Long standing rumors have suggested that Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion) will launch its very first Android-powered smartphone in the coming weeks. The handset will most likely be called the BlackBerry Venice, or at least that's what most leaksters seem to believe at any rate. While we have seen purported images and renders of the same at various stages over the last few weeks, the recent images have been published by the editor of French website NowhereElse, Mr. Steve Hemmerstoffer, also known by his Twitter handle, @OnLeaks. The photographs of what is claimed to be a "genuine prototype", seem to indicate the presence of a sliding keyboard, which apparently corroborates previous leaks regarding the upcoming gadget Previous rumors had claimed that the upcoming handset would feature the BlackBerry trademark physical QWERTY keyboard, which is a rarity for mainstream Android devices these days, to say the least.
While the BlackBerry Venice is tipped for launch at the upcoming IFA event in Berlin, Germany, information about its hardware remains mostly sketchy. From whatever we've read previously, it would seem as if the gadget would feature curved edges on both sides along its length, on the lines of Samsung's recently launched Galaxy S6 Edge+ and come with front-facing speakers like HTC's flagship One models. The current images, if legit, does seem to corroborate those claims. The display panel will reportedly have a QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution, and while the current leak doesn't mention the size, previous leaks have mentioned a possible 5.4-inch panel on the Blackberrry Venice. The smartphone will reportedly also come with 3 GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 808 SoC, which means hexa-core processing power for the much-rumored upcoming handset. Mr. Hemmerstoffer also says that the BlackBerry Venice will sport a 16-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 5-megaixel secondary selfie-cam on the front.
Whether BlackBerry will completely abandon its BB OS in favor of Android or make two different lines of products is still not something which is certain, but previous, unconfirmed rumors have suggested that the company might actually launch a BB OS 10.3 version of the smartphone for all current BlackBerry aficionados. Either way, the Android-powered version of the smartphone is said to be available in the US on at least two carriers at launch - AT&T and T-Mobile. All the available 'information' about the BlackBerry Venice are strictly in the realms of rumors, and based on aggregated hearsay from various sources, so a generous pinch of salt might well be in order. All the leaked images can be seen in the gallery below.