Following on from the recent release of the BlackBerry Priv, BlackBerry has announced another smartphone release in the shape of the Vienna. The BlakBerry Vienna is a slimmer follow-up to the Priv, with this forthcoming device having been leaked just this week. The BlackBerry-following website Crackberry has posted leaked renders of the design of the phone online, and the rumor mill is already grinding ahead of a possible release of the device.
BlackBerry Vienna design
What is immediately obvious when viewing the forthcoming BlackBerry Vienna is that it strongly resembles the older BlackBerry Passport device. There are also similarities with the BlackBerry Priv, as BlackBerry begins the prospect of updating its smartphone range. It has certainly been a challenging time for BlackBerry, but the company is optimistic that it can turn its fortunes round in the coming years.
When assessing the visage of these forthcoming smartphone, it is evident that the BlackBerry Vienna will be somewhat longer than many competitors in the smartphone marketplace. But designers have naturally compensated for this slightly clunky design by including the hardware keyboard that the BlackBerry range has long since become associated with. This is an attractive aspect of the BlackBerry series for its fans and aficionados, and even Kim Kardashian has stated that she owns numerous BlackBerry devices for this very reason.
This BlackBerry Vienna release can be viewed as a more traditional BlackBerry smartphone then, as the Priv differs significantly in this respect. The BlackBerry Priv features a hidden keyboard that slides out from beneath the display, while the Vienna design will seemingly ensure that the device is significantly slimmer than the 9 millimeter thick Priv.
It is difficult to offer to much more information about the BlackBerry Vienna at the time of writing, quite simply because it isn’t available. BlackBerry hasn’t confirmed any significant details about this forthcoming smartphone, and the only information we have to go on at the time of writing is the phone renders that have been released.
Likely Vienna specs
What does seem likely, though, is that BlackBerry will take advantage of the components utilized within the BlackBerry Priv when the Vienna is released. This would make production considerably more feasible for a company that has struggled financially in recent years. Indeed, this double-whammy of the release of the BlackBerry Priv and BlackBerry Vienna represents very much a last attempt to create a consumer-friendly smartphone.
So we can at least look at the specifications of the BlackBerry Priv as a reasonable guide for this forthcoming handset. Thus, it is notable that the BlackBerry Priv features a 5.4-inch OLED display with 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor paired with 3GB of memory, and an 18 megapixel rear camera. The specs of the BlackBerry Priv are actually pretty impressive, and it certainly represents the most Advanced smartphone that BlackBerry has ever released, so it will be interesting to see to what extent the BlackBerry Vienna matches these capabilities.
However, it must be stated that the ability of the corporation to achieve success with the BlackBerry Priv and BlackBerry Vienna will not really be predicated on the quality of the devices. Whereas once upon a time, BlackBerry was a household name in the smartphone market, today this niche is dominated by devices from the likes of Apple and Samsung. The iPhone has been such a resounding success, and has become such an iconic device, that strategy will be as important for BlackBerry as the quality of smartphones it releases.
BlackBerry Releases Emulator For BlackBerry PRIV
If we were to go back a few years, the BlackBerry PRIV would not have been a particularly unique device, but fast forward to today where the majority of our smartphones are fully touchscreen, the PRIV is truly a unique handset as not only does it sport a full touchscreen display, but a slideout physical keyboard. A rarity these days.
That being said while the phone does run on Android meaning that Android apps for the most part should work with the phone, what about apps that might take advantage of its physical touchscreen? The good news for PRIV owners is that BlackBerry has recently released an emulator for the handset.
According to BlackBerry, “You can add a skin to the Android Virtual Device (AVD) Manager in the Android Studio SDK so that you can emulate the look and feel of a BlackBerry PRIV. This allows you to simulate the hardware keys on the PRIV, including both the power, volume up, volume down and the physical keyboard.”
While this might seem to be aimed mostly at developers, the upside here is that developers who might want to create PRIV-specific or PRIV-optimized apps will now have an easier time doing so, which in turn will no doubt help benefit owners of the device. If you’re a developer looking to create apps that takes full advantage of the handset, head on over to BlackBerry’s website for the details.
BlackBerry Priv reminds users of the benefit of a smartphone keyboard
If I can stick it out in the face of the obvious adversity, today’s column is going to be written using nothing but the mobile phone that the column is about. No PC, no tablet. Just the phone.
Can I do it and still make my print deadline? Who can say? All I know is that, on any other phone, there would be no way I’d ever attempt a daring feat like this. Even on a phone with brilliant on-screen typing, such as the iPhone 6s, I just wouldn’t last the distance. It’s probably an admission of decrepitude, but on-screen typing just drives me nuts after about this many words.
But on this BlackBerry Priv, I might just stand a chance.
The Priv, you see, is a large Android phone with an actual, physical keyboard that slides out from under the screen when you need it. While the keyboard isn’t perfect -–there’s a disappointing gap, in general, between the inspiration and the execution of the BlackBerry Priv – typing on it is a darn sight better than on other Android phones.
Though I must say, the keyboard is a little flatter than I would like. It’s a squashed-down version of BlackBerry’s traditional, near-perfect keyboards, and though the change was obviously necessary to allow the keyboard to slide under the screen, the flatness of the Priv’s keyboard will present a difficulty to anyone with anything but the most delicate of thumbs.