BlackBerry Mercury Android Smartphone Confirmed For MWC 2017 Launch

blackberry mercury
BlackBerry isn’t ready to completely throw in the towel on the smartphone market just yet. Even though its market share has fallen to below one percent in recent years, BlackBerry is still soldiering forward with a new Android-based smartphone. First officially unveiled in prototype form at this year’s CES (and leaked weeks prior), BlackBerry confirmed this week that the ‘Mercury’ will launch on February 25th at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Those of you expecting a flagship-level smartphone may be disappointed. The Mercury is rumored to ship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, 3,400 mAh battery and will feature a 4.5-inch display. When it comes to cameras, the TCL-produced smartphone will have an 18MP rear camera and an 8MP selfie camera.

But of course, the most important feature to those that have remained loyal to the BlackBerry brand after all these years is the inclusion of a QWERTY keyboard just below the display. The keyboard supports touchpad and gestures controls, which is a boon for those that would still rather pound away at a physical keyboard than use on-screen software keyboards that overwhelmingly dominate the smartphone space.

Given its mid-range specs and pricing that will likely be close to that of the $299 Blackberry DTEK50, the keyboard will probably be the sole reason for consumers to consider the Mercury in today’s smartphone market. With that being said, it’s commendable that BlackBerry is still catering to its [shrinking] customer base.