Starting today, the BlackBerry Priv is available for pre-order in the U.S., Canada, and UK. The Priv is BlackBerry's first Android-based smartphone and is focused on delivering one of the most private and secure experiences for the company's customers, whether it's in the consumer or the enterprise market.
The BlackBerry Priv is an Android 5.1.1 device that sets itself apart from the rest of the Android devices with a renowned BlackBerry keyboard, at a time when few if any Android devices come with a keyboard anymore, and a greater focus on security, which is something we've mainly seen from smaller companies such as Silent Circle (BlackPhone) and Sikur (GranitePhone).
The device brings a hexa-core 64-bit Snapdragon 808 processor (dual-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A57 and quad-core 1.4 Cortex-A53 CPU), a 5.4" OLED screen with 2540 x 1440 resolution, Gorilla Glass 4 protection, 3 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage.
The Priv also seems to have a good camera, at least as far as specifications go: 18MP BSI2 stacked sensor, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF), 6-element f/2.2 lens, dual-LED flash, 4K video recording at 30 FPS, 1080p video recording at 60 FPS, 6 DOF video stabilization on top of the OIS, and more.
The front-facing camera doesn't look nearly as impressive, though. It has only a 2MP fixed-focus sensor, f/2.8, and 720p video recording. The good parts about it is that it has 1.75um pixels, which in theory should make it a good camera in low-light, and it also comes with electronic image and video stabilization.
The new BlackBerry phone comes with a relatively large battery of 3,410 mAh, which the company said should last 22.5 hours of "mixed usage." The device also supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, and FD-LTE (bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17, 20, 29, 30).
We still don't know exactly all of the Priv's privacy and security features, but the phone is rumored to come with a Grsecurity kernel, which should make it one of the toughest devices when it comes to protection against exploits.
The company officially revealed that a DTEK app will come pre-installed and will warn users against weak privacy settings and other threats. BlackBerry also promised easy-to-customize privacy settings, picture-passwords, and some kind of confinement to further secure certain apps.
Update, 10/23/15, 1:15pm PT: Added new image.
Lucian Armasu has joined Tom’s Hardware since early 2014. He writes news stories on mobile, chipsets, security, privacy, and anything else that might be of interest to him from the technology world. Outside of Tom’s Hardware he dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.