Rumours of BlackBerry’s foray into an Android powered device continue, and this time with a supposed leak of what the device will look like. Surprisingly, the only picture available seems to indicate that the company will be putting Android into a BlackBerry Passport; although another tweet from evleaks indicates that the rumoured slider version of the phone is already on its way to AT&T.
Also, /this/ pic.twitter.com/DL9BzAMEC4
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 3, 2015
The idea of an Android device with a physical keyboard is extremely interesting. However, it calls into question whether the kind of hardware that BlackBerry tends to use will be able to provide a suitable Android experience. BlackBerry has generally used lower powered processors and less RAM than its competition, but that has rarely affected the user experience due to the light weight nature of BB10. Android is not nearly as forgiving on less powerful processors, although this could indicate that the Passport-like smartphone may be more than just a new OS in the same machine.
The Android-powered BlackBerry Venice slider is AT&T-bound.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 2, 2015
On the other hand, the BlackBerry Venice – the code name for the slider style BlackBerry – is apparently close to release. evleaks claims that it is AT&T bound, but doesn’t quite say when it will be appearing. The device was teased at MWC 2015, and rumours put it at a substantial hardware upgrade over what BlackBerry users are used to. Venice will apparently feature a 5.4-inch screen, 18MP rear camera and 1.8GHz Hexa-core CPU.
No telling when these two devices will appear, but at least BlackBerry is trying something new as the company attempts to revive its fortunes. Whether this means that there will be a larger shift to more Android powered devices is still up for debate.
Update: Turns out the BlackBerry Passport looking device is a just a mock up and not the real thing. Which is somewhat disappointing.