As previously reported, TCL has taken over in creating BlackBerry hardware. BlackBerry itself is no longer producing smartphones, as noted in the Fall by the company’s own CEO. Dating back to mid-2016, we’ve been hearing rumors surrounding an Android-powered BlackBerry handset made by TCL code-named ‘Mercury’. We’ve even seen leaks of the supposed device including a full QWERTY keyboard in addition to software navigation keys. It took till CES 2017 to finally obtain some more info on this device, but we finally have it for you.
TCL is at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada and earlier this week they made an announcement having to do with the so-called ‘BlackBerry Mercury’. The company confirmed the existence of an Android-powered BlackBerry smartphone, but denied the code-name ‘Mercury’ as being related.
TCL noted in its announcement that the upcoming handset lacks in its readiness for the prime time, and will be fully unveiled at a later date. TCL gave us few details on the handset, and only select media got to go hands-on with a prototype of the upcoming device. Fortunately for us, some images along with a video teaser had been released on social media, giving away some details. The official name of the device and much of its specifications remain a secret for now.
The teaser reveals the device’s design, which includes the rumored keyboard as well as a fingerprint scanner embedded beneath the space bar. Also present are the three Android nav keys for your back, home and multi-tasking controls. The exterior of the device points out a USB Type-C port for charging as well as a premium body made of what appears to be metal and glass. Android 7.0 Nougat has also been confirmed according to sources, and will be pre-loaded.
The TCL BlackBerry device is expected out near the middle of 2017, with a full unveiling said to happen at MWC 2017 in late February.
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