BlackBerry debuts Priv Android phone

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BlackBerry debuts Priv Android phone
Source: EVleaks/Twitter.

Slider with hardware keyboard confirmed.

Handset maker BlackBerryhas confirmed it will make a smartphone running Google's Android operating system, but maintains it will continue to support its existing BlackBerryOS devices.

Currently codenamed Venice, the device will be called Priv and come with a physical 'slider' keyboard that can be pulled out, the company's CEO John Chen said over the weekend.

Priv will have an emphasis on privacy and security, Chen said.

He provided no technical details on the device, but information leaked to BlackBerry focused publication Crackberry suggests the phone will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 system on a chip, with a 64-bit dual-core processor that can be clocked up to 2GHz.

Other features include 3GB of memory, 32GB of expandable storage and 5.4 to 5.6-inch display with 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution. The camera on the Priv could have 18MP resolution, optical image stabilisation, 4K video support and fast auto-focusing.

BlackBerry appears to have customised Android considerably for the Priv, adding security enhancements and modifications to the user interface and search features.

The slide-out hardware keyboard on the Priv will be touch-sensitive, just like the flagship BlackBerry Passport.

Chen pledged to continue supporting the BlackBerry 10 smartphones, promising updates for the mobile operating system throughout the next year.

It's not yet clear if the Priv will support BlackBerryOS apps.

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