User on Reddit Claims Hands On With BlackBerry Android smartphone

The Internet is rife with rumours surrunding BlackBerry’s upcoming Android smartphone that will be available in the last quarter of this year. Alleged renderings of the device were leaked by Evan Blass on Twitter, leading to lots of interest online. Will it be running full Android? Will it be a hybrid? Will it bring Google Services?

While I don’t comment on renderings, I do find it strange that the purported picture doesn’t include a BBM icon, which is something a BlackBerry device would definitely have.

A user on Reddit (marsallro399) claims to have had hands on time with the device but is unable to back up his claims with real pictures or specifications.

However, what he has to say is of some interest:

“Note: I cannot provide picture proof. All employee prototypes have a serial number embedded into the screen to deter photo evidence being leaked. I’m not an employee of BlackBerry, but a church band group I do audio and lighting for is. Also note that I have used the phone for a full 5 minutes, thus my opinions and knowledge will be limited to what he has told me.

First, is physical feel. The phone is feels light and looks professional. Very thin, maybe too thin for my liking especially when the screen is up to reveal the keyboard. But this is interesting because due to the thinness of the phone, you’d never actually know theres a keyboard. Think of this as the torch, but its bigger, and doesn’t feel cheap and plastic-like. On a design note, the glass (which has curved edges, like the Samsung Edge) has a raised bezel to push the screen up. Subtle and smart.

Next, the keyboard. I used for the two seconds and I truly miss my Bold 9900. The keyboard works like the Passport, with swipe gestures. Feels good. I (with big thumbs) had no problems typing. When the keyboard is hidden, an on-screen keyboard appears and seems to have a lot better typing experience than my Z10.

The camera… its got an 8MP on the front, and an 18MP on the back. Dual-colour flash.
The OS… its multilayered. It’s android but its first layer is BlackBerry. Basically your phone is running Lollipop with BlackBerry’s security features added. Theres an app for these features to control permissions and such. That being said, there is Google Play services. Finally.

Initial Prototype feel… according to him (my friend, the employee) the phone is buggy and the battery life is awful. This isn’t something thats surprising. So I hope and assume that for the consumer release, it’ll have better battery life and a very fluid response. That being said, I did not have time to ask him about hardware specifications.

At the end of the day, I think I’ll op for this phone instead of an S6 or OnePlus. Price will ultimately be the deciding factor, but this phone looks, feels, and is for real. I perfect balance of a professional sharp looking phone with BlackBerry’s high level of security and the Google Play services we’ve all been asking for. 10/10 would buy.”

The most important thing that he describes is that the device is running full Android, and by his description, is BlackBerry themed.

He doesn’t really go into depth and answer any questions that BlackBerry users are keen to find out.

You can read the complete post on Reddit here.

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