Three BlackBerry Android Phones Coming, Argon, Neon And Mercury
Three BlackBerry Android Phones Coming, Argon, Neon And Mercury

Three BlackBerry Android Phones Coming, Argon, Neon And Mercury

The BlackBerry Priv may not have been as successful as the company had hoped, but a new report claims that BlackBerry is not giving up on Android. Code named Neon, Argon, and Mercury, Blackberry is working on three Android-powered devices which are set to launch between Q3 of 2016 and Q1 of 2017.

While the BlackBerry Priv was priced higher than most Android smartphones when it was released in 2015, the three new device should be a bit more wallet-friendly.


Chronologically, the first of these to market is said to be Neon, a low- to mid-range 5.2-inch full touchscreen (i.e. no physical keyboard) handset with 1080p resolution. Composed of an aluminum frame with soft-coated plastic back, Neon is powered by a Snapdragon 617 system-on-a-chip from Qualcomm, the source said.

The phone is said to contain 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 2610mAh battery, supporting QuickCharge 2.0. Its cameras should include a 13-megapixel rear shooter and 8-megapixel, front-facing selfie cam.

Aimed at both enterprise and consumer markets, according to our source, Neon should be competitively priced — and free on contract — when it goes on sale in the July to August timeframe.


The most generously-spec’ed of the devices, Argon, is the next scheduled release, according to the briefed individual, landing sometime in October. Also a full touchscreen, the 5.5-inch Argon allegedly offers a QHD resolution — the same as Priv, BlackBerry’s first Android phone. It’ll be marketed to the enterprise, along with enthusiast consumers.

Under the hood, the source says, are Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage, along with a 3000mAh battery, supported by QuickCharge 3.0. Other notable features should include a fingerprint reader and USB type C connector.

Like Priv, Argon has a 21-megapixel primary camera at the rear, along with an 8-megapixel selfie cam on its face.


Stretching the roadmap into Q1 2017, Mercury is the only one of these handsets to sport a physical QWERTY keyboard, as Priv does. But unlike Priv, which is a vertical slider, Mercury’s board is not concealable — think BlackBerry Passport.

It’s got a 4.5-inch screen with full HD resolution in a squarish 3:2 aspect ratio, with the entire enclosure made of aluminum. Internally, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 sits at the heart of the device, alongside 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage capacity.

Its battery apparently weighs in at 3400mAh, while its rear- and front-facing cameras offer 18-megapixel and 8-megapixel resolutions, respectively.

As with Priv, there’s a lot riding on these phones, namely BlackBerry’s continued existence as a hardware manufacturer. Some industry observers have attributed Priv’s lack of success to the premium price point at which it entered the market. With this trio of upcoming, more modestly priced Androids, BlackBerry should discover once and for all whether there is sufficient interest to continue developing its security-enhanced mobile devices.


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