It’s still not ready yet but we’re getting new photos via CrackBerry that indicate development on BlackBerry’s long awaited handset teased earlier this year are well underway. We’re seeing hardware sporting what appears to be a custom ROM of the Android OS with BlackBerry 10 flavors across the UI and stock applications. These photos suggest BlackBerry intends to offer some execution of Android on BlackBerry hardware – but the exact vertical the company aims to take remains unconfirmed. Whether the hardware lets the user specify the OS experience or whether carriers will push it as Android by default, the headlines are writing a compelling comeback effort for BlackBerry as they seek to establish themselves in the Android space.
Here are some of our observations which were already suggested in previous articles:
- BlackBerry 10 Slider May Sport Front Facing Speaker, Four Row Touch Enabled Keyboard (March)
- BlackBerry Slider Running Android Lollipop (July)
- BlackBerry Slider May Sport 18 MP OIS Camera & Patented Glass Weave Backing (August)
Arguably, despite seeing these new photos of the device in more clarity, the most interesting new image of the device is this one showing off what looks like a revamped multitasking for Android that looks and feels a lot more like BlackBerry 10. As an application in this pane we also see BlackBerry Hub as a standalone application unlike how it is directly integrated into BlackBerry 10 OS.
The new images also show off SIM and SD card extension in separate trays on the top of the devices back (as seen below)
Straying from BlackBerry 10 is not a terrible idea considering the need to make profitable the phone unit, and engineers have pivoted from their core developments to pioneer a new expertise in Android. BlackBerry can build drivers to secure Android on the internals of new hardware it remains to be seen if this kind of retrograde would be done to older BlackBerry 10 devices to bring them to a new highly skinned Android experience.
The specs seem solid enough if we follow the leaked list from N4BB:
- 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
All in all it’s looking good, BlackBerry seems to be putting a lot on the line to make this device beneficial for their hardware business. They need to make sales and at this point if Android is an easier sell, it’s where they need to be investing their time. With of course security underscoring everything here.