blackberry venice leak 3

The hardware keyboard is almost back again and I can’t wait; as expected, BlackBerry has launched pre-orders for the new BlackBerry Priv smartphone in the US, Canada and the UK ahead of its launch next month.

Featuring a dual-curved display like the Galaxy S6 Edge and a hardware keyboard, the Priv is one of the most innovative smartphones of the year but this innovation doesn’t come cheap. The Priv – which is priced slightly lower than expected – will cost $699 in the USA, $899 in Canada and £559 in the UK, which puts it on par with other flagship devices.

The Priv – which was leaked heavily as the BlackBerry Venice – features a 5.43-inch QHD (2560×144) AMOLED display that offers 540 pixels per inch density and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Unlike previous BlackBerry smartphones, this one runs on Android Lollipop and features a hardware keyboard with touch gestures, similar to the one found in BlackBerry Passport.

This package is powered by a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor – like the one found in the LG G4 – with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and a hot-swappable microSD card slot that expands the storage by up to 2TB. On the back is an 18MP 6-element f/2.2 camera with Optical Image Stabilisation, Phase Detection Auto Focus (with fast focus lock), dual-colour LED flash and 4K video recording. The front camera is a 2MP fixed-focus f/2.8 camera with large 1.75µm pixel size for low light images and Selfie Panorama mode. Powering the Priv is a 3410 mAh non-removable battery with fast charging, which BlackBerry says should provide 22 hours of life on a full charge.

An interesting note is that, while the Priv comes with support for a range of GSM antennae, the unlocked version sold by BlackBerry doesn’t support the CDMA networks used by Verizon, Sprint or US Cellular. As with past BlackBerry devices, we may yet see a version of the Priv that comes equipped with CDMA radios but we’ll have to wait and see whether this is announced.

If you’re interested in ordering the BlackBerry Priv, head to the links below. BlackBerry says that device pre-orders will start shipping on November 6 so there’ll only be a couple of weeks to wait if you do take the plunge! What do you think of the BlackBerry Priv? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below guys!

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