After years of trying to make it work with its BlackBerry OS, the once-dominant Canadian smartphone maker is giving Android a shot. The company acknowledged the existence of the Priv (previously codenamed Venice) with an awkward video demo by the company's CEO, but now there's a more professional intro video out.
There isn't a lot we don't know about the device, except its official name. Until now, it's been introduced to us under its codename, Venice. But when it reaches retail stores, the phone will be dubbed Priv, according to Evan Blass aka @evleaks. I don't know about you, but I think Priv is trying too hard to be fancy while Venice was simply classy.
The upcoming, unnamed BlackBerry slider phone running Android has leaked almost completely at this point. The short version: it's an Android phone with some BlackBerry apps, services, and a freaking slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Because BlackBerry.
BlackBerry's keyboards were held in the highest esteem by "productivity-oriented" mobile users for years because of the comparative slowness of T9 and the general lack of software keyboards until the iPhone arrived on the scene. Even then, touchscreen keyboards had plenty of evolving left to do - support for advanced multitouch, swiping, auto-completion of words, and increasing overall speed and responsiveness.
A small and vocal element of the Android community has been begging for a decent QWERTY phone ever since the original Motorola DROID was retired, and a huge and vocal part of BlackBerry's userbase has been clamoring for the company to switch to Android OS before it goes the ignominious way of Palm and Nokia. So the BlackBerry Venice, which has been leaked six ways from Sunday, is a welcome if late addition to the struggling company's lineup. The latest leak shows off what looks like a production-ready phone in sharp photos from every angle. It's a looker.
The photos popped up on a Vietnamese website, Tinhte.vn
For having technically retired, @evleaks still leaks a lot of stuff. Case in point, he's just posted a few more promo pics of the BlackBerry Venice, an Android-powered phone from the once-dominant Canadian smartphone maker. We've also got a supposed release window too—November on all major U.S. carriers.