Android Powered Blackberry Priv (Venice) is Officially Announced


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Dec 30, 2010
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The rumors have coalesced into fact. The Android-powered Blackberry Venice is a real device and was officially announced today. Its internal codename was "Venice", but its retail name is the Blackberry Priv.

Other than the slide-out QWERTY keyboard and new Android touchscreen, not much was revealed about Blackberry's new entry into the crowded Android field. Here's what BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen had to say about the new Android,

“Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform. The device promises 'best in class security for enterprise customers,' as part of the company’s “heritage and core mission of protecting our customers’ privacy.”

So, basically, we have a fairly thin, touch-screen Android device, with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and Blackberry's famous security and productivity features built-in. Perhaps this new gladiator will cause a ruckus in the Android arena. What do you folks think?

We even have a dedicated section already created for it: Blackberry Priv/Venice | Android Forum at

Source: BlackBerry Reports Fiscal 2016 Second Quarter Results
Here's a few more shots of the phone:

I know a couple of people who are going to be all over this.
I may get one just for fun....
I'd definitely like to spend some time with one hands-on, but I doubt it'd be my next daily driver. I just don't feel a need for a physical keyboard, though it might be nice once in a while.
Design is very sleek, I like it a lot. Though, after years of using nothing but on-screen keyboards, I don't even see the novelty or advantage of physical keyboards anymore, especially with how reliable swipe functionality has become. Using a physical QWERTY almost seems like it would be more cumbersome than anything at this point. But, I guess there will be those out there that just love the physical keyboard as well, I know I used to.

That being said, if I was a cool business man, I would definitely pick this phone up. Alas, I am not, yet, anyhow. So I'll leave this one to those Wall Street-type guys in suits with briefcases. Haha!
I'm definitely considering it, but it would be hard for me to give up the ability to flash/have access to Google's factory images.
Depending on the guts combined in this, it could be my next phone. I really miss my physical keyboard!
As someone commented in a past thread....I think if they would have made the physical keyboard horizontal instead of vertical, a lot more people would be interested in this device. Of all the Android users I know personally, I'd say 90% of them use some type of swipe input method, as opposed to the ancient hunt and peck method. Physical keyboards are a thing of the past, especially in a vertical type setting. Had they released this device just 2-3 years ago, they would have a much better chance of success, or at least a relevant player in todays over saturated smartphone market.
I simply don't see too many people embracing such old tech, regardless of the additional security BB brings to the table.

Despite my opinion on this particular device, I am rooting for them. It'll be nice to have BB back in the game. That said, this is their hail Mary pass, so if they drop the ball on this one, it'll be time to throw in the proverbial towel.
Just my 2 cents....
I know a couple of people who are going to be all over this.
After the Nexus 5x news I may be one of them. It will definitely get some hands on time.
I like the idea of having more screen real estate whilst typing. Perhaps this phone can multi-task? That would be a sweet option, having a small window for texting at the bottom while having a 4/5 size browser up top for reading? I run into this issue with my ipad air 2, I know, I know, its the wifes, but without having bought a keyboard for it, it just soaks up too much screen space. It'd be somewhat refreshing to have the whole screen back when typing IMO.