BlackBerry was THE smartphone maker. Of course the title was taken away long ago and the advent of new smartphone OSs and manufacturers stole BlackBerry’s prime spot in the smartphone market. But BlackBerry was not willing to accept defeat; instead, it continuously tried hard to change its fate. None of the projects really succeeded though. And now BB is trying again - with Android!
BlackBerry’s next big smartphone is called… well, we don’t really know. Its experimental name was Venice, but the company seems to have confirmed “Priv” as its market name. And sure, that name sounds ugly.
BlackBerry’s CEO had once said BB will never switch to Android until it became as secure as BlackBerry’s own OS. This is why the phone got its name: Priv is short for Privacy, an important piece of the BB puzzle. If BlackBerry wouldn’t switch to Android, it would have no real hopes to revive its phone business. And because BlackBerry’s are made for businessmen, they have to deliver on the security and integrity of the original OSs. The BlackBerry Priv might just be a step taken in the right direction for the smartphone company to haul a big comeback.
Aesthetics wise, the Priv looks good. In classic BB fashion, it has the full QWERTY keyboard. But this keyboard is hidden behind the large 5.4” display, QHD in quality. The screen slides up to reveal the keyboard, much like that on the BB Torch. The design looks distinctly Android, but definitely has a BlackBerry vibe to it. The bottom of the phone houses a large speaker grill, making front facing speakers on a BlackBerry a reality.
According to rumours, this phone is going to compete with all the premium Android phones. The Priv will probably run on the Snapdragon 808 processor and 3 GB of RAM, although an 810 chipset with 4 GB RAM is also a possibility. The primary camera is revealed to be 18 MP and will have optical image stabilisation (OIS) and “fast focus”.
On the software side, the phone seems to run Android Lollipop. Although pictures depict a stock Android experience, that might not really be the case. BB is supposedly adding a full suit of BlackBerry apps: everything from the trusty Email client to the Messenger and Notes apps that will be preinstalled on this phone. And the keyboard actually entirely acts like a trackpad, so you don’t always need to touch the screen to play with the UI.
So will this BlackBerry stand to be a revolutionary Android? I do not know. Am I looking forward to it? Definitely. If BlackBerry pulls of some excellent marketing skills and attracts its legacy customers, this device will probably be the one Android to own. Let time speak the truth.
A big thank you to AndroidAuthority for majority of the leaks and rumours!