TCL aims to keep the BlackBerry brand up and running in the market as it prepares to introduce an all-new Android smartphone in the coming days. It is expected that the upcoming smartphone will be called BlackBerry Uni, and could possibly be unveiled at MWC 2018, which kick starts on February 26.
Last year, details about an unnamed BlackBerry KEYOne successor surfaced on the web. Now, it appears that device will be called BlackBerry Uni. According to Digital Trends, the smartphone could be released early to mid-2018. One of the highlights of the BlackBerry Uni will be its retractable physical keyboard.
In the past, a patent related to the BlackBerry Uni surfaced online and based on that, the smartphone could appear identical to the BlackBerry Priv which was launched over two years ago. Similar to the Priv, the BlackBerry Uni is speculated to feature a curved touchscreen display, along with the physical keyboard for added functionality.
Based on the leaked patent, the smartphone could come with a 5.5-inch display, and feature a center flush camera. The report says that the camera on the BlackBerry Uni will be upgraded, and may sit below the keyboard slider. This will give it two lenses, one when the keyboard is slid in, and when exposed, two sensors will be available. The patent lists several different auxiliary lens possibilities, so it is believed that there will be accessory lenses that can be detached. If camera sensors are indeed placed in such a fashion, we can also expect them to work together as a dual-camera setup.
In terms of software, the BlackBerry Uni is expected to ship with Android 8.0 Oreo. However, it may soon upgrade to version 8.1 soon after the release. The standard BlackBerry suite of productivity apps is also likely to be included.
Last year, specifications of the smartphone were revealed through a Geekbench report. Based on that, the BlackBerry Uni could be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC with 6GB of RAM. It could either pack 32GB or 64GB of default storage, indicating it could be a mid-range smartphone.