(Pocket-lint) - BlackBerry took an usual approach to launching the Priv. Following a run of rumours and leaks, the company confirmed its plans, before drip-feeding information, supplying official photos, and talking openly about the new handset.
It's now officially launched, reviewed, and available to buy in stores, with pre-order deliveries expected to start being delivered from today, 6 November.
Along the path of this unusual device launch, there may be some details you missed, so here's a recap.
This is everything you need to know about the BlackBerry Priv.
BlackBerry Priv design
BlackBerry surprised everyone at MWC 2015 when BB exec Ron Louks pulled out a mystery device. It had a dual-curved, all-touch display with a keyboard, a slider phone. At the time, it was seen to be running BB10 and BlackBerry didn't say much about it, just teased that it was on the roadmap for the future.
A few months later, official photos released by BlackBerry showed a rather slender device from the side, despite that separate keyboard and screen piled on top of each other. The Priv was born, BlackBerry's first Android device, and it's a slider with a full QWERTY keyboard.
There are three buttons on the right-hand side of the device, with the larger buttons working as volume rockers, while the centre smaller button is for muting the devices - it's a standard arrangement for BlackBerry devices. Another singular button is on the left-hand side, which is the power button.
The BlackBerry Priv is pretty heavy at 192g, measuring 147 x 77.2 x 9.4mm, and extending to 184mm when opened to reveal the keyboard.
The physical keyboard is the biggest element of the new device, offering up a BlackBerry keyboard, as well as the touchscreen experience. The keyboard is also capacitive, supporting swipes for additional navigation options.
BlackBerry Priv specs and hardware
The BlackBerry Priv features a 5.4-inch AMOLED display with curved edges, and it has a Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, 543ppi. That puts it right up there with the top-tier of Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 or LG G4.
The Priv is powered by a 1.8GHz 64-bit hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, supported by 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage and a microSD slot. Again, that puts it on a par with Android devices.
The BlackBerry Priv is powered by a 3410mAh battery, which is a pretty large capacity, with BlackBerry promising 22 hours of calling.
There is also an 18-megapixel rear camera, with a 2-megapixel front-facing snapper, with the rear being a Schneider-Kreuznach lens. Optical image stabilisation and 4K UHD video recording up to 30 frames per second are the highlights.
BlackBerry Priv software
BlackBerry has, for the Priv, switched from its own BlackBerry OS to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop for release.
To take care of security, the BlackBery Priv comes with something called DTEK, which is like an app warning system app, designed to boost your privacy. The Priv also has BlackBerry's Hardware Root of Trust which is a unique manufacturing process that injects cryptographic keys into the hardware.
BlackBerry says: "Priv integrates seamlessly with Android for Work to provide secure separation between work and personal data and applications. The Personal Space lets you download apps and protects your personal privacy, while the Work Space lets the enterprise secure its corporate data."
Google Play is present alongside a range of standard Android services, including Google Maps and Hangouts. The BlackBerry Priv won't run stock Android but it's very close, featuring some really useful additions and innovative features.
Additionally, utilising the curved display is Productivity Edge. This will allow users of the Priv to glance at notifications, messages, calendar events and others with a swipe. It can be setup to appear on the left or right hand side of the screen.
The edge will also be able to act as a charging bar when the Priv is plugged in too.
BlackBerry Priv release date and price
Carphone Warehouse's pre-order page for the BlackBerry Priv is available on its online store. That also reveals that shipping will commence, in the UK, from Friday, 6 November.
The UK store also reveals the price, with pay monthly plans starting at £49 a month with no up-front cost. If you're willing to pay something towards the handset, you can get monthly deals from £31.99, although you with be expected to fork out £129.99 for 1GB of 4G data on the EE network, £179.99 for the handset on a deal with 5GB of data.
The BlackBerry Priv can also be bought for £579.99 SIM-free.
For those of you in the US, BlackBerry is now listing the Priv on ShopBlackberry. Through that site, we can see that the Priv will cost $750 unlocked. In Canada, it'll cost $949.
AT&T also announced that it will be carrying the Priv from the same date as the UK release, 6 November. Monthly plans start at $24.67.
BlackBerry Priv videos
On 16 October (and somewhat out of the blue), pre-orders for the BlackBerry Priv opened through UK retailer Carphone Warehouse, confirming all the details in the process. A hands-on video later appeared, once again courtesy of Carphone Warehouse, showing what the Android slider looks like and can do.
If you had any doubts left in your mind about the this handset, prepare to be amazed: following Carphone Warehouse's hands-on video, BlackBerry posted its own hands-on introduction video for Priv, confirming once and for all what the Android slider is capable of doing. And there's another official video detailing the key features. You can watch both below...
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