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BlackBerry PRIV Preview

Image: Blackberry

The mobile world is abuzz about BlackBerry’s entry into the Android market with the BlackBerry PRIV, meaning privacy. Though it can be interpreted as an unintentional leak, it is typical of RIM to release almost all information about their new products over time via drip-feeding. If that’s the case, consider this the actual spec release for the device. The PRIV is one of the most hotly anticipated phones coming to the market, as we will finally see BlackBerry’s ingenuity with the smart phone concept combined with the flexibility of the Android OS.

The phone will include:

  • Slide-out physical keyboard
  • 5.4 inch dual curved screen
  • Battery life up to 22.5 hours (mixed usage, 3410 mAh battery)
  • 18 MP dual-flash Schneider-Kreuznach certified camera
  • DTEK, BlackBerry’s security notification service
  • 32GB flash memory
  • MicroSD slot (2TB maximum)

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Image: © BlackBerry

The odd factor with the new phone is it’s price. The latest leaked detail has the phone priced at $749, which puts it up on top with other flagship devices from competitors Samsung and Apple. The reasoning behind this pricing is how BlackBerry is focusing on releasing a high-end mobile experience, packed with features and hardware that the casual and intermediate user would not utilize. The phone comes equipped with a Snapdragon 808 processor as well as 3GB of RAM, so it comes with power to back up the plethora of functions and quality hardware. The obvious drawback is that it is a very high asking price for a company that has never released an Android-based device before and has only worked on their own proprietary OS. By comparison, the phones price alone will make it a very hard sell as Apple offers the iPhone starting at $649 and Samsung offers the Nexus 6P (currently the best Android phone on the market) for $499.

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Image: © BlackBerry

BlackBerry is heavily touting the Priv’s security features online via blogs and press releases. Hailing the device as the hallmark for mobile business productivity, security and general privacy, this may be a sign that BlackBerry plans to market the phone to high-end businesses and executive users and not to the general consumer market. BlackBerry has made their case on its new Android security model with:

  • Verified Boot And Secure Bootchain, a process that uses embedded keys to verify every layer of the device in an effort to detect any tampering
  • FIPS 140-2 compliant full disk encryption
  • BES12, the current top Enterprise Mobility Management platform

Features such as these bring more justification to the devices price. While the features may not seem to lend to the estimated price, the form and function of the phone itself makes it well worth the price of admission.

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