TCL and BlackBerry released the first look of their Android QWERTY smartphone for 2017 dubbed BlackBerry Mercury at the CES 2017. Although the phone was expected to be launched at the event, the company announced it would reserve its launch for the Mobile World Congress to be held in February.
TCL, which is now manufacturing BlackBerry smartphones, showcased a teaser video of the phone. A shorter version of the video was also shared by Steve Cistulli, TCL's president a day earlier on Twitter.
"We look forward to unveiling details around this distinctly different and impressively designed BlackBerry smartphone around the Mobile World Congress time frame next month," said Cistulli at the event.
The exact reason for an MWC launch is not known but it seems like TCL wants to position the phone directly in competition to other mainstream smartphone brands like Samsung and LG who are expected to make some revelations at the MWC. While Samsung may not launch the Galaxy S8 at the event, LG is expected to unveil its G6.
Besides, a launch at an event focused on mobile technology would likely give the product more attention compared to CES that witnesses technological innovations across all categories.
The video shows the Mercury featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, something BlackBerry has been famous for. Although there is no word on the specifications and details on the device, rumours have so far pointed towards a 4.5in display screen powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor having a 4GB RAM capacity. The device is expected to have 3400 mAh battery with an 18MP rear camera, and an 8MP front sensor.
Prior to this, TCL manufactured the DTEK50 and DTEK60 for BlackBerry, both Android phones but possessing touch screen functionality.