BlackBerry Priv

Not too long after we brought you some exclusive images of the BlackBerry Priv (aka Venice), the company officially confirmed that its Android-powered smartphone would be launching by the year’s end. To get consumers excited about the device before its official launch, BlackBerry CEO John Chen went on camera with Canadian news outlet BNN to showcase the new smartphone… only it seemed like Chen only had a passing familiarity with the device. 

The first thing the interviewer asks is to see the slide-out physical keyboard, which is the Priv’s spotlight feature. Chen says he’s going to hold off on showing that until the end, because it’s the big reveal. The interviewer seems fine with this, so Chen jumps into a spec rundown as smooth and graceful as middle-schooler belly-flopping off the high dive.

In his own words: BlackBerry CEO John Chen explains why his company's Priv is all about Android

“It runs Google,” says Chen, meaning that the Priv runs the Android operating system (which is at least a little better than saying “the Google”). He points out the curved screen which is… curved. He shows off the device’s touchscreen capability. He boasts of its cameras and “all that good stuff.” He almost pulls up Chrome successfully.

Eventually, Chen seems to realize he should have stuck with shock and awe and left the spec work to someone from the design department. He snaps out the keyboard and…

Well, maybe it speaks to the elegance of the hardware that, even in the midst of this cringe-fest, the keyboard still comes across as slick as hell and damn impressive. The physical keyboard doubles as a touch mouse (which I have my doubts about, but which looks cool nonetheless) and can be snapped in and out of the bottom of the phone.

Blackberry hopes the Priv will draw back all those users who were addicted to physical keyboards for years but who eventually acquiesced to touch keyboards once phones like the Droid 4 slipped out of existence. Whether or not this will work for the one-time mobile giant is yet to be determined, but so far the Priv looks pretty smooth even in the most un-smooth of hands.