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Thread: Blackberry to release 3 new devices: "Argon", "Neon" and "Mercury"

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    Blackberry to release 3 new devices: "Argon", "Neon" and "Mercury"


    Just when I was wondering if Blackberry was going to release a Priv follow up, I got news of 3 new devices that they have in the pipeline; the Argon, Neon and Mercury. All run Android. Sorry no pics of these devices (that's a Priv in the picture).

    Blackberry Neon:
    • touch only
    • $0 (400 MSRP)
    • Qualcomm 8952 (a 617 like the Moto G4 Plus)
    • 3GB RAM
    • 5.2" 1080P display
    • 16GB storage
    • 13MP rear camera
    • 8MP front camera
    • 2610mAh battery
    • Quick charge 2
    • aluminum frame
    • soft touch rear casing
    • Cat 6LTE
    • 130g
    • aimed at consumers and enterprise
    • August 2016 launch


    Blackberry Argon:
    • touch only
    • $200 (600-700MSRP)
    • Qualcomm 8996 (a Snapdragon 820 "lite")
    • 4GB RAM
    • 5.5" 1440P
    • 32GB storage
    • 21MP rear camera
    • fingerprint reader (finally)
    • 8MP front camera
    • 3000mAh battery
    • Quick Charge 3
    • USB type-C
    • aimed at consumers and enterprise
    • October 2016 launch


    Blackberry Mercury:
    • design like the Blackberry Classic:
    • QWERTY keyboard
    • Qualcomm 8953 (Snapdragon 625)
    • 4.5" screen with 3:2 display ratio
    • 3GB RAM
    • 32GB storage
    • 18MP rear camera
    • 8MP front camera
    • 3400mAh battery
    • Quick Charge 3.0
    • "High precision & Craftsmanship"
    • aluminum housing
    • aimed at enterprise
    • February 2017 launch


    To me, 4 things stand out; first, the price point of the Neon and Argon seem very reasonable. While the Priv is a nice device it's just priced way too high and probably falls off a lot of people's shopping lists because of that. Traditionally you paid quite a premium to get a Blackberry logo but that looks like that's changing.

    Secondly, while the Neon and Argon are still a few months off, their specs will probably be more in-line with the rest of the market. Typically Blackberry specs lagged the market by about 6 months but these ones look to be much more competitive. I mean August isn't far off and they probably could have gotten away with just 2GB of RAM. Then again, while I didn't hear word of it I hope it shows up a fingerprint reader.

    While the Mercury is still way, way off it's good to know that the QWERTY only Blackberry isn't going away. A power sipping Snapdragon 625 coupled with a smaller 4.5" display and a large 3400mAh battery should make for some epic battery life too.

    Lastly, all 3 devices run Android. I guess there just isn't enough demand for a Blackberry OS device.
    Last edited by howard; 06-23-2016 at 11:35 AM.

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    the fact that they run Android are their saving grace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
    Secondly, while the Neon and Argon are still a few months off, their specs will probably be more in-line with the rest of the market. Typically Blackberry specs lagged the market by about 6 months but these ones look to be much more competitive. I mean August isn't far off and they probably could have gotten away with just 2GB of RAM. Then again, while I didn't hear word of it I hope it shows up a fingerprint reader.
    It's nice that BB is improving its game by including hardware that will be more in-line with the market when the phones are released. I also hope the rumored prices go a little down when they're released (considering what happened with the Priv and BB's current position in the phone market). It would be a welcome surprise and give more incentive to go back to them.


    Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
    While the Mercury is still way, way off it's good to know that the QWERTY only Blackberry isn't going away. A power sipping Snapdragon 625 coupled with a smaller 4.5" display and a large 3400mAh battery should make for some epic battery life too.

    Lastly, all 3 devices run Android. I guess there just isn't enough demand for a Blackberry OS device.
    I'm kind of disappointed that their next QWERTY phone will have the same style as the Classic. I like the Classic, but it is still a pretty new phone. It would have made more sense to release another Slider-type phone, but this time with a landscape keyboard. That would be a nice expansion in their offerings, would be different from the previous phones they have already released, and just gives the fingers more room to type.

    However the phones look like in the end, they just need to price them right (IMO, none of them should be over $500, given BBs current market position) and ramp up their marketing. Year after year, BB seems to always have an inadequate marketing strategy (whether it's a phone's name, like "Priv," the prices, and the ads and promos they show). This pretty much feels like their last year as phone manufacturers and maybe the last time QWERTY-lovers get a decent phone, so they need have better ads that appear in the right channels and places. Please, BB, all us loyal QWERTY users are rooting for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom Tech
    I'm kind of disappointed that their next QWERTY phone will have the same style as the Classic. I like the Classic, but it is still a pretty new phone. It would have made more sense to release another Slider-type phone, but this time with a landscape keyboard. That would be a nice expansion in their offerings, would be different from the previous phones they have already released, and just gives the fingers more room to type.
    I couldn't disagree more. They already released a slider, and look at where that got them. They're more expensive to manufacture, and easier to break. I love my Priv, but I'd much rather have another Classic style phone. And new? It's already over a year and a half old. By the time the Mercury is released in February, the Classic will be over 2 years old. The Priv slider is only 6 months old.

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    Errr..uhm
    Android...
    I *could* switch but I would like to have the Hub like the OS 10.
    The only reason why I'm sticking with the Passport is because of how the Hub functions and true multi tasking under OS 10. I just can't stand either the GS7 or the iPhone how I'm not able to run the Youtube app in the background, nor should I feel that I should pay Google just so I can do this, I can already run Youtube in the background with my Passport without it cutting out when I switch to a different app or otherwise leave the Youtube window.

    And, honestly, I would like to see VoLTE and CA support for the "Mercury", since both my GS7 and iPhone have it. Other than that particular feature, the only other reason I can see myself using the Classic style is the size. I'm already carrying other large phones and I probably should make it easier on myself if I had a smaller one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
    I couldn't disagree more. They already released a slider, and look at where that got them. They're more expensive to manufacture, and easier to break. I love my Priv, but I'd much rather have another Classic style phone. And new? It's already over a year and a half old. By the time the Mercury is released in February, the Classic will be over 2 years old. The Priv slider is only 6 months old.
    Disagree however much you like, I won't lose sleep over it. Go ahead and buy a new phone every two or so years. I generally like to use a major phone for about the same span as a laptop (about 4-5 years), so a 1-2 year old phone isn't old at all. I haven't read or seen anything about the Priv breaking easily because it's a slider, from most accounts it has been as durable as any BB phone. From user reviews (and business articles), it wasn't the slider form factor that discouraged sales, but the high cost, slow roll-out to different carriers (rather than a wider release at around the same time) and poor marketing.

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    ^Yes, there were a lot of factors contributing to the poor sales of the Priv; one of which was the high cost you noted. Adding a slider mechanism adds to the manufacturing cost, so by staying away from that for this next round of phones is a good move IMO.

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    Timeline doesn't add up. Chen gave an ultimatum to give up the hardware division by end of FY2017, which ends in February 2017, i.e. the supposedly launch date for Mercury/Rome.
    Life moves fast. Don't miss a thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by i0wnj00 View Post
    Errr..uhm
    Android...
    I *could* switch but I would like to have the Hub like the OS 10.
    The only reason why I'm sticking with the Passport is because of how the Hub functions and true multi tasking under OS 10. I just can't stand either the GS7 or the iPhone how I'm not able to run the Youtube app in the background, nor should I feel that I should pay Google just so I can do this, I can already run Youtube in the background with my Passport without it cutting out when I switch to a different app or otherwise leave the Youtube window.

    And, honestly, I would like to see VoLTE and CA support for the "Mercury", since both my GS7 and iPhone have it. Other than that particular feature, the only other reason I can see myself using the Classic style is the size. I'm already carrying other large phones and I probably should make it easier on myself if I had a smaller one.
    Priv already supports VoLTE and CA. I know CA works because of this: http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...9#post16676019

    VoLTE is up to the carrier. I know AT&T ones support it on AT&T (at the cost of replacing the update system with AT&T's dreadful one).

    I can't imagine the new phones not supporting it.

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    Lightbulb BlackBerry: 3 Elements

    From Waterloo, with Elements...

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    Saw the article earlier about RIM dropping their own BlackBerry OS finally in favor of Android alone. I saw this coming when I switched to iPhone about 4-5 months ago. I absolutely loved my Classic, but the apps were continuously broken. Twitter couldn't open most images - Facebook didn't show half of the comments and some posts were missing entirely. They never updated them to move with the service updates.

    I love BB hardware, but unless it's centered around RIM's own world of built-in services then it just doesn't get the treatment it deserves. (The e-mail functions all seemed to work top notch and they did manage to keep up the internal web browser to work good with as many sites as possible.)

    Looking forward to seeing some news on all three -- not sure when I'll be convinced to plunk down any money for one of them though. At the moment my 6S Plus is serving me quite well..

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexKidd1977 View Post
    Saw the article earlier about RIM dropping their own BlackBerry OS finally in favor of Android alone. I saw this coming when I switched to iPhone about 4-5 months ago. I absolutely loved my Classic, but the apps were continuously broken. Twitter couldn't open most images - Facebook didn't show half of the comments and some posts were missing entirely. They never updated them to move with the service updates.

    I love BB hardware, but unless it's centered around RIM's own world of built-in services then it just doesn't get the treatment it deserves. (The e-mail functions all seemed to work top notch and they did manage to keep up the internal web browser to work good with as many sites as possible.)

    Looking forward to seeing some news on all three -- not sure when I'll be convinced to plunk down any money for one of them though. At the moment my 6S Plus is serving me quite well..

    --Kidd
    They dropped the Classic, not the Passport and the Leap, yet.

    And I honestly don't understand the "investment" mentality, where one would not "plunk money for a device because not sure if they will support it". The incumbent Android manufacturers all have pushed out devices that either they or the carriers have not sent out any updates, but I don't see them ceasing to work, lots of people are using those "unsupported" devices. Even if it went out of support, stopped getting updates, one can still easily see on average 2-3 years of use before it'll be too slow and unbearable, and likely even the battery will be dead by then, you'll be getting another phone anyways one reason or another. Besides when it comes to support, so far the Priv has been doing very well in that regard with monthly updates pushed sometimes even earlier than Nexus, with the exception of the US carrier versions. Besides, being an Android phone, even if it's not running the latest versions, I could still get most apps running on my ancient X10i running 2.3. So all in all I think they're okay as an Android OEM.

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    Personally, I think that their touch only phones are a big mistake. They need to really differentiate themselves from the competition and there is little incentive to purchase a touch only Android phone from Blackberry when you have other (maybe better) options available.

    It would be different if they gave away from things to people who purchase/use Blackberry phones that they are currently charging for like customized Blackberry PINs, removal of advertisements, etc. but as it stands, there is no real incentive for users to purchase a Blackberry touchscreen Android phone when they can get a (perhaps better) phone from Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, OnePlus, and the like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToniCipriani View Post
    And I honestly don't understand the "investment" mentality, where one would not "plunk money for a device because not sure if they will support it". The incumbent Android manufacturers all have pushed out devices that either they or the carriers have not sent out any updates, but I don't see them ceasing to work, lots of people are using those "unsupported" devices.
    Your analysis isn't fully baked. The shortcomings I am speaking of are a combination of lack of support all around. The Android devices that fall off of support are still running versions of Android which are in active use by such a large volume of users that companies like Facebook, Twitter, etc. all at least keep updating their apps. With my Classic, there wasn't an update to the OS or the apps (with noted shortcomings above) for at least 4 months. In other words, it really didn't work "right". The Androids keep working at least because the app developers kept it going in the sake of keeping users working with their service faithfully.

    So either 1) RIM was developing the Facebook app for Facebook and RIM dropped the ball, or 2) Facebook felt RIM's share with classic OS wasn't growing significantly enough to continue investing their own development time into the apps. Result - phone goes stale and doesn't work right. That's the sort of thing that makes the device faulter for me. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 in my drawer that I can pull out and it's fully functional with pretty much any app and it's almost 3 years old by this point.

    --Kidd

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexKidd1977 View Post
    Your analysis isn't fully baked. The shortcomings I am speaking of are a combination of lack of support all around. The Android devices that fall off of support are still running versions of Android which are in active use by such a large volume of users that companies like Facebook, Twitter, etc. all at least keep updating their apps. With my Classic, there wasn't an update to the OS or the apps (with noted shortcomings above) for at least 4 months. In other words, it really didn't work "right". The Androids keep working at least because the app developers kept it going in the sake of keeping users working with their service faithfully.

    So either 1) RIM was developing the Facebook app for Facebook and RIM dropped the ball, or 2) Facebook felt RIM's share with classic OS wasn't growing significantly enough to continue investing their own development time into the apps. Result - phone goes stale and doesn't work right. That's the sort of thing that makes the device faulter for me. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 in my drawer that I can pull out and it's fully functional with pretty much any app and it's almost 3 years old by this point.

    --Kidd
    I'm purely talking from their Android devices perspective, to me they are doing what I think other Android makers should be doing instead of trying to copy each other and put a worse skin. Unless your final point was about "investing" into the Passport and Leap BB10 devices.

    Quote Originally Posted by lmcjipo View Post
    Personally, I think that their touch only phones are a big mistake. They need to really differentiate themselves from the competition and there is little incentive to purchase a touch only Android phone from Blackberry when you have other (maybe better) options available.

    It would be different if they gave away from things to people who purchase/use Blackberry phones that they are currently charging for like customized Blackberry PINs, removal of advertisements, etc. but as it stands, there is no real incentive for users to purchase a Blackberry touchscreen Android phone when they can get a (perhaps better) phone from Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, OnePlus, and the like.
    The differentiator is supposedly the BlackBerry software suite (PIM apps, Password Keeper, Hub), but I do too think it's not enough.

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