Not so long ago, BlackBerry was apparently releasing two Android phones in 2016 — the Hamburg and Rome. However, plans are now afoot for three handsets, according to sources, and these handsets have different code names: Neon, Argon and Mercury.
Does this mean the Hamburg and Rome have been scrapped? Or, has BlackBerry simply changed their codenames and introduced another model? To be 100% honest, I have no idea. But the latest leak comes from a very reliable source, Evan Blass, AKA @evleaks, who claims to have been briefed on BlackBerry’s plans for the rest of the year.
Blass says BlackBerry will release one phone per quarter for the rest of 2016 and this trio of handsets will target a variety of price points.
The BlackBerry Neon will be the first to get official and it is believed to be a mid-range affair with no physical keyboard and a 1080p display. The Neon will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 617 and contain 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 13MP camera.
The Neon will be competitively priced (and free on contracts) when it gets a release date in either July or August. This is arguably the least exciting phone of the trio.
The BlackBerry Argon is the MAC DADDY. This is the replacement for last year’s PRIV and it will be available in October, apparently. Featuring a 5.5in QHD display alongside Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB of RAM, a 21MP camera and 32GB of internal storage, the BlackBerry Argon will compete with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 and Apple’s iPhone 7. Both of which are due for release the month before.
The BlackBerry Mercury is the only handset of the trio to feature a physical QWERTY keyboard. But this is no PRIV unit; no, this handset takes all of its design inspiration from the BlackBerry Passport, as you can see in the image below:
The Mercury will feature a 4.5in 1080p display set in a squarish 3:2 aspect ratio. The handset will be made entirely out of aluminium and everything will be powered along by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 alongside 3GB of RAM. Other specs include 32GB of storage, an 18MP camera and a 3400mAh battery.
The Mercury is expected to launch inside Q1 2017.
It is also worth noting that ALL these names are codenames are aren’t likely to be the official names of the handsets once they get official. Personally, I quite like them. Especially, ARGON! Beats Priv any day of the week!