Just last week, BlackBerry and its new hardware partner, TCL had confirmed that the next generation BlackBerry smartphones are all set to be unveiled at the CES 2017, early in January 2017.
Though there are no official details about these forthcoming handsets, there have been reports suggesting that one of them could probably be the BlackBerry Mercury, bearing the model number BBB100, which is a smartphone running on Android 7.0 Nougat, with a QWERTY keyboard, a 4.5-inch touchscreen-enabled display, and 3 GB RAM.
According to a tweet by Roland Quandt, who has been providing reliable and accurate information about smartphone releases in the past, the BlackBerry Mercury will supposedly be released in the US, exclusively by Verizon Wireless. Sadly, there has not been any word yet about when the handset might hit shelves, though it is expected to happen in the first half of 2017. It is almost sure that the device might be offered unlocked. Verizon is selling the BlackBerry Priv also currently, so the Mercury will become the second Android-based smartphone from BlackBerry.
Specs of the Blackberry Mercury
It was not very long ago that several images of the BlackBerry Mercury had allegedly shown up. However, according to reports, the authenticity of these pictures cannot be assured of, at least not at this point in time. If rumor has it, the new Blackberry Mercury seems to be a mid-range smartphone. Apart from having a 4.5-inch touch-enabled display screen with a 2,560 x 1,440 Quad HD curved edge and a hardware QWERTY keyboard, the smartphone is expected to sport a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, a fingerprint scanner that has been integrated into the space bar, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage space, and a pretty large 3400 mAh battery. There is also a microSD expansion slot, in case the user needs to further expand the storage space. The smartphone will run powered by Android 7.0 Nougat. Just below the display screen, the phone will feature the classic non-sliding keyboard from the likes of the other Blackberry handsets, namely the BlackBerry Curve and Bold, unlike the Blackberry Priv, which has a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard. There is no information out regarding the capabilities of the camera.
BlackBerry to Unveil New Phones at CES 2017
Blackberry is expected to make a big splash at the CES 2017 event that is to be held in Las Vegas by launching a couple of new self-branded handsets. Based on the leaked images of the Blackberry Mercury, the smartphone will feature the iconic physical QWERTY keyboard, a much-loved feature of the loyal BlackBerry fans which reminds them of the many former flagship smartphones from the company, unlike the recently released BlackBerry DTEK60.
Exclusive to Verizon at Launch
A new tweet from Roland Quandt revealed that the BlackBerry Mercury will come with a model number of BBB100 and is expected to be released by Verizon in the U.S. Though it is not 100 percent clear if the smartphone will be offered exclusively by Verizon, but considering that the fact that the BlackBerry Priv was exclusive to AT&T at release before it made its way to the other U.S-based carriers, the chances are high that Verizon may get the bragging rights on the new BlackBerry Mercury.