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BlackBerry Priv arrives at Verizon, available in-store on March 11th

The BlackBerry Priv arrived as an AT&T exclusive back in November and, like most AT&T exclusives, the phone has now reached the end of the exclusivity agreement and period — leaving other carriers such as fellow giant Verizon Wireless to grab hold of BlackBerry’s new transformation. T-Mobile received the device back in January, so it looks as though Verizon was left out of the loop – until now. The BlackBerry Priv, a device that represents a new BlackBerry with Android instead of the homegrown BlackBerry OS (BBOS), has arrived at Verizon Wireless’s website and is now available for pre-order. The claim was hinted to by Verizon executive Jeffrey Nelson,

With that said, though, you must remember that the BlackBerry Priv will not be available in-store until March 11th, which happens to be the same day that the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will also arrive worldwide (including Big Red). The Priv will have to sell in large numbers, seeing that Samsung, the Korean giant who’d already captured Android users last year with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, has perfected their designs and has added waterproofing, a microSD card, and an inner CPU cooling system.

The BlackBerry Priv is named for privacy (that’s the meaning of “priv”), but the device is also a top contender in the camera department. The Priv’s best selling features are its dual curved edges (which no doubt hail from Samsung with its trademark edge design) as well as its camera, QWERTY slide out keyboard, and its familiar look and feel for diehard BlackBerry fans who’ve never gotten over BlackBerry’s fall.

The BlackBerry Priv, for those who may not know, features a 5.4-inch Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440p; 541ppi) AMOLED display, with a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, and a microSD card slot that can expand your storage up to an additional 2TB (yes, that’s two terabytes!). A 2MP front camera, 18MP back camera, and a 3,410mAh battery round out the spec sheet for BlackBerry’s first Android smartphone in smartphone history.

BlackBerry’s 18MP back camera has also done well for itself, posting an impressive overall score of 82 points and beating fellow competitors the Motorola/Google Nexus 6, the iPhone 6 Plus (that has optical image stabilization, or OIS), as well as Apple’s most recent iPhone 6s 12MP back camera. While this is good in one sense, it’s also true that the BlackBerry Priv lost slightly to the Huawei/Google Nexus 6P, the LG G4, and, of course, the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5, among others. There are better cameras out there than that of the Priv, but the Priv is as formidable as they come — especially since the BlackBerry Priv soundly defeats the iPhone 6s in the expert company’s mobile camera tests.

If you’re a Verizon customer who wants to make the BlackBerry Priv your next smartphone, you’ll need to pay $720 retail price for the device, or $30 a month for 24 months by way of Big Red’s new installment plans. For those who have been under a traditional 2-year contract with Verizon, you can choose to remain under contract for this device but you must be sure to stress that you’d like to do so to the Verizon representative with whom you speak and upgrade your phone and plan.

So, there you have it. The nation’s largest (and dare I say, best?) carrier now has BlackBerry’s next big thing in its grasp. If you’re ready to take it home with you, head here  to start the beginning of your nostalgic shopping experience.

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