“Mercury” antegrades into BlackBerry KEYone from TCL

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Overview
Processor

Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625
Octa-core (8x2.0GHz Cortex-A53)
Adreno 506 GPU

Screen Size

4.5 inches IPS LCD
1080 x 1620 (~434 ppi)
Gorilla Glass 4

Memory

3GB RAM

Storage

32 GB (microSD-expandable by up to 2TB)

Camera

12 MP main, f/2.0, 1.55μm Sony IMX378
8 MP front, 84° FoV, 1.125μm

Battery

3,505 mAh

Release Date

February 25th, 2017

Materials

Anodized aluminium with soft-touch polycarbonate

Operating System

Android 7.1 Nougat

About time we turn the key on TCL’s newest phone and rocket off with the company’s newest brand.

The phone that’s been tossed around in rumors and leaks named “Mercury” that never actually existed under such a name at BlackBerry Mobile has emerged two days before MWC 2017 in Barcelona as the BlackBerry KEYone. If you’ve been looking for a phone with a sturdy keyboard and a small screen, this should fit your bill.

The hardware specs on this device are a unique bunch as you can see above. While the phone sits 9.4mm thick, amazingly, XY lengths are more comparable to other smartphones at 149.1 x 72.4mm. The letter buttons — sitting on the 35-key QWERTY grid sitting under the 3:2 display — can be utilized as tap or long-press shortcuts, just like as on the Priv. The spacebar also serves as the fingerprint sensor of the KEYone. Quick Charge 3.0 can take an empty battery up to halfway full in just over 36 minutes.

While the “BlackBerry” name’s on the KEYone, this is TCL’s first whole project with the Waterloo-based company. TCL acted as ODM in making the DTEK50 and DTEK60.

Still, don’t mistake this phone for an Alcatel device. As part of the DTEK security package, the bootstack is doubly protected and the processor is locked with security keys to make sure nothing takes control over a device, on or off. BlackBerry Hub enriches the base Android 7.1 experience with a merged messaging, notifications and inbox feed.

BlackBerry will be working to distribute the device starting in April for around €599, £499 or $549.

Just as an Easter egg, we’d like to acknowledge that the embargoed materials we received included a photoset of the device with filenames starting with “Merc” — it seems that somewhere along the line, the company has adopted the Mercury moniker in some internal capacity.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.