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The Android-powered BlackBerry Venice slider is starting to look real

For months now, there have been rumors that BlackBerry is working on an Android-powered device but until recently, there was very little evidence to back those rumors up outside of a single render provided by @evleaks. Since the initial rumors began, the folks at CrackBerry have been tracking blurry cam images, as well as a bunch of renders, which all appear to point to an Android powered BlackBerry becoming a real thing.

This is the latest on what we know, what we don't know, and what we think.

The Android powered BlackBerry Venice is starting to look real

Leaks, rumors and allegations ...

According to some new details provided once again by @evleaks, the BlackBerry Venice slider is running Android Lollipop and is headed to all major carriers in the U.S. this November, although an exact date has not been detailed. But according to various other rumors, could happen on Nov. 16.

To go along with that information, some new renders have been released which highlight some additional images of the device itself along with showing off the Google Play Store, which BlackBerry 10 smartphones currently have no legitimate access to.

Also spotted in the images is the BlackBerry Hub, which acts as the central location for all messages on BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Something BlackBerry notably mentioned it would be bringing to Android, as well as iOS and Windows Phone through the BlackBerry Experience Suite as part of their cross-platform strategy they've been taking on.

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Still not buying the idea that BlackBerry would roll out an Android device with a physical keyboard? Well, there's also a new image of the device showing off exactly that and it's no Samsung hardware keyboard. It's the same BlackBerry keyboard you likely loved and eventually tossed aside a few years back.

But, wait, there's more.

According to CrackBerry, the GIF files shared by @evleaks are rather similar to the video files BlackBerry places on some of their hardware as help, how-to and tutorials. Although these seem rather rough by comparison to some of those, it's not exactly unheard of for BlackBerry to leave these things deep within their OS under the assumption they'll never be seen. In this case, it just looks as though they were extracted and shared.

So what's the real deal?

BlackBerry Venice Slider

Maybe this is happening. Maybe it's not. There's a lot that's still up in the air.

Is BlackBerry going to push out an Android-powered BlackBerry? Well, that's where it all begins to get a little strange despite all of this evidence. The rumors surrounding the BlackBerry Venice slider have focused on it running Android but for all the Android rumors. But there are just as many rumors that it will be running BlackBerry 10 or some sort of hybrid OS concocted by BlackBerry through their ownership of QNX which happens to have something called the QNX Hypervisor allowing for more than one OS to run. As BlackBerry 10 can already run Android apps through its own Android runtime, for better or worse, this integration would markedly improve that capability.

On top of all that, there's also rumors that BlackBerry will essentially offer two different versions of the BlackBerry Venice slider. One that runs Android with full on access to everything Google and one that will run BlackBerry 10 just like all of BlackBerry's current smartphone offerings. The problem with that is that outside of the rumors, there has been no proof presented of a BlackBerry 10 version existing like there has been of an Android version existing. Absolutely zero leaks have appeared showing the Venice slider running a version of BlackBerry 10, only a single official image from Mobile World Congress, that's arguable whether or not it was even a real device or just something tossed together for looks. Maybe that's because it's not as interesting as a BlackBerry running Android? Perhaps.

Really, though, not a lot has changed since the renders initially appeared which were discussed it on the Android Central podcast. There still are a lot of unknowns here, but we're keeping our eyes on it all just to see how it pans out.

BlackBerry releasing a device the runs Android would certainly be an interesting turn of events and right now, all of this raises more questions than there are answers. Some believe BlackBerry will reveal more details at IFA 2015 in Berlin thanks to a now deleted Reddit post, but that seems like a long-shot as BlackBerry hasn't even been present at IFA in recent years. That said, we'll be at IFA 2015 so if they really do announce some details and it really is running Android, we'll be sure to let you all know.

122 Comments
  • "Finally!" -- Me in 2011
  • I thought this comment looked familiar. Same one appeared in another site's comment section.
  • A new low for RIMM
  • The renders actually look pretty cool. If this was real, and a true Android device, I'd be interested.
  • And "Windows Phone" starts to cry. Kinda reminds me of of a phone DELL made back in the days of froyo. Because I choose to use a GSIII over the Note 5, I own a Note 4.
  • I'm actually pretty excited about this. If it's a good, 5.2-5.5 inch screen, not insanely heavy/awkward and otherwise a top end phone spec wise, I would really consider picking one up.
  • The specs that have been leaked/rumoured are actually quite appealing. 5.4-inch Quad-HD display
    18 MP rear-camera
    5 MP front-camera
    1.8 GHz Hexa-core (Snapdragon 808 chipset) 64-bit
    3 GB RAM Those are just the main specs. Other things like battery, storage, etc haven't really been talked about yet. It's a good start though! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I heard those rumors too. However, at the 10 sec mark you can kinda see what's written around the camera and it looks like 16MP to me. Hard to see tho, anybody get a better look? Either way, with OIS it's likely a very good camera Posted via the Android Central App
  • If it really has a 5"+ screen size, it's going to have to be pretty bottom-heavy (in portrait orientation) to make the keyboard useful, rather than a drop-liability. Posted via the Android Central App
  • First time I've ever been excited for a BB phone and hope it does well. My only gripe is the keyboard is not length wise like my original D1. I would love a physical keyboard to attach to my N6
  • So what happens to Crackberry when this comes out?
    Does it merge with AndroidCentral.com? LG G2, still burning through high end games.
    (The Sprint Lover)
  • It becomes CrackCentral.com
  • Dude I just shot coffee out of my nose. LMAO!!! So do we just call it Compton?
  • LOL that made me laugh as well lol
  • Niiccceee!! lolol!
  • Me too funniest post i've seen today! :^}
  • This could have some potential! I will be happy to come back to Android as long as this device has the hub and also offers some of the same security that BlackBerry 10 currently offers. I don't expect it to be the same, just where it counts.
    The current BlackBerry 10 solution for Android Apps is sub par. They don't run as smooth as intended. Having a phone that would offer the hub and Google Play services would be like having your cake and eating it too. Not to mention as well, it's not just a touch screen! Personally I can't stand dedicated touch screen devices anymore! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Android OS with blackberry hub & security.... I'd be a crackhead once again! Posted via the Android Central App
  • ....and the BB10 flick keyboard... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes!!! The BB10 was by far my favorite phone, and I've owned a lot. I look forward to having BlackBerry in my hands once again. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'll buy it. I honestly like BlackBerry. I had a Z10/Z30/Passport for a little while as backup devices and they were great. Physical keyboards might seen to be antiquated, but they are honestly great to type on. Plus, BlackBerry is great at creating solid hardware (and their speakers are always top-notch). I am intrigued! Posted via the Android Central App
  • My daughter already wants it because of the keyboard! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I want this.
  • This device as a true Android device = definite must buy. Weird QNX Blackberry stuff = no sale.
  • Better android than android Posted via Android Central App
  • Tizen? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nah, go to crackberry and they parroted this all the time. "a fanboy, DAT that sh...I don't like"
  • Yeah I forgot about that... I haven't been there in a long time. That and 'Android apps are so smooth' bs Posted via the Android Central App
  • Haha, yeah, I know exactly who you're talking about. I haven't been in the Crackberry forums, for over a year now. But, then again, I haven't been on Android Central for about 4 months, as well. On topic: I'm actually excited to hear about this. Blackberry was my first smartphone. If this does indeed run Android, I hope it does well. Hell, I may even be a day 1 buyer. Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • Looks like a galaxy s6 edge. Good to see BlackBerry try to be relevant again somewhere besides government contracts. Might even get them to 5% Posted via the Android Central App
  • I would say its a good bet the Samsung is at least the supplier of the screen. They may also be a partner in the design.
  • Safe bet. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Samsung or LG. Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • Sharp? Aren't iPhones sharp now? Posted via the Android Central App
  • They couldnt handle it all and Apple went back to Samsung or at least are working on doing it http://www.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-to-provide-Apple-with-parts-for-f...
  • Thanks. I like Samsung making as much of the iPhone as possible, so when friends slag off my crappy cheap Samsung I kindly inform them that most their iPhone is samsung Posted via the Android Central App
  • I know the article I threw out there was a bit weak but you get the point. At one point pretty much the only thing that was not Samsung was the mainboard and the casing (the screen was sammy) Samsung did the radio, memory, storage, screen, CPU etc. Granted I believe that they were just the manufacturer, it was to apple specs.
  • Eh even we've replaced the BB phones.
  • And then it's time to rip off the Palm Pre scab again with this form factor.
  • ... But your not bitter or anything... Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • Leo's name is still on the "list".......but nah, I'm good these days lol
  • Leo's name will never be removed from the list lol. But, yeah, we're good (I think). Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • Haha. Great to see you back dude!
  • Thanks! :) Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • What are you talking about, BlackBerry has been making phones with keyboards for years. Also Palm never made a phone with a slide out keyboard. BlackBerry was one of the first ones to do it. Also Palm no longer exists so it's a moot point. It's not companies don't copy of each other anyway. Seriously, just a stupid comment.
  • That's what happens when you realize your penis is that small? You comment that? Thanks for letting us know.
  • The palm pre that he was talking about was a slide out keyboard. Thus why he said what he said. Your comment was just stupid
  • Definitely will consider this! Posted from my Sony xperia z3v
  • I used a Torch for awhile, and the form factor is solid. If they can keep Hub intact, this could be something really unique for the Android device landscape.
  • My girl still rocks a Torch. Moto G as backup/nav/Android app phone. She is seriously interested in this Posted via the Android Central App
  • The Torch 9810 was my favourite BBOS device and have been wanting a slider for BlackBerry 10. Looking forward to this one.
  • The 9810 did everything! I miss that phone. If only BlackBerry had apps I would have never left.
  • Does it have "peek" and the other BBos goodness? That's the only thing I want to know. I like the BB build, loud speakers. I am not keen on the keyboard, would have liked a landscape one.
  • Rumors suggest it has some gesture inputs like those found on BB10 but like almost everything else, not really confirmed yet. Ideally, though, it would have them as that would help differentiate it from other Android devices on the market even if minimally.
  • The gestures almost have to be there. Having the virtual buttons still is a no go. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The Android slider should come with two modes, standard and Power User. Standard would have the typical android buttons for people who can't grasp gestures and Power User mode would eliminate the buttons where possible and replace them with gestures.
  • If it does come out with Android, then this will likely be a definite buy for me. It has a great design and it would be my first BB device.
  • Same here! I've been wanting to get a new work phone and I was thinking I'd just get a Moto G 2015, but... this has me tempted to make due a little longer and shell out the extra cost. As long as there's not some big problem with it and it gets a decent set of reviews, I'll be getting this.
  • Must say it looks nice. Was a big fan of their phones before Android came around. Posted Via my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 using the AT&T Network.
  • Yep, exactly this. Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • What I really want to know is who this Chris author is... I mean really. Is he even really a credible author? Even his picture is a rip off of some other dude on another site. Sounds like nonsense to me- BB is dead!!
  • Chris Parsons = Bla1ze from CB
  • He's just kidding, I'm sure... :-)
  • ;) Posted via the Android Central App
  • It was what I thought but I thought I'd reply anyway, lol
  • In Dr. Evil's voice.... "Rrrriiiggghhhtt" Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • BB is so dead!!!! Lol... I can Still remember reading that shit early 2011... Is 2015... And living la vida loca... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Love BB, need Android for work. This would be the best of both worlds.
  • Depending on battery life and storage options (and price!) I'd be interested in this. Blackberry was my first experience of smartphones and it was brilliant (for a time). The keyboard was unparalleled (I'm one of those people which always typed every message in full) the fact I could access emails reliably was excellent for uni (at the time android was pretty awful still). Only reason I left blackberry was 1. It was being left behind on the app front and using your phone as a media device was starting to look more attractive (this was around the time of the Galaxy S2/S3) but mostly 2. I had upgraded from one of the bb curve to the bold 9900 and while it looked awesome, the battery was abysmal (couldn't last a day even if I barely used it) so I sold it and got a Motorola Atrix (cheapest I could get at the time). The atrix had a better screen and battery but my word did that phone slow down. For me Android is definitely the superior OS and a lot more versatile but if I had the option to get some of the BB features (especially if the keyboard is done well) then I'd probably bite! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well I am sure it will have the keyboard that blackberry has a patent on in there Posted via the Android Central App
  • My question is how well it is implemented. Is it going to be like the torch and be pretty good to use it is it going to feel a little cumbersome (I'm sure they'd have spent a bit of time try to make it balanced weight-wise) Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have had about 10 BlackBerry phones and all of them had superior battery life than any Android. The 9900 was a beast of a phone. 2 full days on a single charge. I am interested about the widgets on this type of phone. Wondering if they will work the same as a standard Android phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Likely will be different with a proper screen and android. Both big battery killers Posted via the Android Central App
  • the 9900 was awesome ... yeah, 2 day battery life, checking email/texting was great. loved BBM. lack of apps and just wanting to check out touch screens is why I gave it up
  • I got the 9900 just as it came out and I remember reading on crackberry that quite a few people had issues with battery. I think they managed to fix it with an update but I didn't last that long! I remember the day I decided was I had uni from 9-6 and only checked my phone for 15 minutes during lunch (no apps or games to destract me) and when I came to check it at 6pm I had less than 10% left. But other than the lack of apps and that I loved it. But my carrier was holding up any update that might have solved it and I decided that I needed to get through the day.
    Posted via the Android Central App
  • If this phone became a financial success for blackberry and they decided to spend more of their energy do more of the same I'd love that. And I think this could be the way blackberry regains more market share (in a way). Posted via the Android Central App
  • looks like a decent phone, cosmetically. internals will be the question mark
  • Internals are alleged to be similar to LG G4 : 2K screen, SD 808, 3GB RAM Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why is everyone android so bent on specs. Is a 2k screen really that much of a deal breaker. Half the crap on TV isnt even 720 yet, let alone 1080 and 1440. It's all a gimmick right now.
  • I'm buying this!!!
  • I ditched BB back when the Nexus one was released. But I'll say that my BB was probably some of the best hardware I've ever used. Just bullet proof. And the little things that really integrated well always blew me away. Like how the alarm worked even when the phone was off or how amazing the speaker was on the 9. Or the holster interaction.
  • Yeah, I loved that I could power the phone off and the alarm would know to wake you up. I get that the phone wasn't really off, per se, but, still. Blackberry definitely had some awesome hardware. Here's to hoping this is real and executed well. With the current vacuum in the Android world, the market is definitely ripe for change. Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • Very intriguing, always liked BB's hardware. Not sure I would even use the keyboard much of at all since I'm so used to swipe now, but you never know for sure. But I would wait for the 2nd generation of the phone before I got one, but just to work out bugs but because I won't need a new phone anytime soon.
  • Slider in behind her Posted via the Android Central App
  • Smooth operator lol Posted via my Gift from God Note 4
  • lol
  • Wow! Definitely prefer BlackBerry keyboard to touch keyboards. Might this just be the link back to relevance for BlackBerry??? Posted via the Android Central App
  • first device I truly liked this year.. hope the internals are decent! AC@OPO
  • I'm kinda optimistic about this one. I love the vertical slider keyboard. And the edge screen is growing on me and looks good here. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Smells like market share...
    :-D
  • Both % Posted via the Android Central App
  • My questions is these blackberry device will work and accessible to google play store that can work as any apps to games apk file format on blackberry device? If so, then im going to make a second decision after i set myself to grab a moto x pure edition that available this september Posted via the Android Central App
  • It is blackberry hardware but Android software. BBOS is nowhere to be seen Posted via the Android Central App
  • Take my money! Posted via the Android Central App
  • That Reddit post is awfully suspicious...
  • Oh my. That looks phenominal. Hope it's light up top b/c the KB could get a little unweildy with that length. Love the tiny bezels and ff speakers. Interesting.
  • Count me in! Z10->Z30->M9-Venice! Posted from my M9
  • A quality phone with the best mobile security made by the best maker of phones bar non, meshing with Android. I think BlackBerry will have a winner! I'm game, who is with me?!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Make it in like 4.7 to 5.2 and they could have a winner. I loved my Z-10 it was just the app thing.
  • My first smartphone was and iPhone first generation and from there i dispaite iOS. Then I got a BlackBerry Tour. Fall in Love with BB. The got a Storm 2, then a Bold 9900 and man the bold was the Best Keyboard i ever had. Then I went Android because of the Apps and bought an S4. Currently Im Running a Note 3 but man this venice is my dreamed smartphone. I. Always wanted the torch but never got one. Now if this is real i will be Getting one ASAP!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nice AndroBerry! This slider should be a nice combination of hardware keyboard and big screen.
  • It's BlackBerry that'll be powering Android. Not the other way around.
    BlackBerry 10 o.s is based on qnx, qnx already powers android auto and apples car play. Current run time for BlackBerry os 10.3.1 is android 4.3. No reason to ditch their o.s. All they need to do is improve on the android runtime and pay the royalties for google play services.
  • You really need to research how android auto and car play work. Qnx doesn't power them, the phone does. It's more like mirroring the phone screen/apps on the car display. This would be like plugging a DVD player directly into a computer monitor, watching a movie on it, and telling people windows is making it possible.
  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/CarPlay
  • Nice wiki link, always good for facts. But, if this is what you're trying to reference... "The aim of CarPlay is to provide direct access to iOS device functionality, control, and usage, directly as a virtual machine on top of the manufacturers' native in-car control systems which predominantly run on the BlackBerry QNX based OS which is the longtime major market share holder in this field." It proves exactly what I told you, carplay and android auto emulate the ios/android device over top of the system in the car (which this quote is saying, most systems in cars run on qnx, not android auto or carplay), it makes no difference what OS is in the cars entertainment system, as long as the ios or Android devices are given access to the screen. They will take over and run independently on top of that OS. Qnx is just sitting there, behind it, waiting to be useful again. Here's another wiki article, since you like them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_Auto  "Rather than running its own operating system, the head unit will serve as an external display for the Android device, which runs all of the software, by presenting a car-specific user interface built into Lollipop"
  • Also, in the car play wiki, the qnx part is a run on sentence. Sounds like it was quickly written and added by a diehard blackberry fan. I assume you did it. Nice try, though.
  • As a true GadgetGal who was soo into my BB before going full touch screen, (I had such a rough time giving up the physical KB) but I have to confess (even though I'm crazy about my Note 3) I still kept the flames burning for BB. And if the stats prove to be impressive on this new integrated BB, then I'm sorry but the GalaxyNote5 I plan on getting will have to learn to share my time or risk me having an affair with ol' boy Blackberry... U know what they say... "The Blacker the Berry, the sweeter the juice" clearly dating myself here- for those who are contemplating a comment,... Be nice!
  • Boy now there are too many choices. May have to wait and make sure this all gets confirmed before getting a new phone. Moto X, Nexus, BlackBerry, so many interesting choices. This is too fun. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I want an android powered BlackBerry but the traditional classic BlackBerry form factor!
  • If this is really going to be Android, I hope they remove the bottom bar (back, home and menu) and replace it with the gestures of BB10. I had once an Androidphone with On-Screen buttons and it is not a nice thing to use.
  • Was really excited to use my looming upgrade for the next iphone so i could hot swap between it with my gs6 (as they finally both take nano sims!) BUT THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! lol my bolds curve and pearl that sit tucked away are jumping for joy with my thumbs in the anticipation of another case of blackberry thumb. All thoughts of "finally" and "if this was 5 yrs ago" are instead replaced with the desire to have keyboard shortcuts and a phone that does more than look pretty while instagramming. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ive been debating a prepaid line just to buy a blackberry classic, but the reviews all paint it as so ubderpowered i cant bring myself to make the purchase. If only i could get BIS to work thru prepaid on an unlocked 9930. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well hell... Now there is another Android device that I want. I do miss physical keyboards; I've improved my typing on a digital onscreen board but nothing can replace the good old physical board.
  • Eager to check this out, and hoping that it's also true that they're working on an Android variant of their Black Swan - the Passport. Awesome wide screen with touchpad keyboard. I think it should stand out enough in the already crowded Android market.
  • It looks nice, but if Blackberry really wants to differentiate itself from the other it should do what the others seem incapable or unwilling to do. Provide timely updates!! Blackberry has always presented itself as a secure platform and they can never be that on Android if they update at the glacial pace that everyone else does.
  • BlackBerry Macadamia Nut Cookie.....mmmmm....if it launches not on M, i'd be happy with a BlackBerry Lollipop
  • I will be interested in it as long as I'm not stuck with BB's app store (need Google and Amazon). Also want it to be 5" or less.
  • Let's hope the keyboard is way better than the crap keyboard on the 9930. I would type out emails on that, and I had to figure out what I was trying to say when I would proofread before sending. The keyboard was just awful.
  • We are in for a treat, guys!!!
  • BlackBerry makes amazing phones and OS and it's too bad that they have to go to Android (crash a lot OS)... but if they add the hub, track pad style swipe key board and security, I'll highly consider it against my Passport. Or maybe we'll have an option of BlackBerry or Android os? Posted via the Android Central App
  • If it is running full on Android with the hub I'll seriously consider going back to bb. Dream come true. Posted via the Android Central App