Just ahead of the weekend Blackberry's new hope, the PRIV smartphone, was revealed in an official video, published on YouTube. The short and snappy video shows Blackberry's custom version of Android Lollipop being used, then the background music steps up a beat, and we see the side-out physical keyboard spring into action.
PRIV stands for Privilege and Privacy, according to Blackberry's marketing department. With this new smartphone Blackberry is trying to create a mix of all the features that it thinks its users want; resilient security and privacy features, a physical keyboard so beloved of Blackberry fans, plus the app library of modern Android devices, with a big screen phablet experience. Will it end up, in practice, like the proverbial 'horse designed by committee'? The user in the video seems to 'reach up' a lot while operating the PRIV.
BlackBerry PRIV specs:
- Screen: 5.4-inches, 2560 x 1440 pixels, AMOLED
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 (1.8GHz dual core + 1.44GHz quad core)
- Memory: 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage + microSD card up to 2TB
- Camera: 18MP Schneider-Kreuznach certified rear facing camera with dual-LED flash, 2MP selfie camera
- Size, weight: 147 (184 opened) x 77.2 x 9.4 mm, 192g
- SIM: Nano, Quad-band support, 3G and 4G connectivity,
- Battery: 3,410mAh
- OS: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, DTEK by BlackBerry privacy system app
The PRIV spearheads Blackberry's transformation into "a multi-platform provider that can secure the mobile enterprise – regardless of type of device." Security is going to be very important and that's one word that isn't usually associated with 'Android', in a good way. Blackberry CEO John Chen says there is a "unique key in the chipset of every PRIV smartphone to authenticate the Android OS, so users can be confident their PRIV is not running malicious firmware that could violate their privacy or security," He also touts his company's ability to patch vulnerabilities "much faster than other Android smartphone makers," and further security features to make PRIV the most resilient, secure smartphone available.
The UK's Carphone Warehouse has the Blackberry PRIV listed to pre-order. You can buy it SIM-free for £579, or on a pay monthly contract from £49 with zero upfront cost. The cheapest monthly option is £79.99 upfront and £32.50 per month, but with just 1GB of data. Delivery is expected by 6th November.