BlackBerry is now selling its first Android smartphone called Priv for $699. The Canadian technology company is now accepting pre-orders for Priv, and it will begin shipping the device on November 6.

BlackBerry Priv pre-orders begin, will cost $699

BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO, John Chen explained that the company derived the name Priv from the words privacy and privilege.

In a blog post last month, Mr. Chen said, “BlackBerry is making sure that our products invoke this mantra that your privacy is your privilege. Priv will be the solution for smartphone users who are learning daily of the lack of privacy they have on their current devices

Blackberry Priv features and specs

The BlackBerry Priv is a slider smartphone powered by Google’s Android Amplified operating system and apps. The device comes with an added security (DTEK), which alert users if their data are at risk and take action to improve it.

With DTEK, users will see the overall security rating of their device and its specific security features. They can monitor and control applications’ access to the camera, microphone, location and personal information.

Mr. Chen recently emphasized that Priv is a unique Android smartphone because BlackBerry and Google are collaborating to bring the best security and productivity to the Android ecosystem.

Alex Manea, Director of BlackBerry Security described Priv as the “perfect smartphone for business and consumers looking for productivity, privacy, and security. He added that the company’s collaboration with Google brings the “most secure mobile platform with the most flexible application ecosystem.”

The BlackBerry Priv complies with the  FIPS 140-2 standard of the U.S. government— the device has a full disk encryption and it turned on by default.

The BlackBerry Priv comes with elegant slim design and slide-out physical keyboard and sports a 5.4-inch dual curve display (rigorously drop-tested Corning Gorilla Glass 4) with a pixel density of 540 ppi and 2560×1440 resolution. It has a battery life of 22.5 hours of mixed use.

The BlackBerry Priv is equipped with an 18MP dual-flash camera certified by Schneider-Kreuznach.According to the company, Priv is engineered to provide professional looking photos as it is integrated with technology commonly found in DSLR cameras.

The device is integrated with a Qualcomm 8992 processor with 64-bit, dual-core and quad-core capabilities. It  has a 32GB Flash memory and hot-swappable Micro SD slot (up to 2TB).

Android device is a tremendous opportunity for BlackBerry

Mr. Chen explained that BlackBerry decided to offer Priv because an “Android devices is a tremendous new market opportunity” as the company continues to focus on building a cross-platform strategy.

“For nearly two years now, I’ve been telling you how we would transform the iconic BlackBerry brand into a true software powerhouse. We’re doing this by integrating our strength in building the most secure software and network and embedding it into a one-of-a-kind form factor,” said Mr. Chen.

He pointed out,”BlackBerry is a new company. We have new life. And we plan to continue to surprise our customers and the industry. This [Priv] is just the latest move along that path.”