BlackBerry values its first Android phone at a pricey $750

Posted Oct 22, 2015 by James Walker
An accidental appearance of a page on BlackBerry's website has confirmed the unlocked price of its first ever Android phone to be a substantial $750. The phone's release date is listed as November 16.
A leaked render of the BlackBerry Venice Android phone via @evleaks. [Since officially launched as  ...
A leaked render of the BlackBerry Venice Android phone via @evleaks. [Since officially launched as "BlackBerry Priv"]
BlackBerry hasn't yet released all the details of the Priv. After confirming it existed during the company's most recent earnings call, CEO John Chen gave a confused and pretty awful demo of the new phone but so far there has been so sign of an official spec sheet.
Several detailed leaks have already revealed all there is to know though and yesterday BlackBerry managed to fully out the phone itself in a slip-up online. Android Central reports that the official product page for the Priv briefly appeared on the company's website before vanishing again shortly afterwards.
The details have confirmed the leaked hardware specifications but also revealed off-contract pricing details for the United States and Canada. People looking to buy directly from BlackBerry will need to find $750USD or $949CAD, prices that put the Priv in the same class as the established Android flagships from companies including Samsung and LG.
BlackBerry is apparently planning to accept pre-orders from tomorrow with shipments commencing from November 16. The company is currently allowing people to register their interest to receive future updates on the Priv via email.
The leaked prices confirm an official listing on the website of UK phone retailer Carphone Warehouse that has been active since last week. The firm is selling the Priv for £579.99 and says it will be delivering by November 6. The outright pricing is substantially higher than had been expected as previous rumours have tagged it at around $630.
The Priv's QWERTY keyboard beneath its 5.4-inch curved display may be enough to convince fans it's worth the money but BlackBerry is certainly asking a lot from people considering whether they should bet on its first Android device. The handset is powerful and well-rounded but not able to meet the standards of the most premium phones this year. It uses a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor instead of the more powerful octa-core Snapdragon 810 but evidently retains the premium price, suggesting BlackBerry had to make some serious investments to bring the hardware to market.
The main camera has a sensor size of 18MP and is joined by a 2MP one on the front. There is 3GB of RAM and a large 3,410mAh battery which the leaked webpage claimed will keep the phone running for over 22 hours.
The star feature of the Priv is likely to be its truly unique keyboard housed beneath the display though. For people who regularly type long emails or documents on their phone but want to stick with Android, Priv could be an attractive kind of device. Its capacitive nature also means it can be used as a touchpad or pointer by drawing on the keys with a finger.
Priv will launch with Android 5.1 Lollipop, imbued with some extra BlackBerry features including the firm's famed security software. Availability outside the U.S., Canada and U.K. is currently unknown but BlackBerry is likely to reveal the details in an official pre-order announcement tomorrow.