BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv

Remember BlackBerry and its QWERTY keyboard-loving ways? Yeah, well, BlackBerry’s still a thing – just about – and the company’s set to launch its first ever Android phone, the BlackBerry Priv. Pairing high-end specs with a hearty dollop of smartphone nostalgia, the Priv is official and heading to UK stores in the coming weeks.

Set to go head-to-head with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6S, the Google-powered handset isn’t just BlackBerry’s latest phone – it could well be its last. So, with the fate of the ailing one-time giant resting on its boxy shoulders, here’s everything you need to know about the firm’s would-be saviour – or coffin nail.

The BlackBerry Priv release date has been confirmed, and you won’t have to wait long to snap up the follow-on to the company’s desperately dire last effort, the BlackBerry Passport. Set to be exclusive to Carphone Warehouse here in the UK – at least on day one – the BlackBerry Priv has been pencilled in for a November 6 launch. That means there’s less than 3 weeks separating you from a return to physical smartphone keyboards – who’s excited? Oh, that few.

For those who simply can’t wait to snap up BlackBerry’s Android convert, BlackBerry Priv pre-orders have already kicked off. Those desperate to secure the handset can drop their cash now, with the phone coming on contract plans starting at a lofty £49 per month – ouch.

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Keen to scream that a BlackBerry is no longer just for fuddy-duddies in suits, the 5.4-inch Priv is very much a case of old meets new. It pairs the maker’s trademark physical QWERTY keyboard with the cutting-edge in smartphone design, a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge-inspired dual-side encompassing display. Keeping things as refined and compact as possible, the handset’s keyboard is a slide out affair, dropping down from behind its stunning display.

Despite the phone’s double layer, it’s not particularly obese. Yes, sat next to the iPhone 6S or Sony Xperia Z5 it will look positively portly, but at 9.4mm thick and 192g in weight, it’s not too large. Heck, even the Moto X Play is chunkier and that doesn’t host a physical input option. It’s not quite a classic BlackBerry look, but in 2015 that’s a good thing. Like its recent siblings, however, the Priv features a soft-touch, carbon fibre-effect rear.

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