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article imageBlackBerry 'Vienna' leaked online, company's second Android phone

By James Walker     Nov 12, 2015 in Technology
Images of BlackBerry's next Android phone have leaked online just days after the company officially launched the Priv. Codename 'Vienna' eschews the Priv's physical keyboard for a fixed one beneath the display and shows BlackBerry is committed to Android.
CrackBerry unearthed the images of the upcoming handset, showing renders of pre-release hardware in several colours. The design looks quite different in places to that of the Priv, featuring what appears to be a textured back.
The phone is all angles at the top of the display but tapers into an obvious curve at the bottom, below the permanent fixed keyboard. The curves are presumably to keep the phone comfortable to hold while typing and they make for an interesting look when coupled with the rectangular bezel at the top.
When considered as a whole, the design appears to draw more on historical BlackBerry handsets than the "big touchscreen Android" appearance of the Priv. With Vienna, BlackBerry is demonstrating it's still willing to shed some display size in favour of a physical keyboard, instead of hiding a flimsier one under the phone to keep with contemporary design trends.
It's hard to learn anything more substantial about the handset from renders alone. Nothing is known of the phone's internals but it should be safe to assume it will be a lower-end alternative to the $700 Priv.
BlackBerry's first Android phone went on sale just six days ago and has been generally positively reviewed. Critics have noted occasionally poor build quality and lacklustre camera performance as the key reasons not to buy but few have been left unimpressed by BlackBerry's first attempt at merging its heritage with the expansive openness of the Android ecosystem.
The company has installed its own famed security software on top of Android 5.1.1 to protect user privacy and make the Priv more attractive to business users. It's logical to assume this package will also be a component of Vienna as it is currently an integral part of BlackBerry's Android strategy, although it isn't clear when (or even if) this device will be officially unveiled.
Interesting design aside, the images reveal very little of the phone apart from indicating BlackBerry has built a strategy for developing Android handsets and is building hardware to fulfil it. The company does appear to have an interest in culturally-rich European cities though — the Priv was known as "Venice" throughout its development process.
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