BlackBerry’s first Android smartphone may not exactly be a best-seller. But BlackBerry executives have suggested that the Priv is just the first of several Android-powered phones the company is producing.

Now VentureBeat reports that there could be at least three of them coming in the next year.

But only one will have the feature that makes the Priv stand out: a physical keyboard.

BlackBerry "Hamburg" image leaked in April
BlackBerry “Hamburg” image leaked in April

The report comes from VentureBeat writer Evan Blass, also known as @evleaks. He has a better track record of reporting leaked details about upcoming phones than just about anyone else in the business, but his source for this story is describe as a single “person briefed on the company’s plans,” so it’s always possible that some of the information could be inaccurate, or that details could change before the phones hit the market.

For now, here’s what Blass has to say about the three phones (note that these are code-names, the phones will probably have different names if and when they ship):

Neon

  • 5.2 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16GB of storage
  • 2,610 mAH battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
  • 13MP rear and 8MP front cameras
  • Aluminum frame and soft plastic back
  • Mid-range porice
  • Coming in July or August of 2016

Argon

  • 5.5 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of storage
  • 3,000 mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
  • 21MP rear and 8MP front cameras
  • USB Type-C
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Coming in October

Mercury

  • 4.5 inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio above a QWERTY keyboard
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of storage
  • 3,400 mAH battery
  • 18MP rear and 8MP front cameras
  • Coming in Q1, 2017

The VentureBeat report follows earlier leaks suggesting BlackBerry was working on at least two phones, code-named Hamburg and Rome. It’s not clear at this point if one or both reports is wrong, if BlackBerry is working on a bunch of devices, or if the company just changed its code names for some products.

If the new details details are accurate, it looks like BlackBerry is planning to flesh out its smartphone lineup first by launching a more affordable alternative to the high-end BlackBerry Priv, and then by offering a model with beefier specs for folks that might have though the Priv was underpowered… or who don’t want or need a physical keyboard.

I suspect the company will continue to sell the Priv alongside those phones at least until the Mercury launches next year. That would mean that folks who want a phone with a QWERTY keyboard would continue to have an option. And while the Priv sold for close to $700 when it launched in 2015, these days you can often find it on sale for far lower prices.



Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign

or...

Contribute via PayPal