In response to speculations surrounding the launch of a BlackBerry Android mobile phone, BlackBerry has released the Priv into the market, exclusively at Carphone Warehouse, one of the biggest mobile phone retailers with over 2,4oo stores across Europe.
Powered by the Android operating system, combined with the timeless legendary BlackBerry encryption and productivity, including the widely used Google Play Store apps, the Priv projects itself as a better brand of an Android mobile phone with improved specifications and applications.
The most prominent feature of the new development is the introduction of new apps into Google Play, way ahead of the launch of the Priv’s production. These apps include the BlackBerry Launcher, Keyboard, Camera, Password Keeper (DTEK) and MicrosoftexFAT for BlackBerry.
DTEK, particularly, operates in a way that it is programmed to identify insecure and irregular application behaviour. For instance, it is enabled to track and alert a Priv user if another app on the same phone is tracking the location of the user without permission. This is not a feature one will find on other Android mobile phones.
These newly added features, including the old BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Hub (an app designed to manage the operations involving services like social networks, calendar and nails); complement the existing Android software performances. This implies that the Priv is a BlackBerry with modified Android operating system.
In terms of the physical appearance, the Priv comes in handy with the unique BlackBerry black color, and silver colored logo. With a dual curved screen of about 5.4 inch, an impressive 18 mega pixel camera (Schneider-Kreuznach), a SmartSlide keyboard hidden behind the flat and portable phone, and a 3410 mAH long lasting battery with 3 Gigabyte and 32 Gigabytes memories, the Priv appears to have been engineered to stand out.
This physical keyboard may not be a necessary feature since Android users are more accustomed to the touch screen. Tech analyst, Antonio Villas said, “I’m personally much more comfortable typing with touch screen keyboards than a tiny physical key.” This feature sets the Priv apart from former Blackberry and Android phones.
Unfortunately, BlackBerry Priv runs on an outdated Android operating system, ‘Lollipop’. The good news is that, the plans to update it to a better OS version – ‘Marshmallow’ -, is underway. This way, it fixes the defect.
Furthermore, no matter how appealing the Priv sounds, its price tag is relatively expensive compared to existing Android smartphones with almost the same high definition features. The new Priv has a price of $700 in comparison with HTC One A9, Google’s Nexus phones and Motorola Moto X Pure that sell for less than $500. Phone lovers may be defiling this speculation as some still purchase Apple, Samsung LG smartphones that come at more exorbitant rates.
Nevertheless, the Priv offers a device heavily guarded against the insecurities and vulnerabilities commonly associated with Android phones. The maximum encryption of BlackBerry mobile devices; is a legacy the company is not willing to compromise. Through the Android monthly security, hotfix and enterprise-managed updates, the company hopes to redefine Android smartphone branding across the world.
John Chen, executive chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer exhibited the Priv. See video.