BlackBerry Priv - the Android Slider smartphone goes up for pre-orders in the US, Canada, UK and Germany.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed late last month the first Android smartphone from its stables, and now the company has officially started accepting pre-orders for its Android-powered Priv smartphone in the US, UK, Canada and Germany. While shipping starts Nov. 6 in the US and Canada, though customers in the UK will have to wait till November 9.

Notably, the retail price tag for the Priv was briefly listed as $749 on its US website, though this price has been rectified as the official pre-order page now states a retail price tag of $699. Another rather baffling piece of information posted on BlackBerry’s website is that the upcoming smartphone will only be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile, it would not work on Verizon, Sprint, or US Cellular networks in the United States as these are CDMA carriers.

Coming to its specifications, the BlackBerry Priv packs in a 5.4-inch OLED QHD display. Under the hood, it gets powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor bundled with 3GB of RAM, along with 32 GB of internal storage that is expandable via microSD slot. Optics on the smartphone include an 18 MP camera with OIS and f/2.2 aperture along with a 2MP selfie cam housed on the front.

While juicing up the Priv would be a 3410mAh battery, which the company claims can last for up to 22.5 hours under ‘mixed usage’. The NFC compatible Priv offers support for standard connectivity options along with 4G LTE, 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities. The device runs the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box.

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Priv’s main distinguishing feature is its sliding physical keyboard, which the struggling Canadian manufacturer is heavily banking upon to drive the smartphone’s sales. In addition, it comes with enhanced security features which the Canadian manufacturer is rather known for as additional layers of security have been baked on top of the OS.

“For nearly two years now, I’ve been telling you how we would transform the iconic BlackBerry brand into a true software powerhouse (read about some of the progress that I shared in our Q2 call today). We’re doing this by integrating our strength in building the most secure software and network and embedding it into a one-of-a-kind form factor,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen noted in a blog post.

Priv is apparently the company’s strongest bet to save them from going into complete oblivion. The Canadian manufacturer has witnessed a major transition in the industry, as its own platform became less and less popular as iOS and Android now rule the roost. It seems the company is finally adapting to this change by adopting Google’s Android OS in an attempt to revive itself yet again.

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