BlackBerry puts a novel twist on its keyboard with Priv

BlackBerry's latest smartphone – titled Priv – represents a major milestone for the Canadian firm. 

Not only is it the first BlackBerry device to drop the company's proprietary mobile operating system (OS) in favour of running on Google's Android, but it also has a novel twist to bring the signature Qwerty keypad up to date. 

It features a slide-down physical keyboard attached to a high-end touchscreen Android device. 

BlackBerry hopes the product will represent a fusion of the productivity, security and privacy features associated with its offerings, and the diverse appeal of Android. This will be achieved particularly through the availability of apps on the Google Play store. 

The design of the smartphone is elegant and slim, with the slide-out keyboard tucked away behind a 5.4-inch dual-curved screen.

BlackBerry boasts that Priv is the "epitome of form and function" – and its powerful 18 megapixel, Schneider-Kreuznach certified camera is bound to win the device some fans. 

The 3410 mAh battery is long-lasting – even when playing your favourite tunes through the very high quality speakers. 

Director of device portfolio planning at BlackBerry Gareth Hurn told the Financial Times that jumping to the Android OS expands the size of the possible market for the Priv. However, he also acknowledged just how important it is to offer something new. 

"When you move into the ultra competitive Android market it needs to exceed what's already out there," he commented. 

Mr Hurn added that the dedicated BlackBerry features remaining should be enough for the Priv to be a hit with customers – particularly with regard to the security aspects.

"Smartphone privacy has not been a consumer issue before – it has been more for enterprise – but that's changed. A smartphone has so much data on a user and the Priv tells them where there is a risk and helps them deal with it," he continued. 

Written by Mazuma

Mazuma Mobile is Australia's most trusted mobile phone recycling service.

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