BlackBerry Discontinues Priv In The US Before KEYone Launch, Rolls Out May Update

BlackBerry is dropping its first Android phone, Priv, as it prepares to release its new mobile device, the BlackBerry KEYone. Meanwhile, the company is also rolling out its May security update to select devices.

Priv Is Out Of The Roster

BlackBerry Priv is the company’s first mobile device made for the Android platform. It was released in November of 2015 but was not able to get much popularity based on sales figures. Priv, which features a QWERTY slider, will no longer be available in the United States and Canada, but the device is still in stock in the United Kingdom and Germany, as reported by Android Authority. In the U.K., BB Priv costs £294, while in Germany, it is priced at €342. There is no update yet regarding when these devices will be available in these countries.

Moreover, BlackBerry is selling the DTEK50 for $229 and DTEK60 for $460. Accessories — such as hard-shell, leather, and flip cases — and headphones are also at 50 percent off this month as part of the company’s May Sale. Phone Arena said that BB’s Classic, Passport, and Leap models are also being discontinued.

Introducing KEYone

With its newest device coming out this month, it makes sense to discontinue the Priv. BlackBerry KEYone is already receiving positive reviews. Built by TCL, the device features a 35-key physical keyboard with capacitive touch support and a 4.5-inch 1620 x 1020 LCD display. KEYone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and Android 7.1 Nougat, with BlackBerry Hub software. It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, the latter of which can be expanded through a microSD card. It is equipped with 3,505mAh battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0, a 12-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 lens and 8-megapixel front camera. Unlocked devices cost $549.

According to the Verge, the BlackBerry KEYone is particularly attractive for business people who aim to get things done. The device is best for people who do a lot of communications through email. The keyboard can also function as a trackpad that makes it easier to scroll through pages or emails. It has shortcuts that can be customized, as well as a fingerprint scanner. Its battery also promises a long life, which is particularly useful for busy people doing a lot of things through their mobile phones, not to mention its fast performance and ability to multitask between several apps. Looking like the classic BB devices, the success of KEYone phone counts on the nostalgia it brings and the longing some users have for the physical keyboard.

BlackBerry still emphasizes secure communication, so this device will still appeal to government customers, as CNBC noted. The DTEK app monitors your device’s security and lets you know how secure it is by providing you scores. It tracks the overall integrity of the operating system and allows you to toggle the remote management through the Android Device manager, PC Magazine added.

May Security Update Rolls Out

Meanwhile, BlackBerry’s May security update is now available on select unlocked devices, including the BlackBerry Priv, DTEK60, and DTEK50. Those who have devices from their carriers would have to wait a little later to have the update from their service providers. The update contains crucial fixes particularly affecting BlackBerry devices and addressing core vulnerabilities and issues on Android, according to Android Headlines. Those who purchased their unlocked devices from BB’s online store should have the update available, which can be checked by going to the About Device settings. Make sure your phone has enough storage space before downloading the update file, as well as at least 80 percent battery charge before installing it.

BlackBerry KEYone is already available in Canada. It will be available in the U.S. this month via BB’s online shops. Sprint will offer the device in summer.

[Featured image by Manu Fernandez/AP Images]


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