Images of a fan-designed concept phone bearing the BlackBerry logo and the model name "Vanadium" have now popped up online, showing off where at least one designer hopes the company will take its design language in future devices. Bearing in mind that this is only a concept from a designer under the name Devon, as opposed to being an official render, it is unlikely that BlackBerry will be taking its design ideas anytime soon. However, as a concept, it is very interesting and has a few features that would really set it apart in the highly competitive mobile market if the company were to seriously consider it.
First, the design itself deviates from most Android handsets in that its frame houses a square screen. That's listed in the accompanying images as measuring at 4.3-inches. Taking things further still, the designer has placed the notification bar at the bottom of that screen instead of its traditional placement at the top. There's no telling if that would even be possible, given some of the restrictions of the Android OS but, although moderately jarring, it doesn't look too out of place. However, the display isn't the only break from tradition, as the device also has a unique keyboard, even by BlackBerry standards. While the company is known to include small physical keyboards on some of its devices, unlike the BlackBerry KEYone, this one has a distinctly "V" shape to its QWERTY layout. The keys are also more diamond-like than square or rectangular. Aside from those quirks, the designer hasn't provided too many details about the device envisioned in the renders.
It is listed as having an Alcantara back cover, an 18-megapixel camera sensor, and a fingerprint scanner inside of another diamond-shaped pad just above the keyboard. The images also show what looks to be a USB Type-C port and dual-bottom-firing speakers along the bottom edge. The top of the device is not shown, so there's no telling as to whether there is also a standard headphone jack along the other side. Finally, there are a total of four physical buttons on the device, with no clear indication as to what those are. Presumably, three of those will be a power button and volume rockers but there are three along one side edge and a single button along the other. It is also listed as running with the BlackBerry 10 skin overlaying Android. The device was initially posted to Weibo by a user under the handle of "Long-berry Seoul." So it bears repeating that this is, after all, just a set of concept renders rather than something Fans of BlackBerry should take too seriously.