8/31/2015

BlackBerry Android news: BlackBerry Venice slider appears in first high-quality images


Android fans who still desire a physical keyboard might have something to celebrate about later this year. It’s reported that BlackBerry might be working on an Android phone, and it looks like it’s more than just a rumor. Two devices have leaked so far, and reports disagree on which one will run Android. It’s also possible that neither will. Here’s everything we know so far.

Updated on 08-30-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in hands on images of the BlackBerry Venice slider.

The BlackBerry Venice

A Blackberry phone with a codename of Venice leaked back in June, and is believed to be running Android. It’s slated to arrive in November with the following specs: a 5.4-inch Quad-HD screen, a 1.8GHz 64-bit hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB RAM, as well as an 18-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

The Venice will reportedly feature a slide-out physical keyboard, so this could be the mysterious slider device CEO John Chen teased at Mobile World Congress. Even more interesting is the fact that the display supposedly has dual-curved edges just like the Galaxy S6 Edge.
The first high-quality images of what could be the BlackBerry Venice slider appeared online in late August. They give further confirmation to what the keyboard looks like and the presence of Google apps. However, this is the first time we get to see the sliding mechanism from the back of the device. You will also notice that the rear camera will likely sport dual LED flash.

Famous leaker Even Blass posted two GIFs in mid- to late August of what could be the BlackBerry Venice.
The first animation is a closeup of the physical keyboard and the rear 18-megapixel camera.

This second animation shows the keyboard sliding down. You will also see that many Google apps appear on the device indicating that it will be Google certified.

Following a variety of shadowy leaked images, a clear press-style image of what may be the BlackBerry Venice was posted on Twitter by Evan Blass in mid-August. The picture shows the phone with its slider section extended, revealing a physical keyboard. Above it, on the display, is what looks like Android.

BlackBerry Venice Screen

In mid-August, Crackberry forum member Mikey_NNG posted an alleged image of the on-screen keyboard from the BlackBerry Venice. He claims to have played with the device for a few minutes and it was running Android Lollipop. The back button is more spaced out than on existing BlackBerry keyboards, indicating that it is indeed an Android. A curved edge display is also clearly visible.

Alleged renders of the BlackBerry Venice were posted in early August by Crackberry, and they reveal an Android interface, a curved edge display, and an 18-megapixel camera. The first render shows what appears to be the BlackBerry Hub running on Android. The circular action button (pen icon) at the bottom center of the display complies with Android’s material design principles.
Android and Google Play?
A GIF posted by leaker Even Blass in late August reveals the BlackBerry Productivity Suite, which includes the BlackBerry Hub, contacts, and unified calendar apps. These apps are not presently available on Android, but the Material Design elements are a clear sign they were developed with Android in mind. They are likely to debut on the BlackBerry Venice.

Leaked photos of the Venice and possible marketing materials suggest the phone will have complete access to Google’s apps. Early on, the Chromecast icon appeared in the renders, for example. The latest picture of the phone shows a wide variety of Android apps that aren’t available for BlackBerry phones, including Google Maps, Hangouts, Google Calendar, and most importantly, Google Play.
In addition to the presentation slides posted by Crackberry — which also showed an image of the previously leaked 18-megapixel rear camera — another two slides were added to the collection by Evan Blass on his Twitter account, this time showing the phone with Google Play on the screen, and one referencing a content transfer app. In this slide, reference is made to an “Android BlackBerry device.”

In early August, a tweet stated that T-Mobile will offer the BlackBerry Venice slider, which followed the news that AT&T would also offer the phone.