BlackBerry Priv Android Handset Keeps Focus on Security-Minded Buyers

1 - BlackBerry Priv Android Handset Keeps Focus on Security-Minded Buyers
2 - This Is an Android-Based Smartphone
3 - The Priv Has a Large Curved Display
4 - It's All About Security and Privacy
5 - Full Access to Google Play Apps
6 - An Eye on the Power Under the Hood
7 - A Surprisingly Strong Camera
8 - There's a Touch-Screen
9 - A Slide-Out Keyboard to Complement the Touch-Screen
10 - Battery Life Is Top Notch
11 - The Price Is About What Customers Expect
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BlackBerry Priv Android Handset Keeps Focus on Security-Minded Buyers

The BlackBerry Priv security- and privacy-focused smartphone is notable in several respects. For one, it's BlackBerry's first fully Android-based phone.

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This Is an Android-Based Smartphone

The obvious difference between the Priv and every other smartphone BlackBerry has released to this point is that it's running on Google's Android. While BlackBerry opted against Marshmallow, the latest Android version, the company promises that the Lollipop installation will be fully patched at launch to keep users safe.

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The Priv Has a Large Curved Display

The BlackBerry Priv comes with a curved screen that looks similar, but not identical, to Samsung's Galaxy Edge line. Perhaps more importantly, the device's screen is nice and big at 5.4 inches. It features a 2,560 by 1,440 resolution. While the display is neither the biggest on the market nor the best-looking, it's certainly on par with other high-end devices that feature nice screens.

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It's All About Security and Privacy

The BlackBerry Priv is named for privacy. To deliver on that, BlackBerry says that it has built out a new platform, called DTEK that will help users know when they're being spied upon. DTEK is essentially a warning system built into an app to help users determine which apps are accessing their private data. In addition to DTEK, users will find Android for Work integration, sandboxing and embedded crypto keys at every layer to secure the handset. The BlackBerry Priv should be a standout when it comes to privacy and security.

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Full Access to Google Play Apps

While BlackBerry has offered access to Android apps through Amazon's Appstore in BlackBerry 10, the company has changed gears a bit with the Priv. The latest handset from BlackBerry comes will full support for Google's Play Apps marketplace, giving users all of the apps they would expect to find in a mobile marketplace. It's a smart move on BlackBerry's part, considering Google Play is so big and popular.

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An Eye on the Power Under the Hood

From a power perspective, the BlackBerry Priv holds its own. The device runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor and has 3GB of RAM. BlackBerry says that the processor, which has a 1.8GHz clock speed, will easily handle most applications, and there's no reason to suggest it won't. Indeed, for enterprise-focused apps that require more power, the Priv should perform just fine.

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A Surprisingly Strong Camera

BlackBerry made a surprising move by spending a little extra on a nicer camera in the Priv. The handset has an 18-megapixel rear-facing camera with a special Schneider-Kreuznach lens. The front-facing camera comes in at 5 megapixels, putting it ahead of several top competitors. The rear-facing camera, however, is the feature that will impress those who like to snap photos with a cell phone.

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There's a Touch-Screen

It's odd in a world where touch-screens abound, but BlackBerry still has a hard time explaining that its products do in fact come with a touch-screen. But just to be clear, the BlackBerry Priv does have a touch display and allows for full multi-touch gestures. As BlackBerry's own marketing materials show, BlackBerry is both "touch and type."

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A Slide-Out Keyboard to Complement the Touch-Screen

True to its history, BlackBerry isn't yet ready to give up on physical keys. Tucked behind the touch-screen in the BlackBerry Priv is a slide-out physical keyboard. The keyboard is the familiar QWERTY version that BlackBerry has long offered. Enterprise customers who like the idea of a physical keyboard will like the Priv.

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Battery Life Is Top Notch

BlackBerry has done a fine job of delivering top-notch battery life in the Priv. The smartphone comes with a massive 3,410mAh battery. That should be sufficient for just about every need and last all day long with constant talk time. Independent figures won't be known until the battery is properly benchmarked, but according to BlackBerry, the device can last up to 22.5 hours of "mixed usage."

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The Price Is About What Customers Expect

The BlackBerry Priv's high-end features and its focus on enterprise security means one thing: It's not cheap. Customers interested in buying the smartphone can preorder it now for $699. It's also worth noting that the handset is not compatible right now with Verizon or Sprint, so only those customers on AT&T and T-Mobile will be able to get their hands on the smartphone when it starts shipping on Nov. 6.

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