware?

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 11:04 4

16. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1531; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


This wouldn't be a rebrand. The DTEK50 and DTEK60 were both based off reference designs by Alcatel/TCL. This would be the last phone that is actually designed in-house like the Priv, Passport, and Classic were.

And they are now licensing the brand and working with manufacturers to build their product. They still maintain control over what their brand goes on.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 05:51 1

6. GreenMan (Posts: 1724; Member since: 09 Nov 2015)


Ah, yes... A successor of the long dead Blackberry™ Bold™... Now with Android™... Sleek and lovely, though the hardware is a tad on the slower side...

Yes, I quite like it... It looks lovely and the buttons seems nice and big, perfect for my big paws...

But...

Do we really need a physical keyboard now that we've a TON of swipe keyboards with some even have fairly accurate speech to text converters built-in...?

I know, Blackberry™ is trying to differentiate itself from the rest of The Andorid™ herd... But is it really necessary...?

Oh well, eh?

G'Day!™

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 06:42 1

11. aegislash (Posts: 938; Member since: 27 Jan 2015)


I don't really think BlackBerry is trying to *differentiate* themselves from the rest of the Android herd, because BlackBerry has always had a keyboard. Yeah there are a few keyboardless models, but BlackBerry does physical keyboards well, so it wouldn't make sense for them to abandon something that they're so good at.

Granted, I never used the physical keyboard on my old Priv, mainly because I grew to dislike having to slide the screen up...but this leaked device is one sexy piece of tech. I'd easily consider one if it turns out to be real.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 05:59 1

7. Eraman (Posts: 141; Member since: 13 Dec 2015)


Nice to see that but I think that the price must be less than 400$ and BlackBerry have to spend some money in advertising and make the phone available globally (I prefer to see that Shop.blackberry.com shipping worldwide for free). And that's how can BlackBerry sell this phone in better way

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 06:37

9. SupermanayrB (Posts: 801; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


A smartphone sporting a QWERTY keyboard? Awesome.................if you're into feeling like it's 2009.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 06:41

10. Zeeya (Posts: 325; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


Even it has a keyboard.. 4,5inch is a joke. Another fail from BlackBerry.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 22:51 2

28. midge27 (Posts: 39; Member since: 19 Oct 2014)


0.1 of an inch smaller screen than the iphone 7. The qwerty offers a much bigger viewing area while typing.

Virtual keyboards waste a lot of screen real estate which makes it hard to review content while typing.

The weakness of this device will be watching videos. Othern than that it will be unrivalled at performing a phones primary functions.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 07:51

12. krystian (Posts: 410; Member since: 16 Mar 2016)


I wonder if people who use qwerty keyboards have ever tried adapting to using swiping style keyboards like swiftkey. I find that they are so good and fast that I haven't done any thumb based typing in years. I just wouldn't want to sacrifice the screen space.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 22:58 2

29. midge27 (Posts: 39; Member since: 19 Oct 2014)


Yes. Have tried. Virtual keyboards are slow, innacurate and don't allow for hotkey navigation or keyboard shortcuts. Eg. 'N' for next 'P' for previous, 'T' for top, 'B' for bottom, 'S' for search, 'R' for reader mode etc, ontop of that the keyboard is capacitive now, doubles as a trackpad, has a space key finger print sensor and allows users to add homescreen hot key shortcuts that perform tasks within apps after only a single touch. BlackBerry's are extremely fast when used by competent owners. They're in a league of their own at performing a phones primary tasks.

posted on 04 Dec 2016, 03:43 1

30. djinn (Posts: 14; Member since: 04 Mar 2014)


Yes. And I have been painfully doing so for the last 5 years! Some people just could not type on glass- hit wrong letters half the time that spellchecker couldn't be of help (in fact it makes the experience worse). And using 2 languages makes it a nightmare even if you download language packs on these keyboard apps (the dictionary for my primary language on these apps are terrible!).
I typed this on my laptop and it took me only 1 min. On my touchscreen phone it would probably take 5-10 minutes.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 09:22

13. JcHnd (Posts: 130; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


The only BlackBerry I need is the Priv 2nd gen... better specs and camera and PLEASE a fingerprint sensor, the design looks really good but it still needs that specs!

Or maybe this one... if the price is right! :)

posted on 04 Dec 2016, 12:53

32. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


And it needs to be universally unlocked.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 09:44

14. torr310 (Posts: 1042; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


I don't need the physical keyboard but I need those three buttons to be physical on the bottom of screen.

I value Blackberry not going with the trend to go all touch screen. Even Samsung and Apple will get rid of the physical home button in the future phones. I feel sad.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 11:37 7

17. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1531; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


First off, let me just go ahead and mention that this phone is not aimed for everyone. It's not even aimed at the majority of people. It's aimed for that small niche in the market that still appreciate a good physical keyboard, want to use the same popular apps everyone else uses, and appreciate long battery life and productivity. So, for those of you clicking on a Blackberry article, claiming already that "Blackberry failed again" for producing a physical keyboard phone, I'm not sure what you expected. In fact, I don't know why you would even click on this article. Blackberry has ALWAYS been about physical keyboards. If you don't like it, there's the DTEK50 and DTEK60 that are both slab phones with no physical keyboard. The people who are commenting with that mindset are people who wouldn't pick up a Blackbery and probably have never used one. For those that have, they know what it's like to pick up a Blackberry Classic and use it's keyboard. It's not like any other keyboard phone. It's why even I keep coming back to use it from time to time because it's so refreshing to type on.

With that being said, I am liking this phone a lot. It looks like the Passport and Classic combined which is a good thing.

And for those who are saying "Swype is better", "Physical keyboards suck", etc. I think if you picked up a Blackberry keyboard device you will see there is a difference. It's not the same as the keyboard you've probably used on some generic name device that felt lackluster.

There is a reason why people like Ryan Seacrest tried to make a Blackberry keyboard for the iPhone.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 11:48 5

19. meanestgenius (Posts: 15409; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Couldn't have said it better myself, Dr. Phil. As always, your posts are level-headed, well thought-out, and bring reason to the table. I wish more individuals that posted comments here, and especially in other OEM/OS based articles, were as reasonable and level-headed as you.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 12:14 2

23. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 2016; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Dr. Phil, I will tell you like I've told Meanest many times before. The trolls who click on BlackBerry articles secretly wish their OEM of choice produced quality handsets like BB. Stop wasting your time trying to evangelize to these ignoramuses.

I love the 3:2 aspect ratio they've chosen and if there's one thing I would've like to have seen is the tool belt from the Classic. Nothing beats physical send/end buttons and the glorious trackpad.

posted on 04 Dec 2016, 12:53

31. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


Great post, Dr. Phil. You are another respectable blackberry user who keeps it real. You're not in the face of everyone who says whatever.

I'm not really a PKB user as I feel it adds unnecessary bulk to a device. I do think BlackBerry should license it and make keyboard cases for other devices as they might make a killing.

posted on 04 Dec 2016, 14:52 2

33. djinn (Posts: 14; Member since: 04 Mar 2014)


Thank you! People who don't like PKB's have no business here! They already have well, ALL f#%ng phones out there having all-touch! Apple, Samsung, HTC, Sony, etc, etc! Selfish a55holes shooting down a PKB phone badly needed by some people!

posted on 04 Dec 2016, 16:04 1

34. meanestgenius (Posts: 15409; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Exactly. People who don't like pkb's need not even click the article and waste the space. +1.

posted on 03 Dec 2016, 12:00 4

20. meanestgenius (Posts: 15409; Member since: 28 May 2014)


As Dr. Phil said above, this phone isn't for everyone. It's aimed at a niche group. BlackBerry promised one last "in-house" designed, physical keyboard device, and they're delivering on that promise. Don't like it? Don't buy it. It really is that simple. They're are plenty of all-touch screen slabs out there to satiate your desires, including the BlackBerry DTEK50 and DTEK60. I mean, seriously, why click the article if you don't like physical qwerty or BlackBerry phones in the first place? Don't waste your time or the "digital space". And for the record, the physical qwerty equipped BlackBerry PRIV has "Swype" capabilities as well, and the awesome "flick-up" gesture, of which the BlackBerry Passport possess the latter.

BlackBerry makes (always has) the best, most innovative physical keyboards for a smartphone, and that's why there is still a demand for them, niche or not. Those that don't want one need not even bother to click the article. It's a brisk, Saturday afternoon. Go live life.

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