You may or may not have noticed, but John Chen and BlackBerry are still alive and kicking. It’s been a while since the company took a completely different direction by releasing the high-end BlackBerry Priv in late 2015. But that’s not the only BlackBerry Android smartphone. They’ve got another one coming in the next couple of months and it’s going to be a fraction of the price.

We’ve been hearing rumblings about a follow-up — multiple follow-ups, actually — to the BlackBerry Priv for quite some time and now we’re starting to nail down a few more of the details. In stark contrast to the $700 Priv, a mid-range BlackBerry Android is being planned for release for a mere $350 sticker price. This is supposed to arrive before September, leaving BlackBerry only a few weeks before they’ll officially take the wraps off this thing.

Previously, we had heard about this more budget-friendly offering with the codename of the BlackBerry Neon. It’s expected to be a touchscreen-only device with a display size of about 5.2-inches. CEO John Chen has indicated that they will reveal two phones before March 2017, so if the first one is the more affordable Neon, what’s the second?

Based on earlier rumors, there are two main candidates: The Argon with a 5.5-inch trouchscreen and the Mercury, an Android phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard. How these hold up in the marketplace remain to be seen, of course, but we may hear more about all of these devices at a live online event hosted by BlackBerry on Tuesday, July 26. They have indicated that the next phone launch is “very, very imminent,” so this event will likely be the big reveal.

Are you still interested? Or is BlackBerry no longer relevant to you?


Via Globe and Mail

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