BlackBerry could be gearing up to launch its last-ever handset after declaring earlier this year that its next mobile handset would be its last. Photos leaked on Weibo recently could show just what the Canadian firm has in store for its loyal fans.
A bold new design
The pictures appear to be of the upcoming Mercury device, says Express.co.uk. The smartphone is equipped with a physical QWERTY keyboard and a 4.5-inch touchscreen. The two photos of the front of the handset show off a bold new design. From the images, it looks the front speaker has been relocated to the top of the handset from the bottom, and it has a proximity sensor and front-facing camera, notes Express.co.uk.
Also it is rumored to run on Android Nougat. These leaked pictures appear to confirm this, showing off the rounded app icons. Based on other rumors related to the new phone, it will feature a 4.5-inch full HD display, an 18-megapixel main camera, an octa-core Qualcomm processor, a 3,200 mAh battery, and 3GB of RAM.
Since there is no way to confirm if the photos posted on the Chinese social networking site are true, they should be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see what the next QWERTY keyboard-equipped device could look like.
Looks similar to the BlackBerry Priv
BlackBerry has been a victim of rapid change in the smartphone industry. The Canadian firm finally caved in last year and released the Priv, its first Android device. It was a bit late though, so the Waterloo-based company moved from developing its own hardware to rebranding existing phones, starting with the Android-based DTEK50.
Last month, CEO John Chen confirmed in an interview that the company will launch one last keyboard smartphone developed fully in-house. Now several pictures of what is believed to be the same phone Chen was talking about appeared on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. The phone looks quite similar to the Priv; however, the QWERTY keypad appears fixed in place. In addition, the navigation buttons seem to be capacitive rather than on-screen, unlike those on the Priv, says Android Police.
The Priv fell short of expectations; hence, we cannot imagine that this smartphone will see much success outside of QWERTY keyboard fans. However, if it is true and this smartphone is actually the last BlackBerry-designed keyboard phone, then it will mark the end of a very long era.