The rumors have been true after all. Blackberry just confirmed that its new Android-powered smartphone, the “Argon,” or more clearly, the DTEK60, just passed through FCC test standards successfully. The phone may be launching very soon, probably before the end of this year’s last quarter. This is Blackberry’s second outsourced-designed Android phone after it released its DTEK50 series only last month.
Unfortunately, this confirmation comes only after a leak – whether intentional or unintentional – started to make the rounds on the internet depicting the DTEK60’s specifications but doesn’t include a picture of the new phone. Some experts say the leak may have come from Blackberry’s own servers since the page seems to sport a ‘donotpublish.html’ extension, so clearly the page was not meant to be released at all.
Regardless, the beans have been spilled, and so these are the legitimate and confirmed specs for Blackberry’s new DTEK60 “Argon” phone:
- 5 inch diagonal, 534 PPI, 2560 x 1440 Quad HD resolution.
- All-touch screen, with intuitive gesture based navigation.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 64-bit Quad-Core (MSM8996 with 64 bit Quad-Core 2+2 Kryo 2.15GHz / 1.6GHz), Adreno 530, 624MHz GPU.
- 4 GB RAM, 32 GB Flash.
- USB Type-C.
- 3000 mAh 4.4V non-removable Lithium-Ion battery QC3.0 Enabled.
- 21-megapixel auto-focus camera.
- 8-megapixel Fixed-Focus.
- Fingerprint sensor (The first for any Blackberry released phone)
- Convenience key
Additional rumors are pegging the DTEK60 as being a remake of the Alcatel Idol 4 Pro or the TCL 950. This isn’t surprising given the fact that the DTEK50 is much like Alcatel’s GFX Bench since Blackberry first announced that it would stop in-house designing and development of its phones and outsource their phone manufacturing. And as it began with the Blackberry Priv, the DTEK60 will not include a physical keyboard. Sorry, dad.
Blackberry’s continued release of smartphones comes as a sort of surprise given its recent announcement that it would stop making phones on its own since, admittedly, it failed to keep up with industry leaders like Apple and Samsung. Instead, the company will concentrate more on software, hardware, and security apps where it can be more profitable.
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The company did confirm that it will still sell the iconic Blackberry phones with the physical phones but only until supplies last. Manufacturing these phones for a very small segment of loyal followers is just not profitable at all, according to Blackberry’s chief executive, John Chen.
The ultimate fear of Blackberry’s outsourced partners is that they may also face the same challenges with the branded devices if the phones cannot match the sales of other brands. Many of Blackberry’s loyal followers feel a nostalgic sadness for the company that launched the first smartphone in 2002 with the iconic full physical QWERTY keyboard that many still love because of its “realistic typing feel.” The company’s demise started when Apple launched its first iPhone with “full” web browsing, something Blackberry executives insisted was not possible.