BlackBerry Priv Price is $630, Full Specs, Actual Unit Photos, Sample Camera Shots

Are you willing to give BlackBerry another chance? I am.

BlackBerry Priv

It's been a while since the legendary Canadian company had a big commercial hit and I'm sure they are hoping that the upcoming BlackBerry Priv will finally be the handset to save them from their woes and make them enough profit coming into 2016.

BlackBerry Priv

It's an interesting smartphone -- not only because of its form factor but also because of the operating system that it runs. BlackBerry Priv is actually the first ever handset by the company to be fully powered by Google's Mobile Platform, Android.

BlackBerry Priv
I'm sure this keyboard is a joy to use; It's on a BlackBerry smartphone after all.

On the outside, BB Priv appears to be the powerhouse follow-up to the BlackBerry Torch smartphones of old; Combining a full capacitive touchscreen with a slide-out full QWERTY physical keyboard.

BlackBerry Priv
The device sports a 5.4-inch Quad HD 1440 x 2560 pixels AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that gently curves down the sides -- similar to what's on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Underneath that is a slide-out physical Full QWERTY keyboard - neatly hidden by BB's new SmartSlide technology - that also works like a trackpad just like what's on BackBerry Passport. Having these elements make BB Priv ideal for users who want to have the best of both worlds; A large display that lets you appreciate content better plus a touchscreen for easily navigating the interface, and a physical keyboard for quickly thumb-typing content.

BlackBerry Priv
We already know BlackBerry creates well-built, durable smartphones -- and from the looks of it, Priv will be no exception to that.

BlackBerry Priv

Just like almost all other smartphones flooding the market, BlackBerry Priv has two cameras. The one in front is a 2 MegaPixel shooter for selfies. And the one at the back is an 18 MegaPixel camera with Schneider-Kreuznach optics and optical image stabilisation.

Looking at these leaked sample camera shots courtesy of DerStandard (In fact, I want to give them credit for all images in this post), it's clear that apart from its unique form factor, Priv's imaging capabilities are what makes it a release worth waiting for:

I notice that flagship level BlackBerry smartphones from the last three or so years tend to deliver shots with a very light warm, yellowish tone. Not everyone's a fan of this -- but I actually like it.

Not bad for a 2 MegaPixel selfie shot! Check out the crisp details and brilliant hues.

At its heart, BlackBerry Priv runs its near-vanilla Android 5.1.1 Lollipop operating system with a 64-Bit Hexa-Core Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 chipset, handles multitasking with 3GB of RAM, and has 32GB of expandable storage. This set is pretty standard for a 2015 flagship release. I mean, you get almost the same package on the LG G4.

Powered by a 3,410 mAh battery pack, this $630 USD handset supports 4G LTE mobile speeds and comes with pre-installed BlackBerry apps including the exclusive DTEK warning system software to ensure user privacy and security, which is something that BlackBerry phones have become synonymous with through the years.

BlackBerry Priv

It's no secret to all of you that BlackBerry had also done its very best to built its own mobile platform, the BlackBerry 10 OS -- which never quite achieved considerable commercial success. I'm sure going with Android was a bitter pill to swallow for the company but if it's what can give them a fighting chance in today's already saturated smartphone game, then I support BlackBerry's decision 100%.

Expect BlackBerry Priv to be formally announced by the company within the next few weeks and for the handset to hit store shelves across the world within Q4 2015 -- or just in time for your Yuletide gadget shopping.

Update as of December 3, 2015: BlackBerry Priv has just been officially launched in the Philippines via an exclusive event held at Sala Restaurant in Makati City. The official price of the handset is Php 45,000 - I know! - and it's formally landing here come mid-December 2015.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name BlackBerry Prive
Type Slider, Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen) with Slide-out Full Keyboard
Price Category High-End (Flagship Level)
Dimensions147 x 77.2 x 9.4 mm
Weight 192 grams
Available Colors Black
Operating System Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with pre-installed BlackBerry software
Display 5.4 inches (~71.9% screen-to-body ratio), 1440 x 2560 pixels (~540 ppi pixel density), AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Curved Glass
Processor Hexa-Core = Dual Core 1.8 GHz ARM Cortex-A57 + Quad Core 1.44 GHz ARM Cortex-A53, Adreno 418 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 chipset
Internal Storage 32 GB ROM, expandable via microSD card slot supporting up to 200GB
Camera Main: 18 MegaPixels, Schneider-Kreuznach optics, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), autofocus, dual-LED (Dual Tone) flash

Front: 2 MegaPixels
Video Capture Main: 4K 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps,
Front: HD (TBC)
Audio and Video Playback MP4, DviX, XviD, H.264, H.263, WMV, MP3, WAV, FLAC, eAAC+, WMA player
Ports microUSB v2.0, USB On-The-Go, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, LE, apt-X, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, HSPA+; LTE Cat6 300/50 Mbps
FM Radio No
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 4G Network LTE 800 / 1800 / 2600 (TBC)
SIM Card Type nanoSIM
Battery 3,410 mAh Li-Ion battery
Uptime TBD
Value-Added Features Slider Form Factor, DTEK BlackBerry Privacy and Security Software
Announcement Philippines: December 3, 2015
Availability Philippines: Mid-December 2015
Price $630 USD
Philippines, Official SRP: Php 45,000