BlackBerry still going at it, primes a trio of new Android smartphones for this and next year


Deep in the distant bowels of the smartphone industry, in a place where sun never shines and a symphony orchestra plays the soundtrack to oblivion, lies BlackBerry's smartphone lab. If you put your ear to the ground, you will hear the men in coats from down under, sill chugging along and working on new handsets for an outside world indifferent to their honest efforts – "0.2% global market share"-level indifferent.

A voice coming from the derelict tomb of the 'Berry told VentureBeat that the company laid down a plan for releasing one new phone per quarter for the next three quarters. This gives the phrase "still trying" a new meaning, the magnitude of which not even Microsoft knows. Our surprise aside, work on the project has progressed far enough to give us codenames, preliminary spec sheets, and a render. Here's the low-down on BlackBerry's plans to land a hat-trick over the coming fiscal year.

The three handsets are code-named Neon, Argon, and Mercury. They are supposed to ship in this order as well. The Neon is reported as a mid-range phone with an aluminum frame – plastic back build that has a 5.2-inch 1080p display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chip with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. There are a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front cam on it, and the whole thing is powered by a 2610mAh battery. This one is said to be competitively priced and free on contract, scheduled for release in July or August.

Next comes Argon, the flagship phone. Set for announcement in October, it's said to offer a 5.5-inch Quad-HD resolution screen and cutting-edge internals, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 21MP main camera, an 8MP front camera, a fingerprint reader, and an USB Type-C connector – all powered by a 3000mAh battery. This is everything one'd expect of a high-end smartphone from the first half of 2016.

Finally, there's Mercury – set for next year, this one is notable for its physical QWERTY keyboard, a BlackBerry landmark that the company doesn't seem keen on leaving. Moreover, the phone is made of aluminum and boasts a 4.5-inch display with a 3:2 spect ratio. It's powered by Qualcomm's mid-range Snapdragon 625 chip, accompanied by 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. There are 18MP and 8MP cameras on it, and a 3400mAh battery is housed within. Below is a supposed leaked render of the device in question.


As BlackBerry's operating system was officially discontinued after the release of OS 10, it's practically a given that the new smartphone trio will run Android. Priced more affordably than last year's respectable, but unsuccessful PRIV, and omitting the handy, but unpopular physical keyboard on two models, BlackBerry's phones have better chances at whipping the company's troubled consumer device business back in shape.

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source: VentureBeat , The Malignant (Twitter)

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47 Comments

1. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

They need to get rid of those physical keyboards.

3. Rocksteady unregistered

But I think it's a differentiating point from the rest of the market, and the passport looks good, but that's a personal preference, anyway, I would like a passport with vanilla Android on it.

19. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Well that will never happen, considering that's what they're known for. However, the first device to be released (the Neon) is an all-touch device. They will most likely continue to offer an all-touch device in addition to their regular keyboard offerings.

2. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

and I thought those speakers were in the front :/

41. Furbal unregistered

They're Alcatel. They are front facing.

4. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

Great job  BlackBerry, but I hope to see a newer BBOS 10 with support of All Google services, in other words, I want to see a BBOS10 Argon and priv !! For the cameras, I think that the trio will have Schneider Kreuznach Cameras. And the Argon will have the best camera in the world and I'm sure about that.

5. alumoyo

Posts: 391; Member since: Aug 26, 2013

Its all very well trying to serve that keyboard niche, but if you take TOO LONG to bring the products, those customers will still move on when they eventually get used to the touchscreens. Maybe blackberry need to poach staff from the likes of elephone, oppo, vivo, gionee, xiaomi, meizu etc so that they learn to develop new devices a bit faster. Their new devices take WAY TOO LONG to come to market. Priv came out AGES AGO - a midrange android model should have followed after 3 or 4 months MAX!

9. dimas

Posts: 3347; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Aye. Not only distribution, they're doing the sony price system so people are so discouraged to get them when there's samsung and nexus phones selling everywhere.

13. Mxyzptlk unregistered

And it's not usable on all carriers plus it didn't support all networks like universally unlocked phones do.

6. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Okk wana survive!!!release a op3 beater with same price thn maybe!!!! Coz believe me you have less fans thn oneplus !!

8. dimas

Posts: 3347; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

So many exclamation points. You need a vacation, man.

7. dimas

Posts: 3347; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

So it's confirmed, blackberry's still breathing. They should change their management if they want to go back to the business.

12. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I was a BlackBerry user for years before trying Windows Phone and ultimately settling on Android. It was really more the OS than the hardware that I liked about BB. So if all these phones run Android I will probably not buy one. If the Argon runs BB10 I would seriously consider it.

15. antmiu2

Posts: 550; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

there problem has always been the pricing.

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Or obnoxious fans who cry about standards and no problem with pricing even though there clearly is.

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Nice! These handsets aren't bad at all. Price them competitively, and you should see some decent sales. Make them GSM unlocked so to keep in line with the global standard and so they can take advantage of all network features. Keep at it, BlackBerry. Fck the naysayers. If you're going to go out of the smartphone business, at least you'll go out swinging.

17. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Mercury in this case seems to be the only real contender as far as balancing out the Bb signature trait to specs. The rest are quite a mess of mismatches no? Neon = 3GB RAM + 16GB, Argon = 4GB + 32GB (I'm not a RAM w***e btw but an SD820 phone with 3000mAh batt is just a non starter for me at least).

20. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Some people talk about world standard even though the US market is part of the world where the two CDMA markets are still very much alive and thriving.

23. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Lmao! Butthurt^^once again because I posted about GSM being the world standard. And stop being such a p---y and address my directly, next time.

27. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I'm not afraid to address you at all. No, I'm not butthurt. I think you are, though. Every time I bring up universally unlocked, you always bring up the standard that's being used worldwide. Who gives a crap? Not everyone in the US is on a GSM network. Get it through that thick skull of yours.

30. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

If you weren't afraid to address me directly, then you'd do so without me telling you to, liar. And of course you're butthurt, or you wouldn't make these lame comments and act so bumburned every time I post something about GSM unlocked being the world standard. It burns you up inside. You're seething! I can feel your pain and anger through my tablet screen. Lmao! And not everyone uses a universally unlocked phone, and GSM unlocked IS the world standard. Why is that so hard for your dumb@$$ to comprehend?

31. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Lol, someone's salty. Not my fault if sales data on Swappa indicate that universally unlocked phones have demand. Again, you continue to remain oblivious to the existence of the two CDMA networks that have millions of users especially with one being the biggest carrier in the US userbase wise. I love being right when I'm right.

32. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Lmao @ you thinking sales data on "Swappa" is greater than the sales data on GSM unlocked phones overall. You're such an idiot. And the millions of uses of that dying technology called CDMA are dwarfed in comparison to the millions upon millions (if not billions) of users of GSM unlocked phones. I love it when I get to shove that I'm right in an idiots face.

33. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Calls me an idiot, yet says idiots instead of idiot's. The point was to show your ignorant self that universally unlocked phones are in demand. Again, we are talking about the US market here. Get over it and stop trying to deflect again.

35. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Tries to call me out for lack of punctuation, and yet he fails to use punctuation himself. Your "point" just made you look like a moronic trolling idiot even more than usual. Lmao! And I'm talking about the WORLD, not just the U.S. I could care less if you want to be a xenophobic idiot and think the world only revolves around the U.S.

37. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I'm not trying to be xenophobic. Unless you have a market besides the US where a CDMA carrier(Verizon) is more dominant than a GSM carrier(AT&T,T-Mobile), then you don't have an argument. I never said anything about the world revolving around the US, but it's pretty idiotic to ignore the two CDMA carriers where millions of users are still their networks.

39. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Says he's not trying to be xenophobic, and yet he's doing a splendid job at being xenophobic. I do have an argument, because the WORLD is not just comprised of the U.S., nor is it just comprised of CDMA networks (which are dying, whether you want to admit it or not). And you didn't have to specifically say the world revolves around the U.S., when your insistence on not including the rest of the world not only speaks volumes, it proves that you're the xenophobic moron that I say you are.

42. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Again, in case your pea sized brain didn't process it before, the world is irrelevant here because we are talking about two carriers on a network that has millions of users, but I think you're just salty because I can take the Nexus 6P or the iphone 6S to any carrier I want. ANY carrier. Of course I know you're just going to ignore this and ramble on about my xenophobia.

44. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

No, YOUR dumb@$$ is only talking about 2 carriers. I'm talking about the WORLD, which is much more relevant than just two carriers in the U.S. Your xenophobia is rearing its ugly head once again. You can take your Nexus straight up your @$$ for all I care, if it can't take advantage of all of the network features on said carrier, it isn't superior. Not only did I address "this", I also shoved your xenophobia down your throat. I hear you like that sought of thing, anyway.

46. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Lol, I thought so. Can't argue with a stubborn brick wall.

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