Are pigs about to start flying? After begging for years and losing all hope, BlackBerry has reportedly turned around and finally decided that making an Android smartphone wasn’t such a bad idea. BlackBerry CEO even mentioned he wouldn’t be opposed to building a secure Android handset.
Rumors and leaks have intensified since then. The tech world has all eyes on the keyboard king as we eagerly wait for an announcement, but for now all we can do is give you a rundown of all the rumored details that have managed to hit the inter webs. The upcoming handset is said to be named the BlackBerry Venice. Want to learn everything there is to know about this rumored phone? Keep reading.
Keep in mind most of this information is based on leaks and murmurs, and therefore you shouldn’t hold your breath on any of these. We are only putting all the information together for you. Take everything with a grain of salt. Oh, and don’t forget to keep this article bookmarked, as it will continue to be updated as more details on the BlackBerry Venice appear.
The whole tech world is raging about the BlackBerry Venice design. While we have had pretty good keyboards in the Android realm, none of them have quite matched BlackBerry quality. This is why our eyes turned wide open and our hearts dropped when we first heard the rumors that an Android BB smartphone was probably coming.
Thankfully, all rumors have kept us satisfied. And I believe we can put a certain level of trust on the general idea surrounding the Venice’s design, as all leaks have been consistent.
On the surface, the BlackBerry Venice looks like your regular black slab. One of the earlier images from @evleaks shows a phone with a speaker below the screen, a microUSB port and a 3.5 mm headset jack, as well as what seems like a curved screen displaying a rather clean version of Android. This information was great and all, but it was the leaks to come that would really get the conversation going.
This thing has a keyboard, and it’s hidden right under the screen! You can literally slide the screen section upwards to the beautiful button layout. The image showcasing this part of the phone also came from Evan Blass, who then decided to treat us with an actual video of the phone.
Eye candy. pic.twitter.com/GtJwOfOus8
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 19, 2015
Other illustrations include cartoon-like press renders from CrackBerry and @evleaks (yes, again), but those are a little more basic. What has me more excited are the leaked shots we saw hitting the internet last weekend. These are true photos of the phone, not press renders or fancy animations. The phone looks just as we expected, and we can finally see it from all angles.
We then went ahead and uncovered some exclusive images, also showing the device from different angles, but the coolest part is that these images gave us more insight on the software, as well as a hands-on video that recently went online. We will take a look at the clip during the software section, though, as that is mostly what it focuses on. Here are the images:
We can’t go too much into detail about this information just yet, as not enough about the handset’s internals has been strongly corroborated. The latest rumors do state the phone will come with a 5.4-inch QHD (2560x1440p) display, though. This would put the BlackBerry Venice up there with the big guys. It’s said to be a power house, so we should expect no less.
It’s also important to note that some of the images make it seem like the screen is slightly curved on the sides, a la Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. It’s a cool little treat if you are into that kind of stuff, but it shouldn’t really make much of a difference. It’s said the display will feature a Super AMOLED panel, though, and that is definitely something to celebrate. At least for those of us who like deep blacks and vibrant colors.
As mentioned right above, the rumored spec list is still not yet worthy of too much trust, mostly because it’s not backed by many other sources or separate rumors. These specs come from N4bb, which claims the handset will feature a 1.8 GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor and 3 GB of RAM.
Sure, it may not have the almighty Snapdragon 810 and the 4 GB of RAM that’s starting to become the standard, but this phone will certainly not disappoint. The Snapdragon 808 is plenty powerful, and 3 GB of RAM is great for multi-tasking. In fact, these specs seem to be identical to those of the LG G4, so you should expect similar performance. And the G4 happens to be a great smartphone!
I will say it right off the bat – BlackBerry has always been infamous for its sub-par smartphone cameras. Seriously… this stuff can get pretty bad, even with the newer handsets! Will a change in the operating system improve the situation? It’s hard to say, but we can only hope so.
At the very least we know the pixel count on photos will be pretty high. Rumors suggest the phone will come with an 18 MP rear-facing camera. The images also show some engraving around the lens with the words “OIS” and “FAST FOCUS”, so we can assume the camera will tout both mentioned features. On the front side, the Venice is said to feature a 5 MP camera. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it should definitely be good enough for those good ol’ selfies.
We know the BlackBerry Venice is coming with Android, but we are not sure just yet which version it will tout. With Android 6.0 Marshmallow right around the corner, we certainly hope the new handset will adopt the latest and greatest mobile OS iteration from Google.
What’s interesting is that this phone’s software will be more than just about Android and its benefits over BB10. BlackBerry CEO John Chen previously mentioned that “if he could find a way to secure an Android phone, he will also build that”, and this seems to hold true for the Venice. BlackBerry acquired Good Technology on September, in an effort to expand its security services to other platforms (including Android).
Furthermore, a list of installed apps acquired by Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) shows us a bevy of BlackBerry apps being pre-installed on the Android handset. This would include popular services like BlackBerry Messenger, Hub, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, Emails and more.
BlackBerry has been meaning to offer its services to Android users. That leads us to one big question – is the Venice about showcasing the services BlackBerry can offer to other Android users, or is it more about making an awesome device? To us it seems like the Venice takes the best out of both platforms.
A leaked hands-on video shows the Venice has great software features we have seen from both operating systems. For starters, the device seems to support double-tap to wake. The software looks very much like stock Android, but there’s definitely BlackBerry enhancements within. There was also BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Device Search. This will take care of all your communications. The Device Search will allow users to easily find any file, app or content from a single tool.
Remember how you could use the keyboard as a touch pad with the BlackBerry Passport? It turns out the Venice has the same features. You can use it to easily scroll around, which will help when viewing media or websites, as your fingers won’t be getting in the way.
Price and availability
Evan Blass swears this phone will be launching in November, and that it’s coming to all 4 major USA carriers. Other than that, details on availability are scarce.
No rumors on pricing have emerged either, but don’t expect the BlackBerry Venice to be cheap. It has high-end specs and likely a high focus on security, which will make it a valuable asset to many enterprise users. Not to mention, this smartphone will be all the hype among previous BlackBerry users.
BlackBerry plans to make its big return to the market with a phone they could actually manage to sell in larger quantities. The Venice looks like a winner, with specs that seem to be great and software that is even better. The great part is users will enjoy all the benefits Android has to offer, all while not needing to sacrifice their BlackBerry features, as most of the main BB10 services seem to be coming with it.
It will all make more sense once more details show up. We understand there’s not enough information to really make a decision right now, but the announcement is on its way and more rumors will continue coming in! Remember to keep this post bookmarked and an open eye on Android Authority for all your BlackBerry Venice and Android news. We will continue to report on the mysterious phone, and this post will be updated continuously.
Hit the comments and let us know what you think! The real question is whether users will put their money where their mouth is. I honestly wouldn’t mind giving the BlackBerry Venice a chance. Would you?