Sunday, July 5, 2015

Is this BlackBerry's upcoming Android smartphone?

A leaked image of the BlackBerry Venice. (Photo: @evleaks)

There have been rumours that smartphone maker BlackBerry is working on an Android phone with a “dual curved display” (a la the Galaxy S6 Edge) that slides up to reveal a physical keyboard.

The smartphone is supposedly based on a device originally announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona back in March. A low-resolution image of the device being held up on stage had leaked earlier on Twitter.

An older leaked image of the Venice from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Now, Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) has posted a high-resolution render of the device, codenamed Venice, on Twitter.

The leaked image seems to confirm the aforementioned display, curved at the sides like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. There also seems to be a speaker at the bottom.

Dedicated send and end keys – a staple of previous BlackBerry devices – are nowhere to be seen, presumably because the device is now going to run Android instead of BlackBerry OS 10.
The rumoured slider keyboard is not visible in the leaked image but it is plausible that it is present underneath that screen.

While a Google Play Store icon is not visible, other icons on the screen suggest the device is running an unaltered vanilla version of Android. This would mean full compatibilty with a broad selection of apps from Android's Play Store.

Last month, Reuters had reported that BlackBerry would make the switch to Android. If the leaked image proves accurate (Blass has a long history of posting accurate leaks), it might well be coming soon.