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Master_Scythe

So, my dreams come true (BB Mercury)

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So, after months of teasing, hoping, excitement, some had doubt, some (like me) always had faith... and finally it's confirmed.

The Blackberry, still code-named 'Mercury', has been confirmed and teased.

 

While exact specs aren't out there yet, there has been geekbench tests spotted, and it does more than OK for 'non gamer' phone users. IRC people expect a Snapdragon 821 (or was that 825?) whichever is the "most energy efficient" of the current Gen; 3500+mah battery, and 3GB of Ram.

 

It's all guesses, but they're from sources who are seldom wrong in the BB scene.

 

Without further delay;

 

 

 

blackberry-mercury-pre-production-12.jpg

 

blackberry-mercury-pre-production-16.jpg

 

 

And there are plenty more to be had in the Hands On teaser.

http://crackberry.com/blackberry-mercury-hands-riding-2017-phone-no-name?utm_medium=slider&utm_campaign=navigation&utm_source=cb

 

 

 

So, this wouldn't be a post by me without some sort of personal opinion, would it? :P

 

I'll start with the obvious CON's because while I'm an optimist, I can see the critics already:

- Odd shape, means black bars in videos, or cropping.

- Much thicker than most phones.

- Lost screen realestate

- dedicated 'android' buttons?!

 

 

To counter those,

- I don't watch video on my phone, on the odd occasion I do, It's comedy youtube stuff where 'cinematic brilliance' isn't of concern.

- Its thicker for the (supposed) 3500mah+ battery; In a recent discussion with a lot of people (here & reddit included), most people agreed phones are too thin to be comfortable to hold anyway.

- As I use my phone 90% as a communication device, the 'lost real estate' is usually lost ANYWAY to an OSK, so a physical doing the job isn't much different. (except in the use; *swoon*)

 

And I can't defend the button choice. It was probably driven by screen size\dimensions. They had to fill that gap with something.

I guess it does make sure the whole display is interactive, as opposed to when Android has the on screen buttons, and you can't use the last 7mm of the display...... Eh, a small quibble I think.

 

 

At the end of the day, this isn't going to be for everyone.

It'll be for the people who type on the phone. Literally.

 

If I had a dollar for every user who's recently exclaimed about their phone keyboard, or had to send me a message twice because the first had a typo, I'd have probably $100 this month alone.

So, as my friend group get older, and end up using their phones for emails and facebook messages more than pictures of food, and cat videos, I can see this appealing more and more.

I think it'll do better than people expect.

Not as well as I'd like....

But better than last time.

 

Full Android N, a 'convenience button' on the side (most will use for camera, I assume, or dictaphone, or Push-To-Talk (which is still used on corporate sites believe it or not.....).

With that carbon back, we're going to see decent reception I bet ya.

 

Well, I'm excited for it anyway.....

Edited by Master_Scythe

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I'll admit I dont know my mobile processors well.

All I've absorbed has been from people in much more know than me talking about it, and me reading between the lines

"Gee, thats not top of the line, why not use processor XYZ?"

"Because Processor ABC is almost as fast, but 20% more efficient, they're focusing on battery life"

"Ah good point"

etc.

 

Specs are still out there, but people are guessing based on geekbench.

geekbench-mercury.png?itok=8lI0eyq-

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821 is a quad core, 835 is a octacore. Benchmarks show a octacore CPU so I think it's the 835.

ARM cpus don't have hyperhreading, that's an Intel thing.

Edited by Jeruselem

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821 is a quad core, 835 is a octacore. Benchmarks show a octacore CPU so I think it's the 835.

ARM cpus don't have hyperhreading, that's an Intel thing.

 

Is the 835 "notably power efficient" but not the fastest? Because that's been hinted at more than once.....

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821 is a quad core, 835 is a octacore. Benchmarks show a octacore CPU so I think it's the 835.

ARM cpus don't have hyperhreading, that's an Intel thing.

 

Is the 835 "notably power efficient" but not the fastest? Because that's been hinted at more than once.....

 

 

835 is 10nm, 821 is 14nm so it should more power efficient. 835 has 4 higher power cores, the other 4 are lower cores. 821 has 2 higher power cores and two lower. On paper, it looks real good!

 

Intel CPUs can vary their speed, but all cores run at the same speed. An ARM SOC has many cores but they don't change speed. They switch cores according to load so the cores get shutdown and activated according to load.

Edited by Jeruselem

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821 is a quad core, 835 is a octacore. Benchmarks show a octacore CPU so I think it's the 835.

ARM cpus don't have hyperhreading, that's an Intel thing.

 

Is the 835 "notably power efficient" but not the fastest? Because that's been hinted at more than once.....

 

 

835 is 10nm, 821 is 14nm so it should more power efficient. 835 has 4 higher power cores, the other 4 are lower cores. 821 has 2 higher power cores and two lower. On paper, it looks real good!

 

Intel CPUs can vary their speed, but all cores run at the same speed. An ARM SOC has many cores but they don't change speed. They switch cores according to load so the cores get shutdown and activated according to load.

 

 

Well yeah, that makes sense then.

It's funny. While i'm overjoyed to have a keyboard coming back for me; I'm actually more.... relieved? Probably not the right emotion, but close to it.... to see a different form factor.

 

I can't express how much I've been saddened by seeing more and more 'flat glass, small battery' devices coming out.

just to see another option. something different. It just warms my heart like a genuine heater inside the soul.

Innovation is NOT dead, people are NOT 'sheep' and companies ARE willing to be 'different' even if only on ONE device, it's something.

 

I'm going to make sure my next TV is a TCL, just to continue to support their company moving forward (and they make some damn nice TV's)

 

If only the had the COURAGE to remove the headphone jack, without that COURAGE, how can a company possibly move forward.

I mean, Isolating probably 90% of the current audio connectivity devices can only be smart.... </sarcasm>

Edited by Master_Scythe

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They'd better not do what happened to the priv, overprice it.

Edited by Jeruselem

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They'd better not do what happened to the priv, overprice it.

 

I saw a rough price breakdown on a live BBM chat with some users for the PRIV, it wasn't nearly as overpriced as people thought. There was a LOT of 'in house' (read: Canadian wages) that went into making that phone.

Not to mention, competition for a slider QWERTY phone? anyone? That allows for a small price hike.

 

But even than, flagship to flagship, it was still the cheapest of them all. Galaxy EDGE, and iPhone 6S (as were the release competitors) were still WELL above Priv's price-range outright.

 

The failing point fo the PRIV were lack of advertisement (despite STILL being available from Optus on a fairly cheap plan), and the small battery.

 

Mercury will fix one of those (batt), lets just hope they fix the other also.....

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BLACKBERRY KEYone

So, at 4AM on Sunday Morning, during a live stream, this was "launched" Should be in stores by April, apparently.

All the rumored specs are true; I'm going to BOLD all that impressed me.

About the only sad face I got, was 3GB of ram, not 4GB, but with Android N's better management, hopefully I'll never notice.

 

stock-keyone-2.jpg

 

OS: Android 7.1 Nougat
Display: IPS, 4.5-inch, 1620x1080 (434ppi)
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB (+ microSD up to 2TB)
Rear Camera 12MP (1.55 micron) f/2.0, PDAF, dual-tone LED flash, HDR, 4K, 30fps
Front Camera 8MP f/2.2, 1.12-micron pixels, Selfie flash, 1080p/30 video
Battery 3505 mAh (non-removable)
Port: USB-C, 3.5mm Headphone
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, 5GHz, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, NFC, FM Radio

Network: LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/19/20/28/29/30 + TD-LTE Band 38/39/40/41
Dimensions 149.1 mm x 72.39 mm x 9.4 mm
Weight 180 grams

 

If you follow the crackberry forums, this thing has been field tested quite widely, and that combo of 4.5"+625+3505mah has proven to handle 2 days of very heavy use with ease.

 

All this, for $549USB (so about $750AUD) outright.... I couldn't be happier.

Time to keep an eye on ozbargain for a cheap 200GB MicroSD (they're popping up regularly at the moment), and get hyped!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch and read more Crackberry articles on this, the Blackberry KEYone, which I'm hoping means, they expect a KEYtwo

 

EDIT:

OK, I tried, but nope, I'm going to burst if I don't give a bit of personal opinion on this.

It's fucking perfect. I use a Galaxy Note 4 right now, along side my Blackberry Passport; and if its one thing I can say, the Note has never seen a single ounce of lag. I can multitask pokemon go, mp3 playing, receive an email, and txt message, and get 0 lag.

While the new BB is slightly slower in raw clock speed, we have an additional 2 cores, and newer instruction sets, I think they aced the CPU choice for battery life and so we won't see lag.

Battery? My god yes, I'm just happy to finally have a device (since the passport) that I know I can go out and come home with power left. That along with the new 'Boost to Charge' feature, where the phone locks itself in the lowest C state while charging, is genius. 50% in half an hour, they claim. Im sure you can disable it, and maybe screen-on or unlock will automatically disable it? But while its idle and hard wired, why allow speed at the cost of charge? Genious.... just brilliant....

 

I'm just watching all the 'new' hands ons and re watching the live event, and can't wait to show a few mates who were skeptical (but pure business users) the physical keyboard vs touch keyboard 'screen space' comparison. You really do get more screen space at 4.5" than a 5.2" does, with the onscreen keyboard up.

As business users, they're always typing, so 95% of the time, keyboard is up.

 

The blackberry HUB is of course, there too, but literally every Android user I've shown the HUB has installed it and used it anyway, so nothing to show them there, I'm just hoping its a little more integrated.

I don't think anyone I know has ever argued the HUB is pretty much perfect and switched to it full time.

 

They promise to keep up to date, on a monthly basis with security patches, something basically no one do at the moment (maybe the pixel\nexus devices, but not much else).

 

And while people bitch and moan about the $549 USB (750AUD) price point, because "wahh the specs arent as high as others", as above, have a fucking whinge. You're being guaranteed battery life in exchange, and I really do doubt the accusations that people will see lag or anything even close to it with a 625 in there. Unless you videogame on your phone, I can't see it coming up.

Yep, its about $100 more than other phones with identical processing specs..... but the keyboard is easily worth at least $50 of that, and the rest, well, call it early adopter hype money.

 

Fuck I'm pumped!

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Oh, 1620x1080 = 1920x1080 (spotted a typo)

 

I think you're wrong there, 1920x1080 isn't 3:2 anymore..... that's a 16:9....

So I think they're right in this instance; 1620x1080 = 3:2 = correct

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Oh, 1620x1080 = 1920x1080 (spotted a typo)

 

I think you're wrong there, 1920x1080 isn't 3:2 anymore..... that's a 16:9....

So I think they're right in this instance; 1620x1080 = 3:2 = correct

 

 

This 3:2 seems to be a thing these days it seems

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Oh, 1620x1080 = 1920x1080 (spotted a typo)

 

I think you're wrong there, 1920x1080 isn't 3:2 anymore..... that's a 16:9....

So I think they're right in this instance; 1620x1080 = 3:2 = correct

 

 

This 3:2 seems to be a thing these days it seems

 

 

I think iphones 1~4s made it popular.

And now, the Microsoft Surfaces, and the Chromebook Pixel.

 

And I have to admit, when consuming web pages, books, manuals, basically anything you'd normally get in printed media (so, everything minus video), it's better than 16:9; at least IMO

Edited by Master_Scythe

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I guess a squarish screen is best for that, assuming it's not the size of postage stamp like the Nokia 3310.

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Many outlets have chosen the device as their Best Of, Editor's Pick, Top Pick and more in various different categories. Folks such as SlashGear, Talk Android, Android Authority, IT Pro, Chip Chick, TechAdvisorUK and even our colleagues over at Android Central and MrMobile have shown BlackBerry Mobile and the BlackBerry KEYone lots of love and no doubt, there's likely a few more coming as well!

 

blackberry-keyone-awards.jpg

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https://www.finder.com.au/mobile-phones/blackberry-keyone

 

Looks like you'll be shelling out $800 for it MS

 

Being TCL, they'll likely do international warranty, so I'll import assuming bands line up.

 

Also, some of the Optus testing team have been spotted in the wild testing them, so I'll likely be able to get it locked on optus for cheaper.

 

$549 USD is close to $730 AUD, Ive been saying $750AUD is more likely.

 

They need to enter below 800 to tempt people.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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They are banking on Crackberry hardcore users to buy the product at a premium I think. Still it' not like a $1000 iPhone though

Edited by Jeruselem

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They are banking on Crackberry hardcore users to buy the product at a premium I think. Still it' not like a $1000 iPhone though

 

I'm relying on a $650~699 locked to optus pretty quickly, to entice buyers.

I dont need it to be sold to me, but others will want a bargain.

$750~800 outright is probably right, but shouldn't be. It should be $750, direct conversion plus a little.

 

 

See I have good hopes for this thing, and here's why.

Everyone, without exception, wanted to use my Passport, and liked the feel of it.

Tons even asked if they could "Try and pocket it" because it was square, and were shocked at the exact pocket sizing they chose, they expected it to be 'big'. It wasn't.

I had a total of 0 complaints about it and lots of awe and interest.

The only negative thing I heard was "wow thats a lot of letterboxing" if I was filling time with youtube; which, 3:2 will reduce a LOT compared to 1:1 like it was before.

 

Where BB completely fucked up, was at the new product launch back in like 2013ish? iOS was 'boring' and Android wasn't polished enough yet.

They had a real chance, even without paying for advertising, there were blackberry stands in every JBhifi, and that was enough to SHOW people....

 

The crucial absolute killer mistake?

They released the Z10 (touchscreen) before the Q10 (qwerty).

They completely white-washed their point of difference in the market, by releasing another 'flat glass phone' with an unknown ecosystem.

An unknown ecosystem isnt a GOOD point of difference for most people, so they disregarded the brand, and the Q10 launched with 0 popularity.

 

THIS time, they're launching the QWERTY first. Like smart individuals.

They also lucked out, because trust of Samsung as a brand is at an all time low (kaboom!).

iPhone users (without the rest of the in home ecosystem) are disenchanted by the loss of headphones, and if you believe chinese media, theres a battery risk there too; and even my die-hard apple mates are still shitting on the new iOS.

 

There are always exceptions, but 9/10 people I ask who had E63's or classic BB's or palms and what not still "prefer a keyboard" over an On-Screen, even though 'the on screen is fine' for them, just a preference.

And 2 days battery, with a phone that wont feel lag for YEARS unless you're a gamer (and I genuinely haven't met many outside of Pokemon Go).

 

If they can make this thing make ANY sort of impact, it'll sell.

It's not going to outrank Samsung or Apple, they gotta be dreaming, but it'll end up profitable, and has a real chance to remind people 'Blackberry' is a brand.

 

All the pieces of the puzzle are there, now its up to a little marketing, and a whole lotta luck....

They're not taking any crowns, but they may be able to get their brand a known name again.

 

Fingers crossed; mainly because I want a KEYtwo to happen also!

Edited by Master_Scythe

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There's one thing about hardware keyboards on phones, the keys or keyboard mechanisms will wear out. I hope you can replace the keyboard without wrecking the phone.

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There's one thing about hardware keyboards on phones, the keys or keyboard mechanisms will wear out. I hope you can replace the keyboard without wrecking the phone.

 

Longest keyboard phones I had were E63, 4.5 years.

Next was a Q10 for 2 years.

And my Passport for a year.

 

I use them HEAVILY.

my mate is STILL using his Bold9000 from probably 10 years ago now.

None have worn out YET.

 

You're right they can, but I don't think it's a concern in the usable life of a phone.

I mean, its just a metal-membrane keyboard.

I have RUBBER membrane keyboards on my PC which gets thousands more presses, still working from the early 90's....

 

Hell I dont think I ever even saw a T9 keyboard 'wear out', and in the 90's during the TXTing craze, those things got a workout.

 

10 keys instead of a full qwerty? they copped it hard....

Edited by Master_Scythe

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I have worn out sony ericsson phone keyboard by the way. Mainly because the screen was so **** small, I spent most of the time scrolling through the address book.

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