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General News BlackBerry to launch its first Android smartphone, Priv, in India on January 28
[Image: blackberry_priv.jpg]

BlackBerry has sent invites to the media for a January 28 event, where it will launch the Priv, its first Android smartphone.  Apart from the smartphone, the company is expected to elaborate on its ecosystem of Android apps for the BlackBerry OS.

BlackBerry had introduced the Priv last year. The smartphone comes with a slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard along with a 5.4-inch AMOLED display with 2560×1440 pixels resolution. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 418 GPU. It comes with 32GB of onboard storage, which is expandable by up to 2TB via a microSD card.

For photography, the BlackBerry Priv sports an 18-megapixel rear camera along with OIS and PDAF, and a 2-megapixel front facing camera. The smartphone is powered by a 3,410mAh battery and supports Quick Charge 2.0. Connectivity options include LTE, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, GPS and Wi-Fi Direct.

As you can expect, the smartphone comes pre-loaded with a slew of BlackBerry apps such as BBM, DTEK by BlackBerry warning system, BlackBerry Device Search, BlackBerry Password Keeper and BlackBerry Notes. It also comes with a range of preloaded Google apps such as Chrome, Drive, Maps and Photos among others.

So far, there’s no word on the India pricing of the phone. The BlackBerry Priv is available in the US for $699, which translates to approximately Rs 47,300. We expect the smartphone to launch in India with a premium price tag.

The Priv is an important device for BlackBerry, which has been making several efforts to revive its fortunes in the smartphone market. After losing significant market share to the likes of Samsung, BlackBerry has been watchful about its hardware portfolio.

However, the company hasn’t hesitated in experimenting on this front. Its square-ish BlackBerry Passport was appreciated for its unique design. With the Priv, the company is now experimenting with an Android-based smartphone. BlackBerry last year had said if it wasn’t able to meet the target of selling 5 million smartphones per year it may consider to exit the smartphone business altogether.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen had in December said that the company could launch more affordable Android smartphones later this year, depending on the Priv’s performance.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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