EVLeaks Shows Off Possible BlackBerry Android Phone
It wasn’t too long ago that we received reports of BlackBerry planning to use Android in their upcoming devices, although it wasn’t confirmed how this would be implemented. The Canadian company has publicly announced that they ‘remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system‘, touting its strengths in security and productivity. Now, thanks to Evan Blass at EVLeaks, we have our first look at what one of these upcoming phones could look like.
The picture itself shows the bottom half of a design reminiscent of 2014’s Passport, with sharp corners and very straight lines throughout. Lollipop-style navigational buttons adorn the screen alongside some additional controls, making use of the screen’s uncommon aspect ratio. A physical keyboard is of course present, again with a style which to my eyes is almost identical to the current BlackBerry Passport. Unfortunately, this is where the inconsistencies start to make themselves apparent.
The display on the render doesn’t quite match the space designed for it, seemingly sitting on top of where it would be on the Passport. Shown clearly in the picture is the second page of an Android keyboard layout, containing currency, mathematical and other symbols as normal, but still containing the ‘ABC’ button presumably linking back to a QWERTY layout, pointless when those keys are placed physically below. Additionally, the style of the keyboard seems to be that of the Ice Cream Sandwich-era Holo keyboards, contrasting hugely with the Navigation buttons. Those issues along with the uncanny similarity with the Passport’s industrial design just don’t ring quite true for us.
Perhaps these are just early rendering issues, or perhaps BlackBerry is simply experimenting with early builds of Android software on existing hardware; XDA members have certainly achieved success in that department. There may well, in fact, be a market for this kind of hybrid device too, as there are vocal members of the Android community that plug the benefits of a physical keyboard, and there are still BlackBerry fans out there. This might not be the leak we’ve been waiting for, but it’s adding momentum and publicity to BlackBerry, and that’s something that they desperately need.