We have seen many rumors surrounding BlackBerry and Android, but in the last month these have intensified with the story that BlackBerry is to release a device, called "Venice," in both BlackBerry 10 and Android flavors. The Venice is purported to be based around mid to high-end hardware, although for the most part the distinction is somewhat blurred. The device is said to include a 5.4-inch, 1440p resolution (that is, 1,440 by 2,560 pixel) QHD screen with dual curved edges. Under the skin, it will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, a big.LITTLE design consisting of a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 application processor for the lightweight processing and a dual-core ARM Cortex-A57 application processor for the heavyweight processor muscle, which may be clocked at up to 1.8 GHz. The 808 will be backed up by 3 GB of RAM for smooth multitasking. Around the back, we'll find an 18MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera for selfies and video chatting. The rumor is that the Venice will be released towards the middle of the fourth quarter.
Is this a mid-range or high-end specification? It is not quite the highest core specification that devices run to in quarter two, 2015 because the Samsung Exynos 7420 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 have higher end technical specifications. In four months time the Snapdragon 808 will be at least a generation behind the current flagship Qualcomm System-on-Chip, or SoC, but the question remains as to how much of a difference this will make to users most of the time. The Snapdragon 808 should still be a capable processor able to deliver a smooth Android (and BlackBerry 10) user experience. The camera assembly also looks interesting: the number of pixels does not in itself provide any detail as to the quality of the camera, but the more pixels the better the camera tends to be. And the final detail omitted from the above specification is the small matter of a hardware keyboard, which tends to divide people. Many consider the hardware keyboard to be a redundant feature and that software, on-screen keyboards are as good as they need to be. Keyboard fans say that whilst a hardware keyboard is good, it still requires you to look at the screen whereas a good quality hardware keyboard does not require you to look at the device and is more comfortable for tapping out longer messages.
Now, we are seeing @evleaks tweeting that the Android-powered variant of the BlackBerry Venice is to be released in November on North American carrier, AT&T. This is a rumor at this time, but it would be interesting to see how well the Android-powered BlackBerry Venice performs compared with the BlackBerry 10-powered Venice model - and how well the device sells on AT&T. However, this is a developing story and a rumor.