The PRIV represents a turning point for beleaguered BlackBerry. Once the most dominant player in the smart phone arena, BlackBerry has diminished worse than the elves of Rivendell since the rise of iOS and Android. Desperate for relevancy, BlackBerry has abandoned its own OS in favor of the OS created by the competitor that crushed it into near oblivion. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?
Say what you want about BlackBerry's past blunders, at least their first entry into the Android arena comes with high-end specs and some pretty compelling reasons to consider it over other competitors.
Now, a few weeks after the PRIV's announcement, we have confirmation of when BlackBerry fans, or curious Android lovers, can get their hands on the new device.
The PRIV is BlackBerry's first true Android device. It's something that we, and a considerable portion of die-hard BlackBerry customers, have been looking forward to for a long time. But there are a couple of things that might make potential buyers trepidatious: one, a relatively high price tag of $699, and two, well, it's BlackBerry's first entry on a new software platform. So what are the highlights, aside from the obvious slide-out QWERTY keyboard? BlackBerry would like to show you. The video below is a highlight reel of what makes the PRIV different from other Android flagship phones.
Earlier this week Blackberry's official online store posted a pre-order page for the Priv, a high-end QWERTY slider phone that also happens to be the company's first full Android device. Apparently that was a bit premature - it disappeared after a short time, but not so short that prospective customers didn't balk at the $749 USD starting price. Today the pre-order page is back with a slightly cheaper price: $699. Was the original page an error or did Blackberry see the quick reaction and adjust it down? We couldn't say. The page says the phone will start shipping on November 6th.
After years of trying to make it work with its BlackBerry OS, the once-dominant Canadian smartphone maker is giving Android a shot. The company acknowledged the existence of the Priv (previously codenamed Venice) with an awkward video demo by the company's CEO, but now there's a more professional intro video out.
There isn't a lot we don't know about the device, except its official name. Until now, it's been introduced to us under its codename, Venice. But when it reaches retail stores, the phone will be dubbed Priv, according to Evan Blass aka @evleaks. I don't know about you, but I think Priv is trying too hard to be fancy while Venice was simply classy.
BlackBerry has been coy about its mobile plans as of late, but there's little doubt the company is getting ready to give Android a shot with the Venice. This portrait slider has been leaking all over the place, and now we're getting our best look at the device yet with a 4-minute hands-on video courtesy of a Canadian phone retailer called Baka Mobile.
The upcoming, unnamed BlackBerry slider phone running Android has leaked almost completely at this point. The short version: it's an Android phone with some BlackBerry apps, services, and a freaking slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Because BlackBerry.
BlackBerry's keyboards were held in the highest esteem by "productivity-oriented" mobile users for years because of the comparative slowness of T9 and the general lack of software keyboards until the iPhone arrived on the scene. Even then, touchscreen keyboards had plenty of evolving left to do - support for advanced multitouch, swiping, auto-completion of words, and increasing overall speed and responsiveness.
A small and vocal element of the Android community has been begging for a decent QWERTY phone ever since the original Motorola DROID was retired, and a huge and vocal part of BlackBerry's userbase has been clamoring for the company to switch to Android OS before it goes the ignominious way of Palm and Nokia. So the BlackBerry Venice, which has been leaked six ways from Sunday, is a welcome if late addition to the struggling company's lineup. The latest leak shows off what looks like a production-ready phone in sharp photos from every angle. It's a looker.
The photos popped up on a Vietnamese website, Tinhte.vn.