BlackBerry Priv now available for pre-order; starts at $699

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

BlackBerry Priv now available for pre-order; starts at $699.

BlackBerry has announced its latest Android-powered handset the BlackBerry Priv is available for pre-order and starts shipping early November. According to a post on the official BlackBerry blog, the company said that the device brings ‘the best of BlackBerry security, privacy and productivity to the Android ecosystem.’ The Priv is the first smartphone by BlackBerry that is powered by an operating system other than its own. The handset is priced at $700 in the U.S., which positions it towards the high end of the Android smartphone price range — so BlackBerry is clearly hoping the lure of physical keys will be enough of a differentiator to poach buyers who might otherwise have shelled out for a top-of-the-range Samsung Galaxy (or similar). BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed myriad leaks of the imminent landing of an Android-powered BlackBerry late last month, demoing the touch-slider device to BNN. In terms of specifications, the Priv features a slim design with a slide out physical keyboard, similar to the earlier BlackBerry Torch, but with a more elegant design.

So yes the phone is a cake-and-eat it approach, with both keyboard and touchscreen in one package — provided you don’t mind a little heft in the hand (and a little BlackBerry branding on your handset). On the heft side BlackBerry is at least compensating for a little thickness around the phone’s waist by sticking a beefy battery (3,410mAh) under the hood, albeit this is non-removable — unlike in the case of those BlackBerrys of yore. The Priv has one more trick up its sleeve that might appeal to erstwhile Samsung buyers: a microSD card slot for user expandable storage of up to 2TB.

The Android-phone-in-BlackBerry-clothing also comes with what the company describes as “added security to let you know when your data could be at risk, so you can take action to improve it”. Aka a BlackBerry app called DTEK — a sort of privacy dashboard for users, where they can get an overview of their device security and control individual app permissions related to personal data and privacy — such as whether an app has access to the microphone, location and other personal info.

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