Last year, BlackBerry released their first ever device based around the Android operating system rather than using their own BlackBerry 6 or BlackBerry 10 platforms. In addition to BlackBerry's hardened take on the Android operating system, which gives the device an interface that is close to stock but not exactly the same, the Priv is based upon the six core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 System-on-Chip, which is backed up by 3 GB of RAM. It has a 5.4-inch AMOLED screen and 32 GB of internal storage, which is supplemented by a MicroSD card slot should the customer with to add more space to the device. There's an 18MP rear facing camera, high speed Wi-Fi and a high capacity (3,410 mAh) internal rechargeable battery. The Priv supports Qualcomm's QuickCharge 2.0 standard and some models come with built-in wireless charging, too. When the Priv was released, it came with Android 5.1 Lollipop and BlackBerry were working on an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Whilst customers waited and BlackBerry continued developing and refining Android 6.0, the company also released each of Google's regular monthly security patches for the devices.
For many customers, but not all, the device has now received the update to Marshmallow but despite this, BlackBerry are still working on newer builds of the operating system. We've word today that the fourth Marshmallow beta operating system has been released. Those customers signed up for the BlackBerry Beta with a compatible device should be receiving the update any day now, if not already, although a word of caution: if you cancel the update or reboot the device during the 1.8 GB download, it will often not restart the download afterwards. As for the particular models receiving the update, this version is for Priv models STV100-1 (sold via the online BlackBerry store or via Amazon), STV100-3 (Canadian carrier models and those models sold in the Asia Pacific region) and STV100-4 (the European, Middle Eastern and African variant).
At this juncture, it is not clear what BlackBerry have changed or improved with this beta update. Those customers who have used BlackBerry devices for years will remember how their older legacy devices often received software updates for some considerable time after initial release, although many of the older handsets required a desktop computer for the update process.