The BlackBerry Priv has been something of a mysterious device, and it all started with the off-the-wall board meeting announcement from CEO John Chen about the device, formerly known as the BlackBerry Venice, that is intended to revive BlackBerry’s declining fortunes. While early leaked photos have always shown the edge and the QWERTY keyboard, and the edge itself is the same design as that of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 edge, tech enthusiasts have wondered exactly what the edge on the Priv would do: would it be designed just for a pretty, aesthetic design, or would it do something more?
According to a new simulator from Canadian carrier TELUS, the BlackBerry Priv features a Productivity Edge software feature that utilizes the edge for business purposes. The Productivity Edge will provide notifications for apps, text messages, emails, and calendar appointments, and will allow you to choose whether to go with a “left edge” or a “right edge.” The edge will also display your battery status and percentage, so you need not worry about looking at the top corners of the screen to find it. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 edge also allows you to choose whether or not you want to use the left edge or the right edge as well, although we wish Samsung would allow users to take advantage of both sides. If you have control over both edges simultaneously, you can see more notifications and bring more apps to the edge experience. Samsung has also brought an Apps Edge setup to the Galaxy S6 edge+ (and via an update to the Galaxy S6 edge), which allow you to access multiple services at once. We’re not sure if BlackBerry will allow access to games on the edge of its Priv display.
True to the BlackBerry Priv’s Android roots, the Priv does allow you to have pop-up widgets that can be accessed from the apps themselves (that feature a widget indicator, as a leaked BlackBerry Priv slide says). Of course, the QWERTY keyboard is there, with BlackBerry’s software showing you how to use the slide-out keyboard with BB’s Notes app.
The BlackBerry Priv will cost $900 USD in Canada and $799 in the US, and the device should head out to US carriers and Canadian carriers next month. Is this the device to create a new BlackBerry comeback? The price may prove problematic, but something tells us that the nostalgic among us will appreciate BlackBerry’s latest offering.