BlackBerry Priv, a hybrid touch-and-type phone which is being introduced in the US at $750 right now, will be launched in India towards the end of December, according to market sources.
The price of the model, which sports a 5.4-inch, curved quad-HD display, will be around Rs 55,000.
The Priv was revealed two weeks ago when it was “accidentally” put up on its US e-store website with a $750 (Rs 49,000) pre-order offer.
The two key advantages of the phone are its Android operating system and a slide-out physical keypad.
In terms of specs, the phone has almost everything that technology can provide today, and is aimed at the high-income user.
In practice, however, there have been some complaints about the build quality and even the display.
The Priv uses plastic AMOLED technology. Unlike the ‘stiff’ AMOLED technology used by Samsung, plastic displays allow for some degree of flexibility and bending of the display. The quad-HD resolution ensures a 540 dpi pixel density, among the highest on any phone.
However, being a newer technology, there are some concerns about whether color reproduction will be as good as in Samsung’s AMOLED technology.
The phone is powered by a 64 bit Hexacore Snapdragon 808 chipset and 3 GB of ‘low power’ RAM and comes with 32 GB of built-in memory.
The BlackBerry Priv also comes with 18 MP Auto-Focus camera at the back and a 2 MP one on the front. Battery is 3.4 Ah, while operating system is Android 5.1.
One of the key selling points of the phone is the bottom-slide keypad. Though it will not be the ‘exact’ same keypad as found in traditional BlackBerry devices, the feel is expected to come close. However, the lack of ‘height’ for the keys could rob the keypad of some of its tactile utility.
Ultimately, the phone will live or die based on the keypad. If users feel that BB has compromised too much with the physical keypad to fit it under the screen, the phone may not sell well.
On the other hand, if the Priv keypad manages to offer a significant advantage to those who do a lot of typing per day, the Canadian company may be on its way back to Indian store shelves.