The rumors of an Android-powered BlackBerry smartphone have been around for a while and week after week we were presented with new leaks about this upcoming handset from the Canadian manufacturer. Today we already know almost every detail, thanks to leaked hands-on photos and videos, FCC certification files, a hands-on by BlackBerry’s CEO himself, and so on. As the final release date approaches, BlackBerry has released two short videos on YouTube showcasing some of the Priv’s features.
One of the videos highlights the BlackBerry Hub, the company’s signature communications hub that groups emails and messages from different sources in a single feed, and it can be easily accessed by swiping up the home key, just like you would do to activate Google Now. There are pop-up widgets that give the a peek of any app by just swiping up its icon. The interface itself is a mix of stock Android with some modifications from BlackBerry, but you will barely notice it since most changes were under-the-hood to improve security. Talking about security, the video also highlights the DTEK Security suite, a monitoring tool that tells a user the security level of the device by checking apps and encrypted data.
Another important feature is the sliding physical keyboard with touch-enabled keys that work as a trackpad too. Additionally, the phone also comes with BlackBerry’s own virtual keyboard with a flick-to-type functionality. It’s interesting to notice that the volume, power and action buttons are attached to the rear side of the phone and slides down with the keyboard when it opens. There’s also an important mention to the battery, as BlackBerry is known for extracting the most of its juice. According to the video, the huge 3410 mAh power source should provide up to 22.5 hours of mixed usage, which is very impressive.
If you are unfamiliar with the hardware, the Priv will be a very powerful device running the Snapdragon 808 SoC, an hexa-core processor from Qualcomm, coupled with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage with support for a microSD card of up to 200 GB, a 18 megapixels rear camera with optical image stabilization and a dual-LED flash, 4K video recording at 30 FPS and a Galaxy S6 edge-like dual curved edge display. The phone went on pre-order about a week ago in the U.S. for $699 and it should be officially released in the first weeks of Novembers, meaning that you should expect it by any time now. You can check both videos below.