MWC 2017: BlackBerry Mercury detailed, renamed

BlackBerry KEYone,BlackBerry Mercury

Following its first appearance at CES 2017, the BlackBerry Mercury has officially been detailed in Barcelona. But the device has also been renamed, now being dubbed the BlackBerry KEYone.

The TCL-produced smartphone, running Android 7.1, is the first under a new licensing strategy by BlackBerry.

Otherwise, it offers a 4.5-inch 1620×1080 display, touch-sensitive hardware keyboard, fingerprint scanner and “convenience key” for customisable shortcuts.

Other notable specifications include a frugal but not quite heavyweight Snapdragon 625 chipset, 3GB RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, USB Type C and a large 3505mAh battery (BlackBerry claims quick charging to 50% in 36 minutes).

The camera experience also looks set to be an upgrade over the BlackBerry Priv, featuring a 12MP f/2.0 main camera and an 8MP f/2.2 selfie camera.

The Priv offered an 18MP main camera, but it’s worth noting that the new handset is using the same Sony IMX378 sensor seen in the critically acclaimed Pixel. Additionally, the KEYone’s 8MP selfie shooter should destroy the Priv’s measly 2MP front-facing snapper.

What about price and release date? Well, BlackBerry TCL confirmed that the phone “will sell at or under €599 EUR/£499 GBP/$549 USD once it becomes available in April”.



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