Blackberry has officially announced the launch of their 100% Android device – the Blackberry Priv.
This is a device that runs an actual Android OS, and not just an emulator or sandbox or whatever – it’s as much an Android device as LG, Samsung, Nexus, etc … Actually, if what I am reading turns out to be correct, it will be better than those I mentioned because this is supposed to be a completely secure, and private device.
Today,BlackBerry is announcing two new additions to its handheld device roadmap. First, the company will launch a flagship slider device, Priv, which will run on the Android operating system, bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform. In combination with BlackBerry’s efforts to support Android for Work on the BES12 platform, the new device will offer best in class security for enterprise customers. BlackBerry expects the device to be available late in the calendar year in major markets in-store and online, and will release further details in the coming weeks. While the new device will provide a choice in OS to new and existing customers, the company remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which enables industry-leading security and productivity benefits. Second, the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and is confirming plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in March 2016.
As you can see from the picture, this is a slider device. If you are familiar with the Blackberry Torch from previous years – think of that, but this will be an Android device.
Since there is no official launch yet we are depending on sightings, hands-on reviews and rumors for the following specs. The Priv will launch with a QHD display, 3 GB of RAM, 18 MP main camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, 1.8 Hexacore Snapdragon 808 processor, 3,000 mAh non-removable battery, and display will be curved edge, 5.4 inches. Also, the security and privacy of this device is reported to follow Blackberry’s standards of security. I have not read anything reliable on price – I’m reading everything from $500 USD to $1000 USD, so we will wait and see what that is when the Priv releases.
Personally, I have a huge question mark over my head on this. I’m very curious to see this device, and see if it acts like my current Blackberry Z30, or if it behaves similar to the Android devices I’ve used and hated in the past. I’m also curious to see how they have locked down security on this when other manufacturers have totally failed at this. I am confident it will be secure. Blackberry is putting their name on this, and right now that is the one thing they have in their favour. Blackberry was building secure devices when Samsung was making toasters and microwave ovens – I have no doubt they are on point … however, I’m still curious to see it 🙂
I want to see if they have kept the hub and peek intact with this device. If you’ve never used a Blackberry 10 device you have never experienced the most efficient way to use a smartphone – no argument. With all the phones I’ve used over the years the Blackberry Hub was the one innovation that actually blew me away. Currently, I can move in and out of apps, tweeting, instagramming, lol-ing, facebooking, chatting in the amount of time it takes a typical Android user to open or switch between a few apps. I never want to use a device again that doesn’t offer this efficiency.
I guess we will see what happens very soon. It’s possible I could be on the Android wagon again in the new year? I’m strangely, mixed-feeling, excited in a weird kind of way …