BlackBerry Venice Release Date, Specs: BlackBerry's First Ever Android Device with Sliding Keyboard Might Arrive in November

( [email protected] ) Aug 20, 2015 10:01 AM EDT
An intriguing new device called BlackBerry Venice will reportedly run a full version of Google’s popular Android mobile OS. It also features a sliding QWERTY keyboard.
The new BlackBerry Venice is rumored to be first Android-powered BlackBerry device. Evan Blass on Twitter (@Evleaks)

For those who are keeping tabs on the tech world recently, they may already know about a rumored device called BlackBerry Venice. What makes this handset profoundly intriguing is that it will reportedly run a full version of Google's popular Android mobile OS.

After sharing a photo of the same device last month, renowned leakster Evan Blass (aka "@evleaks") has once again shared an image that gives us our best look yet on the alleged upcoming BlackBerry unit. The new photo (see above) looks similar to the previous leak, but this time it clearly shows that a sliding QWERTY keyboard is fitted into the handset.

The Canadian device maker, formerly known as Research In Motion (RIM), has suffered from declining profits in recent years since the advent of the iPhone and Android handsets. If proven to be true, the BlackBerry Venice will be one of the company's most radical move to gain back its previously lucrative market share.

As mentioned, the device will apparently run the Android operating system instead of the business-inclined & security-focused BlackBerry OS.  Moreover, leaked photos tells us that it will have some pre-installed Microsoft apps such as Bing and Skype.

An on-screen digital keyboard can still be used for quickly jotting down notes or when replying to instant messages. The sliding physical keyboard, meanwhile, is said to be intended for heavy usage like writing long messages, emails, or documents. 

Based on previous reports, the Android-powered BlackBerry Venice will feature a 5.4-inch QHD screen equipped with a hexa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chipset clocked at 1.8GHz. It's paired with 3GB worth of RAM.

An 18-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), auto focus and LED flash is fitted at the back while a 5-megapixel snapper can be used for taking selfies and video calls.

Hardcore BlackBerry loyalists know that Android can already be enjoyed, to some extent, by owners of the BlackBerry 10. However, the BlackBerry Venice's full-blown Android OS will give its users unprecedented access to the actual Play Store and will let them enjoy popular Google services like Google Maps, Hangouts, and Google Calendar.

A BlackBerry representative has this to say about the new purported Android slider, "We don't comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched." This statement was given in response to a request by CNET.

The Canadian company has not yet confirmed or denied the arrival of BlackBerry Venice. But @evleaks has gone so far as to claim that the new smartphone will be released this November on all four major telecom companies in the U.S-AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. 

Tags : smartphones, blackberry, Android, blackberry venice, blackberry venice release date, Android Lollipop, sliding keyboard