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BlackBerry Joins Android With BB Priv ‘Secure’ Phone With Physical Keyboard

If you can t beat them, join them is the mantra of BlackBerry s new smartphone the BlackBerry Priv, a high-end smartphone running the most popular mobile operating system in the world (based on market share), the Google Android. The Canadian tech company started selling the handset in the United States last weekend. Upfront, the BlackBerry Priv 1 is like other high-end Android handsets.

It has a large flat touchscreen display, it features an advanced camera, and it s powered by Qualcomm s Snapdragon 808 processor and 3GB of RAM but wait until you slide the phone. It has a qwerty keyboard. This concealed slide-out physical keyboard is also a trackpad allowing users to move the cursor, scroll the webpage up and down, and so on.

It s also worth noting that the Priv is using nano-sim, which means, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy owners can easily switch to the BlackBerry handset. BlackBerry s CEO Chen said in a press statement that they re joining Android because they can now make it private and secure. He also added that the security of their ecosystem, plus the vibrancy of the Google Play Store gives end users the best in security, privacy and productivity, with no compromises on applications.

Specs Of BlackBerry Priv As I said, the BlackBerry Priv is a high-end Android smartphone. It s running Android Lollipop with upgrade to Android Marshmallow soon. It s powered by Qualcomm s Snapdragon 808 clocked at 1.8GHz, 3GB RAM, and each phone ships with 32 GB of internal phone storage.

Users can also add additional memory via a micro-SD card slot. The Priv s display is a 5.4-inch AMOLED with resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, giving a 540 pixels per inch or PPI. Meanwhile, the primary camera on the BlackBerry Priv is a Schneider-Kreuznach 18-megapixel shooter that supports 1080p 60fps video recording.

The front-facing selfie camera on the Priv offers 2 megapixels photo capture, and 720P video recording. And now, let s talk about the keyboard the tiny QWERTY keyboard that you can also ignore if you re not into physical keyboard typing. This hardware is similar to BlackBerry Passport s keyboard, which means, it s also a trackpad.

It s also equipped with predictive text with swipe-up to type gesture. BlackBerry s Road To Android The journey started last year with the Passport, the square BlackBerry phone. The Waterloo-based tech company has touted its ability to run Android apps.

But unlike the Priv, Android apps running on BlackBerry are slow and very buggy according to several reviews. And then in February 2015, Google announced the Android for Work 2 , a feature on the ecosystem which supports default encryption with enhanced SELinux security enforcement and multi-user support. Several partners including BlackBerry support the program.

Other Enterprise mobility management (EMM) partners include SAP, SOTI, and Citrix. It s safe to say that BlackBerry and Android s relationship started to flourish after the Android for Work launch. According to Chen, Priv is not the last of the company.

In an interview with Fox Business, the 60 year-old BlackBerry CEO has confirmed that the go signal was given after Android supported privacy and security. When I came into the company a couple of years ago, we have a great phone business, but the audience extremely rely on productivity, privacy, and security. We lack applications, he said.

Priv is now addressing the lack of applications part, says Chen. The way to address that issue is adopt an ecosystem that is open and has a lot of applications. Android happens to be the ecosystem that we picked, he added.

About upcoming devices, Chen said he believes the Priv will be successful because it caters to younger generation. Of course, if successful, BlackBerry will launch more Android devices after Priv. The BlackBerry Priv is available unlocked with price tag of $699.00 via the official BlackBerry Store 3 .

AT&T is the official launching partner in the United States, but other carriers will follow. embedded content All rights reserved. STGIST 2015.

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References ^ BlackBerry Priv (global.blackberry.com) ^ Android for Work (googleforwork.blogspot.com) ^ official BlackBerry Store (global.blackberry.com) ^ TERMS of Service (stgist.com)