It's now official - the Blackberry Priv (codenamed Venice), powered by Android, is coming. Stop sniggering about the name, you there in the back! The device, exhaustively leaked already (in particular by the now retired @evleaks), should mash up the best of Blackberry - great functional design and build with all the benefits of the world's favourite mobile OS (that's Android btw). And you know what? I actually want one. Here's why.
Design innovation (yes, that keyboard)
Take a look at all the devices that are around at the moment. They're kinda... boring no? Sure, Samsung have a phone that curves this way and LG have a phone that curves that way, but that aside, they are all pretty much the same. Blackberry are taking that formula and giving it their own twist with the slide out hardware keyboard. As a massive hardware keyboard fan of old, this really appeals to me. It might be an old romance that actually isn't rekindled once I get my hands on one (after all, software input is so much better than it used to be), but I can't wait to try!
Aside from the keyboard, there's some other nice design cues too, like the speaker grille right across the bottom, the classic Blackberry textured and logoed back and shaped edges both front and back. There's something both nostalgic and ultra-modern about it.
Right here now in the office I have a Blackberry Classic. I know, I know, it was for a software project - don't judge me! Now, i've not really used Blackberry for any extended period of time, but their software has always seemed stable, solid and secure. Heck, that's the premise that Priv will be been sold on! I'm very intrigued to see their first effort at a 'proper' Android build... and also to see how closed it is to those of us whole like to mod our devices.
Screenshots we've seen so far show a very 'vanilla' Android. That will be a big boon if it turns out to be the case.
Snapdragon 808? Fine. 3GB RAM? Ideal. 18 Megapixel camera? Not traditionally a Blackberry strength but we'll see. These are the specs we'd expect of a flagship device (although, things move on fast, so I hope they get it out there soon). MicroSD expansion too? Bonus!
There's a couple of things about the Priv I don't like the idea of though. The lack of fingerprint reader seems a bit of an omission, and it's not clear what the battery capacity and indeed overall size of the device will be yet, although it is rumoured to have a 5.4" screen. Finally, the other great unknown is cost of course.
I wait for more details with great anticipation - how about you? Are you tempted? Let us know!
Edited by PaulOBrien