New BlackBerry smartphone revealed at CES 2017 has QWERTY keyboard

A new BlackBerry phone may be on the horizon in 2017.

TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd.(TCT), Blackberry’s latest software and brand licensing partner, released two teaser videos of a new smartphone today ahead of CES 2017, which runs from Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas, and the device showcases the most quintessential BlackBerry feature: a physical keyboard.

Steve Cistulli, president and general manager for TCT, North America, tweeted out two teaser videos, one on Jan. 2 and one today, highlighting the phone’s physical attributes.


Details around the newest BlackBerry, codenamed “Mercury,” are sparse, but after testing the device hands-on, is reporting it comes equipped with a fingerprint sensor in the space bar and USB-C connector port.

The Mercury, like previous TCT-made BlackBerry devices such as the DTEK50 and DTEK60, will host an Android operating system with BlackBerry’s specific security customizations, says.

And according to, the new device will be adopting a more regular touchscreen aspect, moving from its usual widescreen 16:9 ratio to a 3:2 ratio display. The site also reports that the screen will measure 4.5-inches diagonally and come with full HD resolution.

Other details of the smartphone will be released at the Mobile World Congress, which begins on Feb. 27 in Barcelona, Spain, according to Cistulli.

BlackBerry announced its manufacturing agreement with TCT on Dec. 15, saying the partnership is meant to accelerate the company’s transition from being a handheld device manufacturer to a security software and services innovator. BlackBerry said in September 2016 that it would no longer continue designing or making its own smartphones.

Under the terms of the agreement, BlackBerry will “license its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets, to TCT, who will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices,” the joint press release said.

BlackBerry remains in control of developing and maintaining its security and software solutions as well as serving its customers, while TCL Communication will take over managing all sales and distribution.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacs
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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