BlackBerry Priv Runs Android, Costs $699, Ships November 6
BlackBerry today made the Priv, its first Android smartphone, available for preorder. The device is a vertical slider that includes a touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard. Like the BlackBerry Passport, the Priv's keyboard can be used to move the cursor around and scroll through web sites, emails, and documents. The Android operating system includes exclusive BlackBerry apps and DTEK for managing privacy. DTEK gives owners granular control over device permissions and what personal data is shared with third parties. The phone includes BlackBerry Hub for managing email, BBM, text messages, and other communications. The Priv has a 5.4-inch quad HD screen with curved edges. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 808 processor with two cores at 1.8GHz and four cores at 1.2GHz. The processor is accompanied by an Adreno 418 GPU, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. The camera has an 18-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.2, optical image stabilization, two-tone LED flash, and HDR, panorama, and burst modes. It can capture 4K video. The user-facing camera has a 2-megapixel camera with wide-angle selfie mode. The Priv packs an integrated 3,410mAh battery, which supports rapid charging and provides more than 22 hours of mixed user. Wireless radios include Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC, WiFi, and LTE (AT&T/T-Mobile). The phone costs $699 and will begin shipping Nov. 6.
Hands On with the BlackBerry Priv
The Priv is BlackBerry's new flagship phone, but it's also much more than that. As the company's first phone to use Google's Android instead of a BlackBerry OS, it represents a major new strategic direction.
Review: BlackBerry Priv for AT&T
The Priv is the first BlackBerry to ship with Google's Android operating system rather than BlackBerry's own BBOS. BlackBerry opted for Android in order to expand the number of apps available to the phone, but it was sure to install its key messaging and security services to make the Priv more attractive to potential business users.
AT&T Drops BlackBerry Priv Price to $640
BlackBerry said AT&T has lowered the price of the the Priv smartphone by $100. The phone now costs $640 at full retail, instead of $740, or $199 with a two-year contract, instead of $250.
BlackBerry Overhauls Productivity Tab for Android
BlackBerry today pushed out a brand new version of the Productivity Tab application for Android handsets, including the Priv, DTEK50, and DTEK60. BlackBerry says the Productivity Tab is now cleaner and more user friendly thanks to the addition of features such as Quick Triage for items in the Hub.
BlackBerry Improves Priv's Launcher, Camera, and Keyboard
BlackBerry has updated several apps for the Priv smartphone and added several compelling features along the way. The Priv Launcher now includes separate views of personal and work apps, allows users to remove shortcuts from the home screen via flicking gestures, enables pop-up widgets by default, and improves overlays so users can see more information about apps and other settings.
BlackBerry Priv (GSM)
5.4" display 1440 x 2560 pixels
Snapdragon 808 processor 3 GB RAM
3,410 mAh battery
Memory Card Slot, Hardware Text Keyboard, Headphone Jack (3.5mm), NFC, Wireless Charging