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TCL executive sends out 4 second video showing the QWERTY on the BlackBerry Mercury

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for TCL Communication, sent out a tweet yesterday that included four seconds of video showing the QWERTY on the upcoming BlackBerry 'Mercury.' BlackBerry and TCL entered into a licensing agreement that calls for TCL to design, manufacture, promote, distribute, sell and support future BlackBerry models. BlackBerry is now focusing on software and services.

Last month, the TCL executive cited an old Remington typewriter that was apparently the first to offer a 'shift' key, in order to promote the Mercury's appearance at CES. We took that to mean that the new phone will have a game changing physical QWERTY keyboard. And now comes today's 4-second video teaser that shows a fabulous looking QWERTY keyboards with frets.

TCL will be holding a media event at CES this week, and that should allow us to hear all about the new phone and the physical QWERTY. The handset is rumored to feature a 4.5-inch display, powered by the Snapdragon 625 chipset which contains an octa-core CPU, and the Adreno 506 GPU. 3GB of RAM is inside along with 32GB of native storage. A 3400mAh battery should provide long battery life, and a fingerprint scanner is included. Android 7.0 is pre-installed. The final name of the phone could be something other than BlackBerry Mercury since that title was reportedly just a code name.

The phone is supposed to be coming to (at the least) Verizon, and the QWERTY on some renders of the handset seem to match perfectly with the keyboard on the video that TCL's Cistulli tweeted on Monday. Speaking of the QWERTY, check it out yourself by clicking on the video at the top of this story.

source: @SteveCistulli via Crackberry

48 Comments
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posted on 03 Jan 2017, 00:05 1

1. BradyCrack (Posts: 824; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


They should give up on qwerty keyboards.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 00:21 6

2. phldlphn (unregistered)


It's a niche market. It's a mid-range smartphone, not a flagship, so they aren't alienating anyone but providing those that still prefer a physical keyboard a different option.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 06:20 2

11. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


Yup I agree. See this is what I'm talking about. A good, neutral perspective on a blackberry device.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 00:22 3

3. NoToFanboys (Posts: 2927; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Not everyone has the same use case as you, you know.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 06:20

12. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


It's called an opinion.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 19:51 1

41. NoToFanboys (Posts: 2927; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


As is mine, Mr. MyOpinionIsAbsoluteTruth.

posted on 04 Jan 2017, 08:10

44. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


I never said my opinion was absolute truth. Why don't you guys just get over it, I'm far more qualified to give my opinion than some of you are given the amount of devices that I've used over the years.

posted on 04 Jan 2017, 19:35 1

45. NoToFanboys (Posts: 2927; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


"I'm far more qualified to give my opinion"
Kepp dreaming, and keep proving my point.
Also, did you just assume the number of devices that I used over the years? LOL

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 06:34 2

16. MDCHO (Posts: 464; Member since: 28 Jul 2016)


I agree. People have different want and need from others. Very good opinion from you.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 00:31 9

5. meanestgenius (Posts: 16161; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Nothing wrong with something different from the masses.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 06:32 4

15. MDCHO (Posts: 464; Member since: 28 Jul 2016)


Very true. Everyone not want to be the same as everyone else.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 06:50 4

18. meanestgenius (Posts: 16161; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Exactly, MDCHO. There's nothing wrong with differentiation in the smartphone market.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 09:23 2

32. libra89 (Posts: 892; Member since: 15 Apr 2016)


I'm looking forward to it, it's really refreshing to see something different. To be honest, that is one of the biggest reasons I am drawn to it.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 16:15 2

39. meanestgenius (Posts: 16161; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Totally agree. I prefer differentiation over the norm.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 23:49

42. phldlphn (unregistered)


It's not really different since this phone follows BlackBerry's traditional formula. Different compared to other companies, but what someone would expect when they think of BlackBerry. It's very BlackBerry, but let's be honest, Android is the only reason this handset might have a shot. At best it'll have modest sales. The success or failure of the device is dependent on the price.

posted on 04 Jan 2017, 00:17 3

43. docdevices (Posts: 56; Member since: 10 Oct 2016)


I do believe that the gentleman libra89 is referring to different when compared to most of the other smartphones on the market today. With that in mind, while the Mercury is very much a BlackBerry, it is nonetheless different from the rectangular slabs that have become so prevalent today. And, while the Android operating system and proper pricing is what will propel this handset into the hands of consumers and prosumers, the same can be said for every smartphone that isn't running iOS as an operating system, or that isn't named Samsung. This certainly isn't something that's just relegated to BlackBerry.

posted on 05 Jan 2017, 00:25

46. phldlphn (unregistered)


I know that's what he was referring to, I acknowledged it in my second sentence. But BlackBerry used to be the "iPhone" so it isn't so much different as it is dated or more accurate would be to call it classic BlackBerry.

posted on 05 Jan 2017, 08:29 2

47. docdevices (Posts: 56; Member since: 10 Oct 2016)


Classic? Absolutely. BlackBerry smartphones exudes such. Dated? Absolutely not. I wouldn't refer to the innovations that BlackBerry has performed with the physical keyboard, such as creating a capacitive one for their mobile smartphones, nor their abilities to create the most secured version of an Android smartphone, dated.

Regardless of our opinions, the success of any Android smartphone that does not have the name Samsung attached to it is dependent on proper pricing.

posted on 06 Jan 2017, 18:57

48. phldlphn (unregistered)


The style is dated, with half the phone being keyboard, the other half being screen. The Priv would be more along the lines of innovative.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 00:26

4. phldlphn (unregistered)


I just don't see this selling if it's a Verizon exclusive, unless maybe they'll offer it as a prepaid option, but I doubt it. Most people on Verizon will buy iPhone, Samsung, LG, HTC, and usually have no interest in anything else. When I sold Verizon phones, it was always, "So, iPhone or Samsung?"

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 06:22

13. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


I wish blackberry would make their phones universally unlocked just like the iPhone, Nexus, and lately Samsung. Use it on any carrier.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 00:34 6

6. meanestgenius (Posts: 16161; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Now that is one sexy looking pkb! I'm glad that BlackBerry Branded smartphones are still around to offer a pkb handset for those that still want one. Not everyone wants to follow the masses.

Even though it's just a rumor until officially confirmed, I hope that BlackBerry won't go the exclusivity route with Verizon. That would suck, and wouldn't help with getting any increase in sales.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 00:37 2

7. Furbal (unregistered)


Battery life on this should be killer.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 09:24

34. libra89 (Posts: 892; Member since: 15 Apr 2016)


Right?! Also looking forward to that too.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 01:09

8. gigicoaste (Posts: 127; Member since: 21 Feb 2016)


doesn't look like a classic BB keyboard. I hope will perform at least the same as was in previous BB models.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 03:59 2

9. NewroticSlob (Posts: 133; Member since: 09 May 2013)


4 secs?! That's like getting 4 secs of whatever you like! Yep, I like PKB's. I don't have one but am not against them. Anyway, they should have a longer video if they really want to show it off. How about 10 secs? That's not too long and still a teaser. :)

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 05:15 2

10. Subie (Posts: 1318; Member since: 01 Aug 2015)


I wanted more then 4 seconds too. Seeing as how TCL's media event is this week we won't have to wait much longer though :)

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 06:25

14. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


I can tell this is probably not a good device for me. Looks like it's catered towards the ones who are itching for a keyboard device. The Nexus 6P is still bar none the best Android phone on the market and I think it beats the Mercury.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 06:41 4

17. MDCHO (Posts: 464; Member since: 28 Jul 2016)


This phone keyboard look good. Everyone know BlackBerry Mercury is physical keyboard phone. It for people who want physical keyboard phone only. It is not for people who do not like physical keyboard on phone. BlackBerry make best Android phone because of BlackBerry software and they not look like every other phone thanks to physical keyboard.

posted on 03 Jan 2017, 06:55 4

19. meanestgenius (Posts: 16161; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Couldn't have said it better myself, MDCHO. The BlackBerry Mercury was made for pkb enthusiasts such as you and I. Chen said that he had one last in-house designed handset for loyal fans of the company, and he delivered on that promise. And it's great that TCL will still be making pkb handsets after this one. Those not wanting a pkb smartphone should go right past this handset, as it doesn't apply to them. And I agree, BlackBerry Secured Android handsets are the best Android handsets on the market due to BlackBerry's stellar software and support, the great build quality, and the differentiation, like their pkb devices.

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