BlackBerry Priv Android smartphone: What we know and what we think we know

BlackBerry finally acknowledged that a new Android-powered BlackBerry slider phone is coming. Photos, videos, and spec sheets have also been unofficially revealed.

(Image: @evleaks)

BlackBerry's claim to fame has been security and privacy. Its first Android device pays homage to that heritage with the name BlackBerry Priv.

What we know

We've seen rumors of the BlackBerry Priv (aka Venice) for a couple of months and as ZDNet's Natalie Gagliordi posted earlier today BlackBerry finally acknowledged that the Priv flagship slider is coming this year. So we now have official confirmation of its existence.

We also know that the BlackBerry Priv will be running Android instead of BlackBerry OS 10.3. Indications are that BlackBerry will include its special sauce, to include BlackBerry Hub, on the Priv.

The BlackBerry Priv will have a physical keyboard in a form factor similar to the Dell Venue Pro and BlackBerry Torch. It will be hidden underneath the display and accessed by sliding the display upwards.

What we think we know

Android Central has a list of possible specifications, but the final details of what is inside will have to wait until the official device announcement. Rumored specs include:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage with microSD card slot
  • 5.4 inch display with 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution
  • Rear 18 megapixel camera and front-facing 5 megapixel camera
  • 3000 mAh battery

ZDNet's Kevin Tofel wrote that the BlackBerry Priv is likely to come to all four major US wireless carriers. Given that carriers have sometimes been apathetic about BlackBerry devices, this is good news for BlackBerry fans.

What we don't know

While there is little left to reveal about the device itself, we do not yet know the price or availability. Given that you can now pick up a very competitive Android smartphone in the sub-$450 price level it's going to be a tough sell for BlackBerry to launch the Priv at a flagship price like the BlackBerry Passport. The Passport launched at a $599 price, but is now down to $499.

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