Last month, a report claimed that BlackBerry was about to get out of the OS market, instead building Android-powered devices that featured its proprietary security software. And now we seemingly have our first look at the first such phone.
As reported before, BlackBerry's "Venice" slider phone - first teased this spring as a BlackBerry 10 device - is likely to be the company's debut Android device. This afternoon, noted leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) shared the image below of what it apparently looks like.
It's an Android phone, alright, even one loaded up with Google features like the Play Store, Chrome, and Maps - all sure to make a BlackBerry phone a much more appealing device. But there's something we're not seeing in the photo below, and you'll have to look at the older image up top for that part.
Indeed, it's a slider phone, with the curved screen portion pushing up to reveal the physical keyboard housed below the bottom half. Blass says the device is headed to carrier AT&T in the States, although international release details are unclear at this time.
Interestingly, some rumoured specs that started circulating last month (via N4BB) point to it being a rather powerful device: the Galaxy S6 Edge-like curved screen is said to be a 5.4in Quad-HD display, with a 1.8Ghz hexa-core Snapdragon 808 64-bit processor and 3GB RAM within, along with an 18MP back camera and a 5MP front shooter.
Assuming those specs are anywhere close to the real thing, the BlackBerry Venice won't be cheap - especially with that physical keyboard and sliding mechanism. But if BlackBerry can make a phone that competes with Android flagships on specs while adding in a physical keyboard and security perks, then it might be the company's best chance yet to compete in the modern market.
We expect to hear about the Venice before long, and should see a release before the end of the year. Stay tuned for more as it comes.