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BlackBerry Mercury is one of the anticipated devices of this year’s edition of MWC. BlackBerry is promising a return to form with this new handset that combines both modern elements of a smartphone and traditional design and functionality approaches.

While MWC 2017 will be held in February, those that tuned in to ABC’s Last Man Standing sitcom could get a sneaky preview of the device. Tim Allen plays Michael Baxter on the show, and his character was seen handling a BlackBerry Mercury unit in quite a revealing way. The end result was a couple of pretty good looks at the upcoming smartphone, which was already unveiled at CES earlier.

Product placement or just a fan

It is debatable whether or not this was planned product placement or a genuine display of device preference. It is well known that Tim Allen favors BlackBerry devices. He has used several BlackBerry models throughout the show, including the more recent releases such as BlackBerry Passport or Priv. It could just be that he managed to get himself an early copy of the handset for personal use.

Barcelona, Spain, is the place to be on the 26th of February if you are into smart devices. The Mobile World Congress event will kick off on that date and will feature numerous manufacturers and brand new gadget unveilings, including BlackBerry Mercury.

Specs and release

BlackBerry Mercury features a 4.5 inch screen. Even though it’s a lot smaller than what it considered standard today, it comes with a twist. Below the screen is a QWERTY keyboard that also functions as a trackpad. This is a very innovative type of device input, as the company managed to bring its iconic QWERTY design into the touchscreen era. Other specifications include 3 GB RAM, a Snapdragon 625 processing unit and a 3400 mAh battery to keep them all running  The 18 MP lenses on both rear and front panel show that BlackBerry wants to expand beyond the “business phone” image, by providing some practical functionality to its handset.

More details will be made available once MWC kick off and the device will get a proper unveiling. That’s when we will most likely learn about the phone’s release date.