back to article BlackBerry opens its Priv kimono just a little wider

BlackBerry's has offered more glimpses of its first Android phone, Priv, and the device's specs have also leaked into public gaze. The Priv is unique in that nobody else is pitching a security-hardened Android at businesses that boasts top-end consumer specs. The device, glimpsed for a few seconds in March, features a slide …

  1. Dillibat

    Blackberry is struggling

    Blackberry is a struggling brand. The only thing Waterloo is known for is Blackberry and Kanati Clothing these days. Both have had problems over the last couple years. Yay Waterloo!

  2. leon clarke


    'The Priv is unique in that nobody else is pitching a security-hardened Android at businesses that boasts top-end consumer specs.'

    Presumably some words in that have precise definitions in order to make that true.Does Knox and SEAndroid not count as security hardening? Or are Samsung phones not 'pitched at Business'.

    I'm going to guess they are using a definition of security hardening which describes something that no-one else thinks is worth doing.

  3. James 51 Silver badge

    Until you can select which permissions to grant apps rather than all or nothing Android handsets aren't secure. I've heard that is coming but why wasn't it there from the start?

    No removable battery either. Still don't see a good upgrade for my Q10.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Guess how many apps will work correctly

      I've heard that is coming but why wasn't it there from the start?

      Having your app "just work if approved" was a significant "bait" in attracting developers. As a result you are looking 5+ years of appalling coding practices to contend with. 99% of all apps have no error handling code for any ops that are subject to permissions. They will simply blow up straight away in the most ugly possible manner.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Case-by-case permissions is in Android 6 Marshmallow, reports suggest the BB Priv is running Android 5 Lollipop at launch.

      Details on how Android 6 manages permissions is here:

    3. Matthew 3

      Finding the ability to selectively grant permissions to apps is my favourite feature of Cyanogenmod's Android builds. It was also the only way to get my ageing Galaxy S2 to a current-ish version of Android.

    4. goldcd

      It is

      just not in stock Android.

      Coming in next one, but already there if you install Cyanogen. Can look at permissions app ask for, then accept/deny each one. Or ask for notification to allow. Oh, and can see how many times the app has asked - basically as granular as you'd like.

      I think some vendors also have this in their builds. Sony?

    5. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Unique?

      A quick google (so correct me if I'm missing something) reveals both Knox and SEAndroid to be secure versions of android, but neither search shows top spec devices that come preloaded and are targeting business. Where are the specific samsung devices that are marketed to businesses as secure? As it stands the quote seems to be accurate.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: It is

        I like cyanogenmod's security and I really don't get why stock android doesn't support it.

        I don't mind certain apps like satnavs from knowing my location but I totally resent other apps asking for it. And I hate apps that want access to my contacts or phone features for dubious and esoteric purposes.

      2. Youngone Silver badge

        @ Matthew 3

        Cyanogen Mod on Galaxy S2 works great, (except no FM radio app). Keeps old hardware out of the landfill which must be good.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blackberry is struggling

      I'm not sure it is still "struggling". It has more the feel of the last twitching before death finally releases it of its long suffering at the hands of incompetent fools.

  4. malle-herbert Silver badge

    Real security-conscious business customers...

    Wouldn't go 10 feet near Android or iOS...

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    If they're offering 2 maintainence patches next year, does this mean they already know about gapping security holes but want to let the Indian security services access first?

  6. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Can BB really harden Android?

    With BB10 and its predecessors they had control of the whole OS. With the best will in the world no one outside of Google can be truly said to understand android. Given that BB are on really dodgy ground claiming it to be as secure* as their previous devices.

    * For given values of secure. ie completely penetrated if the authorities mandate their own boxen being plugged into the infrastructure someplace, but probably still more secure than vanilla Android/iOS.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      No, they know people want some reassurance that their phone is going to be updated with new features and yes maybe some bug fixes at least twice whilst they possess it. That's important for any phone purchaser to know that their phone isn't going to have support ditched as soon as it comes out.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "BlackBerry has pledged two more maintenance releases of BB10, to its security-conscious business customers, next year"

    ...and then presumably my trusty Z10 will be left to fade into obcurity?

  8. Jess

    On the upside

    at least the Passport will drop to a price I can justify paying.

    1. fruitoftheloon
      Thumb Up

      @jess: Re: On the upside


      I recently sorted out a contract with o2 via CPW that worked out quite acceptable...



  9. Michael Hawkes
    Thumb Down

    Please sign in to view this video

    The pictures look nice (oooohhhh - a keyboard), but since the video is set to private and I can't view it (f**k youtube) it makes me wonder if they're really serious about selling anything. I suspect signing in is a ploy to get email addresses for a future spamming campaign.

    Thumbs down in lieu of a middle finger.

  10. asphytxtc

    Im actually really looking forward to this

    Being an Android fan, and a fan of physical keyboards, I wish I wasn't just six months into a new 2 year contract right now. I'd snap this phone up in an instant! I would say it's exactly what I want.

    Although, I have to admit a bit of shock at Blackberry releasing something people actually want these days.. still haven't quite got over that..

    *dons flame proof suit*

  11. theOtherJT

    Remember the Venue Pro?

    I used to have a dell phone like that.*

    It was a pain in the ass to type on. If they've gone to all the trouble of including a little sliding keyboard - which I'm all for! - why not make it open in the more useful direction? Or have they gone the current route of making the thing so enormous that if they did that you wouldn't be able to reach anything in the TGV YHB columns with your thumbs?

    *Back before they ruined Windows Phone :(

    1. Tommy Pock

      Re: Remember the Venue Pro?

      I still have one of these. With a 64GB micro SD it's my main MP3 player but would be my main everything if it wasn't so slow. There is a market for both physical keyboards and small smartphones if anyone's listening...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Building a security-hardened Android..

    .. is a bit like building a firewall using Windows, which has once on Usenet been likened to building a prison out of merengue.

    The result may be interesting. But I can't see it being secure.

  13. J J Carter Silver badge

    How much?

    At that price, 99% of C-level execs will specify a Lumia 950 as their coroprate mobi.

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