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BlackBerry Priv now available in UAE

Android-powered flagship device to retail for a suggested AED 2,899

BlackBerry Priv now available in UAE
The device is BlackBerry's first handset to not run on a version of its BB operating system

BlackBerry's latest flagship device, the Android-powered Priv, is now available to purchase in the UAE, the company announced yesterday.

In a statement, BlackBerry said that the new device is now available at the BlackBerry Store in Dubai Mall, as well as other leading retailers, for a suggested price of AED 2,899. The company had previously stated that it aimed to have the new device available in the Middle East during the first half of January, and appears to have made good on that promise.

The device, which features a full touchscreen as well as a pull-out physical keyboard, is BlackBerry's first handset to not run on a version of its BB operating system. Instead, the Priv runs on a version of Google's Android operating system, which BlackBerry says leaves the vendor's strengths in security and privacy intact.

In terms of features, the device offers a dual-curve, 5.4-inch OLED display, sporting a pixel density of 540 ppi. The battery is a 3,410 mAh unit, which BlackBerry says offers 22.5 straight hours of mixed usage. There's an 18MP rear-facing camera, certified by Schneider-Kreuznach, and under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 32GB of onboard storage, and support for microSD cards up to 2TB.

In terms of privacy and security, the Priv has got a lot to offer. There are advanced privacy controls in the DTEK by BlackBerry app for Android, which monitors and reports on application access to the microphone, camera, location and personal information. And the hardware itself is manufactured using BlackBerry's hardware root of trust process, which injects cryptographic keys into the device hardware, providing a secure foundation for the whole platform.

The device also features a verified boot and secure bootchain - keys have been embedded to verify every layer of the device from hardware to OS to applications in order to make sure they haven't been tampered with. Additionally, BlackBerry claims that thousands of modifications were made to harden the Linux kernel with numerous patches and configuration changes to improve security.

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