By 28 January 2016 | Categories: news


Late last year, news of an Android slider from BlackBerry surprised many, as the PRIV made its debut in select regions. At the start of 2016, the flagship device is making its way to the rest of the globe, and South Africa is confirmed to receive it in stores come 1 February next week.

At this moment, pricing for the PRIV will be carrier dependant, as the likes of Vodacom, MTN and Cell C no doubt hash out the finer details, with the rand-dollar exchange rate not helping matters. As such, we're expecting the PRIV to come in at the R12 000 mark, although that may inflate to as much as R14 000, with online sites like Orange listing it for R14 218.    

As far as features go, the 5.4" (1440x2560) curved Amoled display sporting PRIV has plenty. The most noticeable is its full QWERTY keyboard, housed underneath the main touch display. The keyboard also integrates a capacitive feedback, much like that of the BlackBerry Passport (review), enabling predictive text typing and scrolling through one's web browser.

Added to this is a full bouquet of Android apps, as well as access to the Google Play Store and Android-based UI powered by Lollipop (5.1.1). Layered on top of this is BlackBerry's own set of security features, with a new app named DTEK at its core. There is also the familiar BlackBerry Hub from the company's BB10 OS.    

All in all, the PRIV has all the hallmarks of a flagship device. Whether or not South African consumers get tempted by the lure of Android combined with a physical keyboard remains to be seen.


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