BlackBerry Mercury shown in leaked snaps

BlackBerry MercuryChinese social networking platform, Weibo, has played host to a series of images which appear to show the new BlackBerry Mercury, also known as the DTEK70, in some detail.

The device is set to run the Android operating system, but like traditional BlackBerry smartphones it will come with a physical QWERTY keypad.

Insiders believe that it will be launched in the first half of 2017 and could well be the final ever BlackBerry to come with a keyboard, since this design has long since faded out of popularity.

In terms of specifications, the phone will pack a modern multicore chipset from Qualcomm clocked at 2.0GHz, a solid 3GB of RAM and standard storage space of 32GB, according to GSM Arena.

The presence of the keyboard means that the display will have a 3:2 aspect ratio, setting it apart from the usual widescreen setup that most modern mobiles adopt.

Fans of BlackBerry have always argued that a physical keyboard makes it easier to type quickly and with greater accuracy. But improvements to autocorrect have meant that typing on a touchscreen is hardly a chore and as a result, the Mercury could appeal to a fairly small niche in the marke