BlackBerry Mercury could borrow one of Google Pixel’s best features

The BlackBerry Mercury could have serious snapping potential if a new report is to be believed.

Tech journalist Roland Quandt has done some digging in BlackBerry camera files, and appears to have confirmed that the upcoming BlackBerry Mercury smartphone will use Sony’s fairly new IMX378 image sensor in the camera. We haven’t been able to confirm this however, so take the claim with due caution.

 In Quandt’s tweet, he wrote: “Proof for my earlier tweets: BlackBerry ‘Mercury’ BBB100 with 12MP Sony IMX378 rear cam, Samsung S5K4H8/Omnivision OV8856 8MP front cam.”

He also added that the rear camera will have an f/2.0 aperture, while the front camera will have an f/2.2 aperture.

What’s particularly interesting about the IMX378 image sensor is that it’s the same one that featured in last year’s highly successful Google Pixel smartphone (and the XIamoi Mi5S, for good measure). That’s important because one of the most praised features of the Google Pixel was its camera.

We gave the Google Pixel a 4.5/5 score in our review, lauding its Android skin, good size, impressive performance and, of course, its camera. In our verdict, we wrote: “A stunning camera makes Google’s first proper smartphone a contender for best Android phone of 2016.”

Of course, just because the BlackBerry Mercury has the same image sensor as the Google Pixel doesn’t mean the camera experience will be just as good. A phone camera’s performance depends on lots of different factors, including hardware – like the lens, or features like optical image stabilisation – as well as software, like how the phone processes the image once it’s been captured. While the image sensor has an important part to play, lots of work will need to go into making sure that the entire camera configuration on the BlackBerry Mercury is healthy.

TCL is expected to fully unveil the Mercury at MWC 2017, Barcelona’s annual tech tradeshow, which is scheduled to take place at the end of February. The Mercury is the last phone ever to be designed by BlackBerry in-house; after this point, TCL will be responsible for the phone design and manufacturing process of any BlackBerry handsets it releases thanks to a recent brand-licensing agreement.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S8

Watch: Google Pixel review

What would you like to see from the BlackBerry Mercury? Let us know in the comments.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor