BlackBerry has confirmed that the upcoming BlackBerry Priv will be an Android-powered smartphone with a slide-out keyboard.

In the company’s quarterly earning statement, BlackBerry describes the Priv as a flagship device “bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem” of Android.

blackberry priv

The phone will support BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 and feature enterprise-class security features. BlackBerry says the Priv should be available before the end of 2015.

While BlackBerry is getting ready to offer smartphones running Google’s Android operating system, the company isn’t giving up on BlackBerry OS. A new version called BlackBerry 10.3.3 is due out in March, 2016 and it’ll feature “security and privacy enhancements.”

Details about Blackberry’s Android phone have been leaking for months, although we only recently learned that it would be called “Priv.” Up until now, we’ve been using the code-name, “Venice.”

If the leaks are accurate, the phone will likely have a 5.4 inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor, and an 18MP rear camera. It has a physical keyboard that slides out from behind the display, and runs a version of Android that’s been customized to incorporate BlackBerry Messenger, Hub, and other services. But it also supports Google Mobile Services including the Google Play Store.

While other recent BlackBerry phones can run some Android apps, you need to download them from the Amazon Appstore or sideload them, because there’s no support for the Play Store or other official Google apps such as Google Maps, Gmail, or Chrome.

Update: BlackBerry CEO John Chen wrote an editorial for CNBC explaining a bit of the company’s reasoning behind the launch of an Android phone.

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10 replies on “BlackBerry Priv confirmed to be the company’s first Android phone”

  1. I wonder what Blackberry’s record is like for ROM updates? 2 years of timely updates would be enough

    1. Updates may depend a bit on the provider, just like Android, but you can get updates directly from BB and install them yourself for the life that your product is supported, which is bit like Apple in that they don’t drop support until the hardware no longer supports the update…

      Though, support for a specific ROM tends to end shortly after a new release is pushed out but as long as you’re on the latest release you should be continued to be supported…

      The next BB10 OS release will be March 2016 for 10.3.3…

      1. Hmm, so the last BB10 update went out to all BB10 devices, the oldest of which being 2-3 years old at the time. That’s nice, and since android’s minimum specs haven’t really shifted since 4.0 we should see support for some time to come! 😀

  2. I’ve come to learn that the word “priv” is a type of outhouse. In fact, one can Google the word priv and see many pictures of outhouses. It’s rather tragic that a company can work so hard to deliver a fairly decent transitional product running Android only to doom it to failure by naming it after a shitter. Only BlackBerry would do such a stupid thing to ensure its rejection even before it’s officially launched.

    For the record, I love my daily driver Z10 and it’s BB 10.3.2 OS as I really enjoy its ease of use via gestures. I also used to love my PlayBook and Torch 9810 too before they were both abandoned by BlackBerry (or RIM at the time). But I’m out for good as soon as my Z10 dies. It’s nice to hear that it will get a minor update to 10.3.3 in 7 long months from now but who cares? I don’t anymore. Time for me to get off the Titanic I think. My patience and tolerance for abuse is used up.

    1. You should really read more carefully because Priv does not mean outhouse!

      Priv is just short for Privacy/Private and says so in the dictionary, if you bothered to look it up instead of some random comments on the Internet! The only relation to an outhouse is Privy Outhouse, which is just a slang way of saying it’s a Private outhouse!

      Even in French, which as BB is a Canadian company, the closest other word is Preva and that just means past historic of the verb priver… which in turn just means to hesitate or go without or deprive of…

      1. FWIW… “priv” is not in the Oxford English Dictionary, and “priv” doesn’t appear in the long lists of examples with variant spellings of “private” or “privy”. It’s meant to invoke “private”, but it’s a made up word/ Beyond that, to quote Chaucer, “I canne it not otherwyse nempne, for wantynge of priuy wordes.”

      2. Well CyberGUSA you’re comprehension is abysmal but so is your idiotic commentary on here most times. In short, you’re clearly fucking retarded. To save me a LOT of time trying to talk to you (because I clearly think you don’t have enough intelligence to reason with most adults) I’ll paste in the URL. BE SURE TO READ THE BIG WORDS…

        Now, as you were fucking saying? Seriously dude, get a fucking life and use those skills you were taught in school. Or go back and get more education.

        1. Wow, you clearly can’t read worth anything… and your post amounts to nothing more than trolling…

          First, the spelling for the slang you’re trying to associate is “privy”, not “priv”… this is akin to confusing cares with caress because of just one letter difference but it’s enough to change its default meaning…

          Second, even privy is only associated because it’s short for saying private outhouse, originally because it gave a “Sense of “a privy” (source, principally American English and in context of privacy) and was first attested in 1819, but it was never its only meaning! Never mind a outdated meaning as most people don’t use outhouses anymore… and toilets have other nicknames…

          People also say privy as in privy to the secret details of something… so it only has certain meanings if used in context but by itself it means private… along with other meanings, such as a person having a part or interest in any action, matter, or thing.

          So it’s you who has no reading comprehension and can’t speak with normal human beings because your mind goes straight to the gutter and you’ve just proved it again with this dumb response!

          Congratulation for proving nothing but that you’re a troll!

        2. Haha.. Bud, you’re an idiot, please stand down. Don’t embarrass yourself more than you already have.

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