Wait, has the BlackBerry Priv (née Venice) already launched? Technically, we suppose that’s still a “no,” though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, considering the very public statements the company’s been making about the yet-to-launch smartphone. Earlier today, we told you about how BlackBerry formally confirmed the handset during the company’s latest earnings statement (to distract from some less-than-stellar performance, we wonder?), and now CEO John Chen is giving the press an early hands-on look at the Priv in action.

Seriously, though, this still hasn’t formally launched. But a little formality like a launch event isn’t about to stop Chen from demoing the handset that represents possibly the furthest departure from BlackBerry’s roots to date; if BlackBerry 10 was the company dipping its toe in the pool of the company’s post-BBOS future, the Android-powered Priv is a cannonball dive.

Despite the new direction for the phone’s software, the hardware’s unmistakably BlackBerry, and even though Chen struggles a bit with the interface – he concedes the demo unit hasn’t been properly “set up” yet – we still get to hear about a number of the handset’s features, including how the QWERTY keyboard doubles as a capacitive trackpad.

Curious about the pronunciation of Priv – long I or short? Chen’s got your answer (short). He also talks a bit about why his company chose to go with Android for the handset, and frames it less as an effort to draw back users who previously left BlackBerry for Android, and more as one to offer broader app support for continued fans. Check out the whole thing through the source link below.

Source: Business News Network

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