New BlackBerry smartphones (made by TCL) officially coming to CES 2017

New BlackBerry smartphones (made by TCL) officially coming to CES 2017

TCL, BlackBerry's new hardware partner, today announced that next generation BlackBerry smartphones will be officially showcased at CES 2017 (January 5 - 8). According to the company, CES 2017 will see it "unveil an evolutionary first in the mobile industry, which will include the addition of the new BlackBerry brand of smartphones."

While there are no details on what the upcoming BlackBerry handsets will bring, chances are that one of them features a QWERTY keyboard. This QWERTY-equipped device could be the rumored BlackBerry Mercury, a mid-range handset featuring a Snapdragon 625 processor, a 4.5-inch 720p display, 3 GB of RAM, and a 3400 mAh battery. The phone should run Android 7.0 Nougat (with BlackBerry-specific software and security).

Right now, it's not clear exactly when and where the new BlackBerry smartphones will be available to buy, but it's probably safe to assume that they're going to be released in the US at some point.

What do you expect to see from TCL and BlackBerry?

source: Press release

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145 Comments

1. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1337; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Nice to hear Rooting for BB to have at least a presence in the market.

2. Subie

Posts: 2275; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I thought the Blackberry Mercury was supposed to be BB's last in house designed phone. Florin, are you suggesting that it may be a TCL design instead?

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

That's what I thought unless they're partnering with TCL like Google did with the Pixel.

21. Subie

Posts: 2275; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

That's definitely possible and it would still be a Blackberry design then too.

3. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

If the above specs are true, I'd expect no price tag over $250. Otherwise, like the Blackberry Priv, it'll just be too hard to justify compared to the competition at similar price point...

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 21354; Member since: May 28, 2014

Considering the price of the two DTEK phones that BlackBerry released, I believe that this next qwerty handset will be priced closer to the DTEK50, which is the least expensive of the two.

13. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I wonder why DTEKs don't say "Blackberry" on their 'foreheads'... The Priv does... Same goes to Blackberry's ill fated Z series... Now, DTEKs are brilliant smartphones, no doubt... But why they lack the Blackberry signature logo at the front is beyond me... Its like Rolls Royce hood ornament... It seems insignificant to many, but no Rolls would be Rolls without one, at least to me...! Anyhow, I'm going to scratch my head now... G'Day!

14. meanestgenius

Posts: 21354; Member since: May 28, 2014

The DTEK line of smartphones are basically the Idol 4 and the TCL 950. The design was already done, and BlackBerry slapped their software and security in them.

22. Subie

Posts: 2275; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Yet BB did manage to get TCL to give them a custom back(dtek50) as well as their logo stamped on the backs of those phones too. I actually prefer the clean look of the fronts of those phones without any writing on them. The BB logo on the back with no other branding looks a little classier to me. Apple does the same with the iPhone and in my humble opinion it just works.

24. meanestgenius

Posts: 21354; Member since: May 28, 2014

I prefer the just the BlackBerry logo on the back as well.

5. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Honestly those spec's alone aren't worth it. I can probably assume it will be charged the usual blackberry premium price putting it out of competition like the priv was.

23. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3089; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Both DTEK50 and DTEK 60 are very competitively priced for their respective market segments. In fact, for what they offer, they're downright cheap. Forget specs, a secure Android experience is worth the price of admission. I had the Priv for well over a year and it was rock solid so in hindsight, it was worth the price. You can't shop for a Rolex with a Kmart budget.

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

The DTEK phones are priced accordingly, but the priv IMO was too high from an entry point of view. If they had started out small and worked their way up to the Priv or maybe offered a slightly less expensive model I could reason that they would have done a little better.

29. phldlphn unregistered

The Priv was BlackBerry's creation, that's why it was priced the way it was. BlackBerry sold "BlackBerry" for phones to TCL. BlackBerry will not be pricing or doing anything except providing its Android software and services to these devices.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 21354; Member since: May 28, 2014

Looking forward to CES 2017. For those clamoring about price, both the DTEK50 and DTEK60 (both designed by TCL) were priced reasonably, especially the DTEK60, which offered a great design, flagship specs, stellar software and support, and is at about $200 less than today's high end flagships.

9. MDCHO

Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

Very true. Dtek phones by BlackBerry have good price, especially Dtek 60. I just buy Dtek 60 a few days ago. Really great smartphone that gives awesome bang for buck. I know you prefer pkb smartphone by BlackBerry, but you should get Dtek 60, Meanestgenius. You will love it.

17. meanestgenius

Posts: 21354; Member since: May 28, 2014

I've been hearing and reading nothing but good things about the DTEK60. I am heavily leaning towards purchasing one. Besides, I've owned both the BlackBerry Z10 and Z30 for over a year respectively, with no issues with using their vkb's.

10. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

CES2017 gonna be lit for BlackBerry smartphones. TCL looks like they'll be doin' the damn thing wit' BlackBerry smartphones! Think I might fly out this year to peep the action.

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 21354; Member since: May 28, 2014

Nice! Let me know how things are if you decide to to go!

7. libra89

Posts: 2221; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Looking forward to hearing about that Mercury phone!

11. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3090; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Looks like CES this year is gonna be great. Can't wait.

12. GreenMan

Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Why people still favor physical keyboards, I wonder... Now don't get me wrong. I used to have a Blackberry Bold 2 which the company gave me. And I quite liked the physical QWERTY. When I got my Nexus, I found the virtual keyboard quite weird initially... But afer about a month or so, I got used to it... And now, I'm just as fast on the virtual keyboard as I was on the physical keyboard, if not 'considerabily' faster...! Thing about us humans is that we don't give newcomers a chance... Obama still miss his 'berry, so does Miss Kardashian and Mrs. Clinton who are quite open about their love of physical keyboards... But I think that they haven't tried virtual keyboards, yet...! I'm a hipster... But there are a few things I don't look back at... 2-Strokes, Carburretors, VCRs and physical keyboards...! But of course, feel free to disagree... G'Day!

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 21354; Member since: May 28, 2014

To assume that people who favor physical keyboards over virtual ones have never tried them is false. There are people that just find it easier and more comfortable to use pkb's. Why do you think the hybrid or physical keyboard attachments exist? People have preferences, plain and simple. Why do some people still prefer sub-5 inch phones when larger screened ones are now so slim that they fit in your pocket easily? Why some people prefer motorcycles to cars? It's called personal preference.

16. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2254; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I hope they meant the plural smartphones and not just a smartphone, because it would be very interesting to see at least a couple of new Blackberry devices at CES. I'm patiently waiting to see what they offer because I'm highly interested in replacing my Classic that I use on the side with something else. On another note, TCL/Alcatel also bought out the Palm branding years ago from HP. I know this is a longshot idea, but I would be interested in seeing a fused Palm/Blackberry device. The Pre was one of the greatest smartphones back in the day and Palm was also known for keyboard-wielding devices.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 21354; Member since: May 28, 2014

The Palm Pre was a sweet device! I had one years ago, and was extremely disappointed when Palm went out of business. A fused BlackBerry/Palm device would be awesome!

20. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3089; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Well, they did brand some of their budget devices "Pixi" and they had nothing in common with the Palm Pixi. I still own a Pre 2 and a Pre 3 and it's no secret that I'm a webOS lover for life. The BBOS 10 and Playbook OS borrow HEAVILY from webOS with their gestures and active frames. It's no wonder I moved to BlackBerry so easily and have stuck with it.

26. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I remember the Pre. Then I remember wanting to kill it at the time. WebOS was awesome, sucked that it died but the Pre and the Pixi were awful. Spec and design wise. I still remember how cluttered and awkward the keyboard was.

27. KingSam

Posts: 1346; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

I'd say $300

43. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

like always they will fail with the pricing...

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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