BlackBerry handsets included in TCL's new product portfolio

TCL announced today at CES that it is changing its business model to one consisting of a portfolio of brands including Alcatel and BlackBerry. The portfolio includes different products including the entry-consumer, best-in-class enterprise, connected (IoT) and emerging segments. The first phone to be included will be the latest BlackBerry model which has yet to be unveiled.

TCL says that the new 'Berry will have three core features which are security, productivity and reliability. The handset, which will be previewed at CES, will have "the most complete end-to-end smartphone security available on Android. Other handset offerings to be announced later this year will help TCL address consumer's needs.

TCL and BlackBerry recently agreed to a licensing arrangement which will result in the company handling the design, production, promotion, sales and support of new BlackBerry handsets. The last two BlackBerry branded phones, the BlackBerry DTEK50 and BlackBerry DTEK60 are re-branded TCL handsets. The former is the Alcatel Idol 4 while the latter is the TCL 950.

At the top of this story is the latest information we have on the BlackBerry 'Mercury', which is a video showing off the QWERTY and some of the design. So far, there is no other information about the latest BlackBerry handset to pass along to you.

source: TCL



1. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2369; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Is PA going to post their hands-on with this device? Android Authority and Mobile Syrup both have hands-on articles already.

3. libra89

Posts: 2281; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

OMG going to find those right now, thanks for the heads up

15. emvxl

Posts: 140; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

Thanks for the info - am heading to the other sites now.

2. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Phonescoop also has a hands-on article.

4. libra89

Posts: 2281; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Thank you, going to go look!

16. Ticklemyfancy

Posts: 214; Member since: Oct 09, 2016

Almost every tech-tuber on YouTube has had a hands on

21. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Youtube is the best place to go for hands on.

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 22084; Member since: May 28, 2014

Awesome! TCL is certainly all-in with BlackBerry! Glad to see that TCL is pushing forward with the core features that BlackBerry handsets have always been known for. I believe that we'll also be seeing some of the best marketing for BlackBerry branded handsets that we've seen in years.

6. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2369; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I will say the biggest keyword that stood out to me that I really enjoyed seeing was "reliability". Blackberry's use to always be known to last for years and years under heavy abuse. I think there are a lot of people who automatically assume because it's being made by TCL that it'll be a cheaply made device, but seeing as how they are dedicated to the reliability when it comes to Blackberry branded devices it gives a sense of optimism for the future of the brand.

7. meanestgenius

Posts: 22084; Member since: May 28, 2014

Exactly. With BlackBerry heavily involved with monitoring how the final product turns out, I think that we'll all be pleasantly surprised with how well built these new BlackBerry branded handsets will be.

17. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Used several alcatel product and even my wife had two ( alcatel idol x + and now the alcadel idol 3 5.5 ) and thats brand has almost the lowest return rate per phone sold. They also come with 2 years warranty in Canada. Very good value for the price and reliable phone more than samsung and iphone at least lol.

20. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Alcatel makes the Idol, which is the best budget phone out there. I like that the DTEK60 is based on it since it gives a blackberry phone ffs.

26. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Not all Idols are created equally. The DTEK50 is an Idol 4 and the DTEK60 is an Idol 4S. Many people have confused one for the other.

24. domfonusr

Posts: 1085; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Certainly wishing the best for BlackBerry/TCL, as I am also wishing the best for Nokia/HMD. More choices is better.

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 22084; Member since: May 28, 2014

Strange that there is no pricing, specs or release date mentioned in any of the hands-on that I've read about the Mercury. Not even the official name has been released. But we do know for sure that it's running Android Nougat, and that we will be fully informed about the handset at Mobile World Congress next month. I wonder if they are changing certain specs, like the SoC, in the meantime?

9. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Wishful thinking? I'd be OK with the rumored SD625, but I would like to see something upper-midrange for as much as this is being hyped.

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22084; Member since: May 28, 2014

Could be wishful thinking. Or, it could be that what I'm wondering turns out to be true. Guess we'll find out next month. I'm ok with the SD625 as well, but I'd like to see something with at least a little more horsepower in terms of SoC.

14. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

I reckon BlackBerry primarily had "battery life" in mind for the Mecury... Other BB handsets with horsepower in mind will, of course, feature a flagship SoC.

22. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Hopefully they have pricing in mind because that was an issue with BlackBerry's previous two flagship devices.

29. docdevices

Posts: 87; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

I do believe that pricing won't be an issue for BlackBerry because BlackBerry has nothing to do with the pricing. That privilege now belongs to TCL. However, BlackBerry's last flagship that they did have control of in regards to pricing was the Dtek 60, which was priced below standard pricing for a smartphone containing flagship specs that are comparable to the current flock of flagship smartphones on the market today. And it is the undisputed truth that the Dtek 60 is the current BlackBerry flagship smartphone, despite having a design referenced from the TCL 950.

18. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2369; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

There is supposedly a consumer-driven device they are releasing in 2018. I would expect that to have high-end specifications.

19. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

So you're suggesting this device is intended for business/productivity, while a consumer-oriented device would need higher-end hardware? Smartphones are weird, man.

23. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Not weird at all. The horsepower and high-end graphics are for gaming and media consumption. Business users have different requirements that don't necessitate such high-end hardware. When we do need the horsepower for AutoCAD, Photoshop, etc., we use Win10 tablets (Surface) and/or laptops.

10. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2369; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I've read that these are just "Alpha" devices and that it can change between now and release. And I've also read we won't know the full specs until MWC (at least according to one site with a hands-on). What's interesting is that the actual executives from both TCL/Blackberry when they gave the devices for these hands-on stated "this is the device known as 'Mercury' on the internet". So, my guess is that they may be paying attention to what people online have to say about the product before they make the product final. It's probably a stretch, but I would assume they are paying attention more to what critics are saying than before.

11. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Could they possibly use this month to gauge industry and consumer enthusiasm before they finalize specs? I wonder if they could have a couple of prototypes in the works, based on how they decide to position and price it.

13. meanestgenius

Posts: 22084; Member since: May 28, 2014

I've actually heard the same thing concerning the "Alpha" devices. If true, I hope they do change for the better, not that this won't be a pretty good device without the chance.

25. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

This might be a stretch Dr. Phil, but input from BlackBerry's core customers could also pave the way for an OS10 variant. It's taffy territory, but that device screams Passport Silver Edition Mini.

27. willytbk

Posts: 252; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

The phone looks stunning !

28. Arthurhkt

Posts: 723; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Reading this article make me wonder, will Microsoft humble them self and follow BlackBerry step to journey into the world of Android? With current state of W10M, it is really difficult for them to grab into any of the market share. Even we doesn't know whether Microsoft was still keen enough to continue develop it or not. Microsoft had tons of quality Androids apps now, it will be easier for them to become significant in the mobile market share if they become another Android OEM(provided they don't removed the Google services).

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