The BlackBerry Priv, one of the most talked-about smartphones of 2015, isn’t just any ordinary BlackBerry. Sure, it uses the company’s iconic physical QWERTY keyboard that helped make BlackBerry the king of smartphones before Apple and Google entered the game, but what makes it stand out is that it runs Google’s Android OS in place of BlackBerry’s own BB10 smartphone OS.
Like Microsoft, BlackBerry had trouble convincing major iOS and Android developers to create a version of their popular apps for BB10 or Windows Phone, making it difficult for the company to sell its phones to consumers looking for popular apps available on iOS and Android.
While there have been numerous reports of Microsoft doing the unthinkable and releasing an Android-based smartphone, BlackBerry beat it to the punch and did just that. By many accounts, BlackBerry has succeeded in releasing a device that has the specs to match most Android flagship smartphones, including a dual-edge curved Quad HD display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440, a snappy Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor and 3 GB of RAM.
Thankfully, BlackBerry hasn’t messed with the look of stock Android by using a skin like Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense. It does feature the same highly rated BB10 virtual keyboard for those that prefer to type on screen, but since this is a BlackBerry, all you need to do is slide the display up and you’ll be greeted by the company’s famous physical QWERTY keyboard. And since the Priv runs Android, users can enjoy tons of apps not available for BB10.
AT&T is currently the only carrier in the United States to offer the BlackBerry Priv but it looks like T-Mobile customers are in for a sweet BlackBerry treat on Jan. 26.
PhoneArena received a tip in the form of a T-Mobile January 2016 internal calendar. The carrier has scheduled a “BlackBerry Venice Launch,” as you can see in the image above. In case you were wondering, “Venice” is the code name for the Priv.
The tipster hasn’t revealed what T-Mobile plans on charging for the BlackBerry Priv, but expect it to be priced similarly to current flagship Apple, Samsung, LG and HTC smartphones. Once we hear anything official from T-Mobile, we’ll report back to you.