Earlier this year BlackBerry decided to move to a licensing model for any new hardware, but a number of devices were still in the production pipeline. That included the recent release of the Android-powered DTEK60 with its focus on security. This recent leak appears to be the rumored third Android device for 2016, potentially called the DTEK70.
Symbolically, BlackBerry’s final hurrah returns to the form factor that made it a household name. Hello, physical keyboard, welcome to the Indian summer.
Looking at the images published through the Chinese social network Weibo (and reported on by The Inquirer) the handset echoes the physical keyboard seen on last year’s debut Android handset, the BlackBerry Priv. It’s also possible to see the OS running, which matches BlackBerry’s implementation of Android on the recent DTEK50 and DTEK60 handsets. Sitting above the screen is a substantive forward-facing camera.
On top of the images, previous leaks have pointed to a device with a 4.5 inch HD screen, a SnapDragon 625 system on chip architecture, 3 GB of RAM, and USB-C connectivity. To all intents this is the Priv 2. It is the essence of BlackBerry’s modern approach to smartphones with the heritage aspects of a physical keyboard.
It’s unlikely to be the last smartphone with the BlackBerry name on it, but it will be the last where the hardware has direct input from the Canadian smartphone company – moving forward the business model will see the brand name licensed to other manufacturers along with BlackBerry’s software suite. Both the DTEK50 and DTEK60 are solid Android smartphones, and the presumptively titled DTEK70 will hopefully have learned the lessons from the Priv and deliver the messaging-focused Android handset that BlackBerry fans would love to see under Christmas tree.