RIP Blackberry. Before you bust out the box of Kleenex, BlackBerry the company lives on, and may have actually debuted one of its greatest devices since the launch of the 6710. In 1999 (has it really been that long?), BlackBerry unveiled the 850, a two-way pager wit web-browsing functionality. Its device lineup evloved from here. While there’s been a lot of speculation that BlackBerry 10 would phase out, it’s now official. The Priv is slated to be BlackBerry’s first Android handset.
When the BlackBerry smartphone came out, it dominated as the first smartphone, and carved a niche in the enterprise market. Physical keyboards kept many in the business world attached to their BlackBerry, refusing to ditch their aging devices well into the touchscreen era. The iPhone and Android ushered in the dawn of the touchscreen age. As adoption of smartphones increased, touchscreens became the standard.
Furthermore, operating systems played a pivotal role in splitting the market between Android and iOS. Because consumers were focused on touchscreen devices, developers too concentrated on creating and porting apps to the two main OSes: Android and iOS. When BlackBerry finally made the jump to touchscreens, there was a catch: the BlackBerry 10 OS. Though it was a great concept, the vast app Android and iOS app stores were more promising than the meager BlackBerry app store.
Enter the BlackBerry Priv. It’s a high-end smartphone, packed with features like a Snapdragon 808 quadcore processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, a MicroSD slot, and 19-megapixel camera. Reportedly the battery is rated for 22.5 hours of use. However, the Priv isn’t simply another high-end Android handset. There’s definitely a focus on the enterprise crowd. Notably, there’s an included privacy app that lends users greater control over what system features apps have access to, and the crowned jewel: a physical keyboard. The Priv isn’t the first BlackBerry to offer a keyboard, but Androids with built-in keyboards are few and far between. I bought my first smartphone, the Kyocera Rise, mainly because I wanted a keyboard.
All of this awesomeness comes with a hefty $700 price tag. However, the Priv delivers a slew of fantastic features, and comes unlocked. It’s slated for a Nov. 6, 2015 release. Check out the Blackberry website for more details, and pre-order information.
PRIV™ combines everything you expect from BlackBerry plus the full eco-system of Android and its apps. PRIV comes with added security to let you know when your data could be at risk, so you can take action to improve it. PRIV features:
Elegant slim design with slide out physical keyboard
5.4-inch dual-curved screen
3410 mAh battery. Battery Life: up to 22.5 hours*
18 MP dual-flash Schneider-Kreuznach® certified camera
DTEK™ by BlackBerry®
Memory: 32GB Flash
Hot-swappable MicroSD slot (up to 2TB)
FD-LTE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17, 20, 29, 30
HSPA+ 1, 2, 4, 5/6, 8
Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE