BlackBerry PRIV Android Slider Makes First Commercial Appearance, Now Up For Pre-Order

blackberry priv
BlackBerry CEO John Chen definitely didn’t leave a good impression when he demoed his company’s upcoming Android slider: the PRIV. The PRIV is BlackBerry’s latest effort to remain relevant in the smartphone market, and Chen’s antic on camera revealed a chief executive that wasn’t familiar with the product he was displaying, and a prototype device that wasn’t quite up to production performance levels.

With that embarrassing incident behind it, BlackBerry is going more mainstream with the first official commercial for the PRIV. The video shows the PRIV being used for everyday tasks and gives us a great look at the slide out QWERTY keyboard in action. It’s a short video that lasts a mere 41 seconds, but it has us pretty excited to see the return of a physical keyboard for the Android platform (after all, it was a QWERTY slider phone that sparked the Android uprising).

The nifty hardware keyboard isn’t the only trick up the PRIV’s sleeve. BlackBerry is keenly focused on security, which is often a weak spot for Android devices. “There’s the unique key ‎in the chipset of every PRIV smartphone to authenticate the Android OS, so users can be confident their PRIV is not running malicious firmware that could violate their privacy or security,” said Chen. He also goes on to claim that BlackBerry has the “ability to patch vulnerabilities much faster than other Android smartphone makers.

“Enterprises are increasingly aware of the security and privacy risks that their mobile devices pose… I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that BlackBerry will find a strong audience here.”

BlackBerry Priv

The PRIV is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB of RAM and includes a 5.4-inch QHD AMOLED display. Other features include 32GB of internal storage, a microSD slot which can accept up to 2TB of external storage, an 18MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing “selfie” camera, a 3410mAh battery and will come out of the box with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (we’d assume that an Android 6.0 Marshmallow update will be incoming).

John Chen confirmed late last month that the PRIV will launch later this year, and all of the “Big Four” wireless carriers are expected to carry the smartphone. In addition Carphone Warehouse is already taking pre-orders for the smartphone in the UK.