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Critical Kit: the BlackBerry PRIV

BlackBerry PRIV 2

The latest smartphone from Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry, the Android-based PRIV, is now available from Carphone Warehouse from £49 per month with an upfront cost of £59.99, or £559.99 if you wish to buy it without a SIM. The PRIV is also available on BlackBerry’s site and is currently showing as available for preorder at £559.99.

BlackBerry PRIV hits the streets

You’re probably already aware that the PRIV is the first Android-powered phone from BlackBerry, which has already garnered positive reviews thanks to its physical keyboard, enhanced security features, as well as access to Google services such as the Play store, Gmail, Google Drive, etc.

And because the PRIV has generated quite a lot of buzz in the last few weeks, we thought it warranted being included in our critical kit series. The PRIV is perhaps not just for anyone wanting something a little different, but for anyone who yearns for a decent keyboard, wants premium build quality, as well as access to the vast Android app library.

Some of the PRIV’s key features include:

  • Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop)
  • A 5.4” AMOLED dual-curved screen @ quad-HD resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) and 540 ppi
  • A 3,410 mAh battery
  • Both touch and physical keyboards
  • A Schneider-Kreuznach® certified camera (18-megapixel rear, 2-megapixel front)
  • Optical image stabilisation (OIS) and 4K UHD support @30 fps
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 1.8 GHz dual core + 1.44 GHz quad core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 808 processor
  • Adreno 418 GPU

Full specs are available here.

BlackBerry PRIV 1The PRIV is also comes with something called DTEK™ – which automatically monitors apps and processes in real time to provide an overall security rating for your device. It uses modifications to Android that basically help you manage what your apps have access to, as well as alerting when an app accesses your personal data or hardware such as the microphone, for example.

Andy Webb, Head of UK Buying at Carphone Warehouse, says: “We are very excited to bring this truly innovative smartphone to our customers in the UK. With the PRIV customers will benefit from the best of BlackBerry privacy and productivity combined with the rich app ecosystem of Android.”

It seems that the phone retailers as well as consumers are quite eager to get their hands on the PRIV, and it’s certainly a welcome new device from BlackBerry that appears to tick all the right boxes. If the PRIV makes a splash hopefully it will lead to something of a renaissance for the company, which can only be good for consumers in the long run by giving us more choice and innovation.

Let us know in the comments if you’re interested in the new BlackBerry device, or intend to purchase one in the near future…

By Roland Banks

Roland Banks has been passionate about mobile technology for the past 20 years. He started his career at British Telecom's research division working on collaborative virtual reality environments, before becoming a video streaming specialist at 3 UK where he helped launch some of the world's first mobile video services. More recently he enjoys writing about his obsession, and developing software that helps mobile operators analyse their subscriber data.

Roland has lived in Asia for the past 5 years, and tries to indulge his other passion for riding motorcycles whenever possible.

2 replies on “Critical Kit: the BlackBerry PRIV”

Granted, they’ve got rather an uphill struggle ahead of them, but it’s good to see that they’re trying! Would love to get hold of some sales figures (or owners’ opinions) of the PRIV.

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