BlackBerry Priv briefly appears for pre-order at a whopping $749

BlackBerry is getting ready to launch its first Android smartphone, the Priv. We now know all the specs and even a possible price with rumors that official pre-orders may kick off on Friday.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
(Image: BlackBerry)
A few months ago I sold my BlackBerry Passport, but have been keeping a close eye on the BlackBerry Priv. Being that it is BlackBerry's first Android smartphone and BlackBerry needs a hit to stay competitive, I've been considering picking one up if it launched at less than $500.

Unfortunately, if the pre-order price that appeared briefly on BlackBerry.com yesterday holds true, then I won't be adding the Priv to my collection. The Priv appeared at a rather shocking $749 for the US market, with comptability on AT&T and T-Mobile.

Latest review

Struggling HTC took the proper tact by announcing the HTC One A9 at a reasonable $399.99 in the US. While BlackBerry is likely to position the Priv to be an enterprise smartphone, $749 is still too high for businesses to purchase an untested Android smartphone.

With the pre-order page showing up on BlackBerry.com, we were able to get a full glimpse of the specifications so the following specs are confirmed:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with Adreno 418 GPU
  • Curved 5.43 inch 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution plastic AMOLED, 540 ppi, with Gorilla Glass 4
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage with microSD card slot
  • Rear 18 megapixel camera and front-facing 2 megapixel camera
  • 3410 mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 support
  • Integrated wireless charging supporting PMA and Qi

So the rumors were mostly true, but the front-facing camera is 2 megapixel instead of 5 megapixel. It's nice to see Quick Charge 2.0 and wireless charging support, much like what I am experiencing on my Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is available for $700 and $780 for 32GB and 64GB models. The Apple iPhone 6s Plus is available for $749, $849, and $949 for 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB models. Samsung and Apple can command the high prices due to success in the market place, but it's tough to make that argument for BlackBerry.

The Google Nexus 6P is available now for $499, $549, and $649 for 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage capacity models. In the past couple years BlackBerry launched its new high end smartphones at $649, but the price always quickly dropped. The BlackBerry Passport is currently priced at $499.

Do you think the BlackBerry Priv has a chance at $749? Should it launch just a bit higher than the Passport at $549? What price do you think is reasonable for the BlackBerry Priv?

Editorial standards