You gotta give it to Blackberry, formerly known as Research in Motion, or RIM. These guys are keeping at it, like a bulldog would and we commend them on the determination.
After a series of smartphones that have had only limited success with consumers, instead of the innovative Blackberry 10 OS, we're at the verge of seeing the company's very first Android phone launched to the (eagerly awaiting?) public.
We know that the phone is coming with a Qualcomm SoC, the Snapdragon 808 to be exact, 3GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, expandable with an SD card. The display is a 5.4" 2560x1440 affair for super crisp text and graphics and the cameras should also make the company proud. There's an 18MP rear shooter capable of recording 4K video and the one on the front comes with a 5MP resolution.
The key differentiating feature in terms of hardware, though, is Blackberry's legendary hardware keyboard that has enabled busy bankers to earn and lose trillions of dollars over the past fifteen years. This time it slides from underneath the screen, which is always a challenge for the device's dimensions, weight and durability. If there is one thing Blackberry knows how to do, it's hardware design, so we are hoping this will stand the test of time.
On the software side of things, the Priv will come with Android 5.1.1 out of the box, but with Blackberry's custom kernel and with loads of special features added by the company. John Chen, the company's CEO tells us that Priv is loaded with security and privacy oriented features and we couldn't be happier to hear that in today's world in which our private information is but merchandise to multinational corporations.
On the other hand, Blackberry has been successfully operating in so many countries which require it to create backdoors for their security services, that we're not sure how private the Priv will keep our information in fact.
We will for sure see Blackberry Hub, BBM, local device search, Blackberry Mail, Calendar and Notes and possibly a few other custom apps that noone else will be able to use.
One way or another, we're glad to see one of the old industry powerhouses still around and are eager to test their new phone as soon as possible.