A few weeks back, a high-profile publication was claiming that BlackBerry is seriously taking into account the release of an Android-powered handset. A few days after that report, CEO John Chen said that his company could consider building an Android smartphone only if it can make it secure enough.
Now, well-known leaker Evan Blass, aka evleaks (here are just a few leaks coming from him), has tweeted that BlackBerry is indeed working on an Android handset. According to him, the upcoming smartphone will be called BlackBerry Venice and will be exclusive to AT&T, at least in the first phase of its release.
The Android-powered BlackBerry Venice slider is AT&T-bound.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 2, 2015
Blass also posted the above picture, as well, but that seems to be a mocked-up version of the BlackBerry Passport. The BlackBerry Venice is expected to be a slider phone with a more elegant aspect. Among its rumored specs we find a 5.4-inch screen, 18MP rear camera and 1.8GHz hexa-core CPU (Qualcomm Snapdragon 808). The device is rumored to arrive in November, and by the looks of it, it could be the company’s new flagship device.
That’s about all that we know regarding this upcoming device, according to rumors and leaks, that is. If the iconic Canadian company does indeed decide to go with Android, I’m guessing that this is going to be a heavily skinned OS, since BlackBerry needs to inlay its own trademark software features.
Update – evleaks has posted a new picture of the upcoming device in order to dissipate the confusion surrounding the first image that he originally tweeted.
Indeed, by the looks of it, this is going to be a gorgeous smartphone. Evan Blass also pointed out to some other render images of the device which surfaced online a few weeks back.
These make it clear that the screen of the smartphone will slide up to reveal a keyboard underneath. On the bottom we find a headphone jack and the standard micro USB port.
We can also see a speaker grille, volume buttons on the side, and if the render is accurate, then the screen does seem to be a bit curved, reminiscent of the S6 Edge.
The image that Blass leaked today shows the device running a version of near-stock Android Lollipop along with many apps on top of Google’s standard offerings.