BlackBerry's Android slider with physical keyboard poses for the camera

By Scorpus
Aug 31, 2015
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  1. BlackBerry refuses to die a quiet death. The Canadian company is currently working on an Android-powered smartphone with a slide-out physical keyboard, codenamed 'Venice', and thanks to some leaked photos released over the weekend we might be getting our first good look at what the device brings to the table.

    The Venice is a pretty sizable device thanks to a 5.4-inch display on the front, and it gets even larger when the four-row keyboard slides out the bottom of the handset. The display itself is subtly curved to either side, and features on-screen navigation buttons, at least in this prototype version.

    Around the back of the device, an 18-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization can be seen next to a two-tone dual-LED flash. Along the top edge is a SIM card slot and microSD card slot, while the power and volume buttons are found on the sides.

    Rumors suggest that the BlackBerry Venice will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC with 3 GB of RAM, and will launch with a customized version of Android featuring some of BlackBerry's business-grade services.

    Many smartphone users have long abandoned physical keyboards in favor of ever-improving on-screen versions, so the Venice will cater to a niche audience that prefer the tactile feedback of hardware keys. Is this niche audience large enough to make the Venice a success and save BlackBerry from extinction? We'll have to wait until an official release to find out.

    Permalink to story.

  2. phil in SAfrica

    phil in SAfrica TS Rookie

    Quiet death? I have never seen so many BBs in service as I have here in South Africa. I suspect the non-North American market is still very much alive and well.
    psycros likes this.
  3. TechStrategy

    TechStrategy TS Rookie

    I miss my qwerty keyboard and micro SD card from my Droid. The only thing I see missing in this BB is the removable battery.

    But the biggest problem with Androids is the handset manufacturer (as the article says BB will) and subsequently the carrier modify the base OS and therefore cut off support for security updates and the latest feature updates and new versions. Apple, who has complete control over iOS and the devices, have safer, longer useful lives. Most Android devices over six to twelve months old are walking time bombs. Google doesn't seem to feel this is a deal... I hope one of their senior execs get hacked so this problem gets some attention.

    It would be nice to have a choice to return to an Android but without a guaranty of the OS patches and version upgrades, I'll be stuck with an otherwise inferior iPhone (which is definitely not business feature friendly).
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,339   +1,938

    They're still very popular here in SA and in most of Africa but you won't see them much anywhere else.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,295   +663

    Yeah, nice intro line. I guess we need to rename this site BGRspot. I mean, God forbid we'd still have phones with durable hardware, long battery life, superior productivity and security as more than an afterthought. The only thing this phone is missing to quality as "best Android phone ever" is the button belt/trackpad. Who knows, maybe someone will code a virtual one.
  6. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 818   +383

    I certainly have nothing against BB, but they kinda shot themselves up by not doing business with T-Mobile and having sat on their hands for as long as they did before realizing how important it was to innovate - literally, the entire world passed them by.
    I think they can still catch up and be a real contender - if they provide features people want. Just look at the blazingly humungus hole left by the Note...I mean Samsung is really giving their market share away; who's gonna grab it?
  7. kuroiei

    kuroiei TS Enthusiast Posts: 93   +31

    Looking as my BB Curve slowly dies (some buttons fell off, no software / inner hardware problems) after almost 8 years of intense use, dropping, handling, listening to music almost every single night - it's great that I would find a replacement! :) Good for BB, my (oldie, I know) Wildfire S has a one day battery life and opens my contacts (around 50 entries?) in about a minute or so, so good old tech never dies!

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 906   +242

    This looks promising. I am in the market for a physical keyboard phone. I had a Droid 2 and 4 and really want that keyboard back. I have been using virtual keyboards for 2.5 years now and I HATE IT! I get so angry I want to throw my phone across the room. Virtual keyboards SUCK for any serious typing.

    I would rather the slide out keyboard be on the side, but maybe this works fine with such a large screen... we shall see. I would also like IP67 rated water resistance but I doubt BB is interested, and most people don't care about that.
  9. hkhan1989

    hkhan1989 TS Rookie


    I miss a physical qwerty keyboard, I can type just fine on a touchscreen, but I need physical feedback, not that haptic emulated crap!

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