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The BlackBerry Slider Is Badass

By August 29, 2015Overview
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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:

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.

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The new images also show off SIM and SD card extension in separate trays on the top of the devices back (as seen below)

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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.

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James Nieves

Author James Nieves

Manning the helm here @BBRYFLOW. Feel free to shoot me an email.

More posts by James Nieves
  • Shriram

    The truth is in spite of having an excellent eco system, BlackBerry is terribly loosing it’s market. Virtually in a country like India, where each and every player, including the Apple, which carers to the big pocket guys, are making money, except the poor blackberry. In today’s world, including the corporate, most of the people would like to have a device which can give application and an entertainment. In case of BlackBerry it does neither fully. They have become stagnant and could not innovate or cater to the local demands. Unless they change themselves, it’s very very difficult to sustain. You need mobile in many people’s hands. Then only you can think of security, eco systems bla bla.. numbers matters in today’s world. Even a layman now a days wants to sport a higher end android device or an Apple. This is the harsh reality. Unless and until blackberry realises this simple truth, make no mistakes, it’s heading for an obituary column.

  • Henney

    The Blackberry slider really looks badass. But I’ll stick to my Passport, it’s the most unique phone out there.

  • Jon raymonds

    Looks cool I want it

  • Duong Tran

    What is a BlackBerry phone without BlackBerry OS? It’s a hardware stuff with a physical keyboard.

    How can a hardware stuff with physical keyboard compete with all-touch phones? With an additional virtual keyboard? No, please. With a full virtual keyboard as the primary keyboard? Maybe, provided that the (secondary) physical keyboard is located at a good spot. But the Venice’s keyboard doesn’t. With the original BlackBerry keyboard layout? No. I don’t think so. Millions potential users that haven’t touch a BlackBerry phone don’t think so.

    BlackBerry keyboard should be more innovative and I mean innovative primarily in form factor and layout, or it can’t be competitive.

    The Venice, without BlackBerry OS, without an innovative display form factor, without a thoughtful keyboard layout, and with a poor (uncomfortable) placement for typing on it, sounds like a guaranteed commercial failure.

    That said, BlackBerry has sentenced itself to death by designing its flagship product of the year like that.

  • tee

    What’s really the point of us buying blackberry then if we going to be using Android supposedly the full system? If so then why not just buy an android fine and forget about BlackBerry. #using_the_android_apps_is_compromise_enough_already!

  • Rishikeshmukherji

    I waited for device

  • Chris

    If BlackBerry goes fully android it will make way for iPhone to get the die hard customers of BlackBerry

  • lnichols

    Based on Chen’s comments at the Churchill Club, I didn’t get a feeling that the Android solution was locked down and ready. Sounded like some things need to still fall into place for it to happen. Not good when you are 2 to 3 months from the launch window.

  • Ron

    This phone is going to rock……

  • Illlya

    And no camera

  • Illlya

    This is an early prototype, the view with the Sim card has the word BlackBerry written out.

  • Héctor González

    I believe blackberry is doing a great job and I use my phone for business and apps…I have installed Google store and works great on my Leap…there is no problem if blackberry wants more apps it’s awesome

  • Sumeet Jadhav

    Look at the BlackBerry Passport. It’s an appealing one. Look at this Venice, it feels like it’s taking us back to the Z10 era… with a pretty sturdy black(without any sleekness) hardware design. Shouldn’t they have done more in it just like they did it with Passport. I mean look at the Passport, it’s a LOVE at first sight. I hope the final iteration of the Venice is beautiful

  • Copernic

    As often said. Blackberry needs margins and earnings. With 0.3% of the handset market and even if your system is (really) the best you are not visible and all you want to sell around the handset business is vampired by this from your services to your expertise. There’s a time to have some partnership (now with Google, Samsung, Cisco, etc.) and there’s a time to fly alone (later… maybe). A nice looking this device, really nice looking. Presenting it in IFA next week could be a real good publicity.

  • Jarmeling

    I’ve never owned or used an android os device. I’ve been straight BlackBerry since 2008 (8330 Curve). That being said, I will be one of the first purchasers of this new Android OS BlackBerry. Looking forward to it, even though I’m completely satisfied with my new BlackBerry SE Passport.

  • Rob Luck

    It’s beautiful! I’ll have one eventually, you either support BlackBerry or you don’t. You don’t necessarily have to like everything a company does to stay competitive to like or support them.

    Everyone quit whining and support the brand; otherwise go to a different platform and be happy (or try to be, out of spite).

  • Currently using blackberry passport, great phone but was hoping a more powerfull version would be launched, or this slider, looks like I’ll be defecting to apple iPhone or Sony z5, blackberry slacking to much it’s a shame I’ve had blackberry from the start.

  • ELLAS

    Android version? Ya no thanks. Only Samsung makes money on Android and they’ve seen a decline. Going to such a aged OS is the wrong move by BlackBerry IMO. Explain to me how BlackBerry can make Android look and feel like BB10? Something that’s currently impossible.
    And John Chen killing BB10 Development and not marketing it’s devices is why BB10 sales are low.

    Were’s that full touch high end BB10 phone we’ve been asking for?