BlackBerry might be beaten and bruised, but the proud Canadian company isn’t going out without a fight. And for this latest round, they’re calling back an old friend, tried and true. For the upcoming BlackBerry DTEK70, apparently codenamed “Mercury,” BlackBerry has a physical QWERTY keyboard with a hidden weapon in the space bar.

Following up on the cheaper DTEK50 released earlier this year and the more powerful DTEK60 launched just a couple weeks ago, we are now getting what seems to be our first look at the logically named DTEK70. These leaked slides should naturally be taken with a couple grains of salt, of course.

Based on what we can see, the new BlackBerry won’t get the slider form factor of the Priv to reveal the keyboard. Instead, it’ll be more like the Passport, except nowhere near as square. If anything, it looks a little too elongated. Below the 4.5-inch touchscreen are what appear to be a set of three Android soft buttons. Below that is the full QWERTY keyboard. But there’s even more than meets the eye here.

Here's the BlackBerry DTEK70 "Mercury" with QWERTY

You may or may not recall that BlackBerry was recently awarded a patent for integrating a fingerprint reader into the space bar. That feature looks to be making its debut in the DTEK70. The idea, as you can read from the faux quote above, authenticate yourself without removing your thumbs from the keyboard. Just keep typing out those tweets and emails and payment details as you go.

It’s not that bad of an idea, honestly, but I’m not sold on this extra long form factor. If the DTEK70 Mercury is indeed the same phone that popped up on GeekBench last month, then we should expect Android 7.0 Nougat, a Qualcomm 2.02GHz octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 3,400mAh battery, and an 18MP main camera.


It could be compelling, but I have a feeling it won’t be cheap. And in this increasingly crowded and competitive market, BlackBerry is going to continue struggling with carving out some market share. At least their phones don’t explode, I guess.

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