We've expected for a month or so that BlackBerry is working on an Android phone with a "dual curved display" that slides up to reveal a physical keyboard underneath. It is supposedly based on a device that was originally announced at Mobile World Congress back in March, and back then the best image we had to go off of was a low-resolution snapshot of the device being held up on stage. Now, Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) has posted a high-resolution render of the device, codenamed Venice, to Twitter.
It reveals the aforementioned display, curved at the sides like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. There's a speaker at the bottom, and if you look closely at the last photo you can see that the basic design mostly matches up. It looks as though BlackBerry has chosen to excise dedicated Send and End keys — presumably because the device is now going to run Android instead of BlackBerry 10. It also seem possible that there's still a keyboard scurried away underneath that screen. The one other notable thing about Blass' image is that it has Google app icons strewn about — which should mean that it has full access to Google's suite of apps and services. Blass also claims that the Venice will be coming to AT&T.
Last month, Reuters originally reported that BlackBerry would make the switch to Android. If this render proves accurate (and Blass has a long history of posting accurate leaks), it might well be coming soon. It's been a very long time since there's been a decent Android device with a physical keyboard and an even longer time since there's been a vertical sliding phone with a physical keyboard. If BlackBerry pulls this off and actually releases something good, a lot of old Palm Pre fans are going to be pretty happy.