The Consumer Electronics Show is just as much an event for previews as it is for outright announcements. TCL, a company that is now in full control over the future of BlackBerry's hardware, made that perfectly clear when it unveiled the Mercury. TCL, and BlackBerry, are heading into 2017 with a device that doesn't have a real name, and is a true callback to the BlackBerry of yesteryear.
The Mercury is an intriguing device, to say the least. It's a design that is immediately recognizable, especially to this who grew up and used BlackBerry devices of old. It's certainly an interesting move, even if it was teased back in 2016. BlackBerry confirmed it wasn't done with hardware keyboards, and it turns out that is indeed the case.
But is the Mercury going to sway anyone who isn't already using a BlackBerry device?
Obviously the Android software on board is a general pull, but that's not anything new at this point. A majority of the features for the upcoming Mercury remain a mystery, even with hands-on time with the device at CES, so it will be interesting to see what TCL announces in March, and what the handset brings to the table.
It isn't like the competition is going to get any easier this year, and I can't help but wonder if, just by design alone, TCL is leaning too much on nostalgia. What we do know about the handset is interesting enough: the fingerprint sensor is right there in the space bar, which is a pretty cool idea.
The preference of a hardware keyboard will obviously be part of the equation. I'm not entirely sure that I could ever go back to one, but with TCL and BlackBerry working to make it function similar to a touchscreen, with that ability to scroll through items on the screen, if you prefer the physical feedback, it's a nice bridge between hardware and software.
Will it work, though? How does the Mercury look to you? Depending on how the rest of the specs pan out, will you consider it for your next handset? Let me know!