Most of the major smartphone manufacturers today have long dropped physical keyboards in favour of the more universal touch-sensitive input method. BlackBerry, though, has other plans. In this era of growing heat for domination, the smartphone manufacturer has launched a new smartphone (after long) but with a twist. The phone is built on top of an Android system and will feature a full physical QWERTY keyboard.

This will surely be a treat for people who like the feel of the buttons they push under their fingertips in the form of the plastic keys. The smartphone, in short, will be grouped under the high-end category, considering its specs and price.

According to BlackBerry, the game differentiator in this new smartphone will be the physical keyboard. This, the company believes will attract buyers who might have otherwise opted for another Android phone. The phone is a bit bulky, though and it has a seemingly hefty form factor. It features a touch slider, which could, in a few ways, be responsible for the bulk of the device. BlackBerry has tried to compensate this bulk with a massive 3,410mAh battery under the hood, which unlike the older BB smartphones, isn’t removable.

Another attraction of the Priv is that it features a microSD card slot which can support SDXC chips up to 2 TB in capacity. You will also get a new proprietary security and privacy app which the company describes as “added security to let you know when your data could be at risk, so you can take action to improve it”. The app has been dubbed DTEK and it will allow users to control their privacy settings, individual app permissions, device security etc.

The BlackBerry Priv is now up for pre-order in the US, Canada and the UK, with shipping expected to start on November 6. The phone will cost you $700 in the US, if you were wondering.

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