It’s likely going to end up a niche device, but the Blackberry Priv brings something I know more than a few people have been missing from their phones: a physical keyboard. If you’re among those pining for the convenience of tactile keys on your mobile staple, Blackberry’s initial foray into Android brings that and more.
While it looks like any regular smartphone, the handset comes with a slide-out mechanism that engages to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard for typing in more comfortable form. Even better, those keys are touch-sensitive, allowing you to use the assembly as a track pad for scrolling and cursor control, so you don’t have to reach way up to tap on the screen with the keyboard engaged.
Aside from a keyboard, the Blackberry Priv also comes with a curved screen similar to the Note Edge, enabling a whole new set of functions. Most interesting among these is the “Productivity Edge,” which allows you to bring up a set of icons on the curved section and tap them to get a preview of what’s going on without launching the full app, making it easy to check updates on your inbox, calendar, and more. Since Blackberry has always positioned its phone as “highly secure,” that continues here, with the company implementing custom privacy features for more easily securing your personal data.
Specs include a 5.4 inch OLED display (2,560 x 1,440 resolution), an 18-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and dual flash, a 2-megapixel fixed-focus front camera, 32GB of onboard storage, microSD card expansion, and a 3,410 mAh battery (rated at up to 22.5 hours of mixed use). Action is powered by a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 with 3GB of RAM.
Now available for preorder with a November ship date, the Blackberry Priv is priced at $699.