BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s Priv Arrives in Hong Kong

BlackBerry slider PRIV
Image source: BlackBerry Blog

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s first Android-based smartphone, Priv, is coming to Hong Kong, according to a company release. Priv is expected to be formally available in retail stores in Hong Kong starting mid this month. In Hong Kong, Priv will be available at a price starting from HK$6,488. The device costs $700 in the U.S.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s Priv is set to officially launch in Hong Kong in the coming days. Powered by Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Android, BlackBerry presents Priv as a productivity tool that also doesn’t compromise on security or privacy. BlackBerry will sell Priv at HK$6,488 in Hong Kong as it targets to reclaim lost share of the smartphone market in Asia. The device is sold in the U.S. at $700 and is initially supported by AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).

Priv is a dramatic departure from BlackBerry’s hardware tradition. The smartphone not only runs a foreign operating system (Android), but also features dual keyboard whereby one is virtual and the other is a traditional physical keyboard. According to BlackBerry, the physical keyboard is perfect for fast and accurate typing, which is why power professionals would love the device.

As a productivity tool, Priv gives users access to more than a million apps on Alphabet’s Google Play.

Hardware built encryption

Physical keyboard for productivity is only one of the key distinguishing features of Priv. BlackBerry has also improved security in the device by building encryption into the hardware. Most mobile security features are software-based. However, with heightened risks of hacking, building security into the device chips is expected to become popular. Speculations recently swirled that Alphabet was considering making custom chips for Android phones and it is believed the strategy is aimed at bringing device security to the chip level.

In the case of Priv, BlackBerry has not only build encryption keys into the hardware, but also guarantees secure boot to ensure that nothing catches you unawares.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s Priv spots 5.4-inch AMOLED display that renders resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. The device is powered by Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM)’s Snapdragon 808 processor. Priv ships with 32GB of internal storage that is expandable up to 2TB through microSD card. The smartphone comes with 18MP camera at the back.

The productivity nature of BlackBerry’s Priv is reinforced by a 3410 mAh battery capable of delivery 22.5 hours of usage.