Mobile World Congress 2017 or MWC 2017 officially starts on February 27, but pre-announcements will take place this weekend, which is February 25 and February 26. Today, Blackberry hosted its MWC pre-briefing where it unveiled the new BlackBerry KeyOne smartphone.
The event was live streamed on CrackBerry’s YouTube page, which is the official partner for this event. The launch started at 7:00pm Barcelona time, which was around 11:30pm IST. Now BlackBerry and TCL already gave a first look at this upcoming device at the earlier CES 2017 show in January in Las Vegas. Today’s event revealed the specifications, pricing of the BlackBerry KeyOne smartphone.
Here are the live updates from BlackBerry KeyOne launch event:
End of Live updates.
12.15 am: So BlackBerry KeyOne will be available from April. $549 is the price, which is around Rs 36,000. There’s a new website BlackBerryMobile.com where details will be available.
12.12 am: We’re not hearing about the DTEK app, which is about securing your Android smartphone. BlackBerry KeyOne also ensures that enterprise data is protected. Again nothing radically new.
12.10 am: Get ready for the BlackBerry security bit. Security is built into every layer of the KeyOne. BlackBerry KeyOne will have monthly Android security updates.
12.07 am: BlackBerry KeyOne uses Snapdragon 625 processor. Of course, we already knew this. Yes, this is optimised for battery performance. Has the X9LTE modem, QuickCharge 3.0.
12.05 am: BlackBerry KeyOne has 3505 mAh battery. Apparently they are convinced this is bigger than what you’d find on most other smartphones.
12.03 am: Shortcuts are the highlight of this keyboard, you can assign a particular function to a key. Like say W for weather, F for Facebook.
12.02 am: So now we’re getting a description of the BlackBerry KeyOne’s QWERTY keyboard and how it can be customised. The phone is running Android Nougat 7.1.
11.54 pm: So while it looks like the video remains down, the official name of BlackBerry Mercury as BlackBerry KeyOne is confirmed on the CrackBerry website.
11.53 pm: So it looks like the livestream has died. We’re hoping it will be back up at some point.
11.52 pm: The BlackBerry event has started.
11.36 pm: For those looking to watch the live stream of the event, head over to CrackBerry’s YouTube channel. Below is the live stream video.
11.30 pm: If you go by what we know, the Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB RAM, 12MP rear camera aren’t really that impressive. You already have budget phones like Redmi Note 4 running the same processor. Of course, for BlackBerry the difference lies in the premium build as well the security features, and yes the QWERTY keyboard. But will that be good enough?
11.26 pm: It’s just a few minutes till the BlackBerry Mercury or KeyOne event goes live on YouTube. The specs and features are already out in the open, and we’ll have to wait and see if BlackBerry can surprise us.
10.10 pm: Looks like specifications of the BlackBerry have already gone live on the website ahead of the launch. According to a report on Phonearena, the phone will be called BlackBerry KeyOne.
Specs include: Android 7.1 Nougat on board, a 4.5-inch scratch-resistant with 1620 x 1080-pixel resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. The phone will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core chip along with 3GB RAM and 32GB on-board storage. It will have a 12MP rear camera (Sony IMX378 sensor) with 4K video at 30 fps and f/2.0 lens and an 8MP front camera along with a 3,505 mAh battery and a USB Type-C cable.
10.05 pm: As far as the leaked specifications of the BlackBerry Mercury go it will have a 4.5-inch display and will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. It will have 3GB RAM, 3400 mAh battery, along with an 18MP rear camera, and an 8MP front camera.
10.00 pm: BlackBerry’s event is being live streamed on CrackBerry’s YouTube page. It will start at 11.30 pm IST.
Tomorrow Lenovo Motorola, Nokia-HMD Global, Samsung, and LG will be hosting events where they will launch their upcoming devices. We’ll also have a dedicated live blog for those launches. Devices expected to make a splash at MWC 2017 are: LG G6 flagship phone, the Nokia 6, 5, 3 and Nokia 3310 and these phones are being manufactured and launched by HMD Global. Samsung will be unveiling its new Galaxy Tab, and hopefully revealing the launch date for the Galaxy S8.
Other companies which are expected to make announcements, include Huawei which will launch an international version of Huawei V9 that was earlier unveiled in China; Meizu is also hosting a MWC event. Huawei Watch 2 running on Android Wear 2.0 could also make an appearance at MWC 2017.