BlackBerry is powered by Android. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Cape Town – Smartphone maker BlackBerry says it is “comfortable” with the high price of its Android-powered Priv in South Africa.
The Canadian-based company’s new Android powered device is available on South African mobile operators starting at R519 per month from MTN.
“As BlackBerry we are comfortable and we believe that this device has enough to compete right up there among the flagship competitors,” Martin Fick, BlackBerry senior country product manager told Fin24.
In SA, network operators, rather than manufactures, set the prices for smartphones.
In the US, T-Mobile customers are offered the Priv for $27 (R429) per month contract with no upfront payment.
But Fick said that the Android-powered Priv which boasts a 3 410mAh battery, curved edge touch screen protected by Gorilla Glass 4, and a high-end processor was a worthy rival for premium devices.
READ: Pricing revealed for BlackBerry Priv in SA
“If we look at the physical design of the device, we’ll immediately see premium finish,” he said.
To demonstrate his point, Fick took a thinly disguised shot at the iPhone 6, criticised by some for having a “slippery” back cover.
“The reason why I make mention of the back is that a lot of high-end devices these days feel like a bar of soap in your hand. This allows for a nice solid grip.”
He also talked up the 18 megapixel main camera on the slider smartphone.
“Camera is not really an area where BlackBerry has focused in the past, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s very different for Priv. We know that camera is a big consideration whether you buy it from a consumer or enterprise perspective.”
Unlike many rivals, the Priv doesn’t have fingerprint recognition access security as an option, with BlackBerry instead building in its Picture Password security platform.
The phone also differs from some premium rivals offering a micro-SD card slot as well as 32GB on-board memory.
Despite launching the Priv with the Android operating system (OS), Fick said that the company would continue to support customers on its own OS.
“BlackBerry 10 is definitely still a focus for us and still a product line that we support – and that we’re 100% behind.
“If you look at BlackBerry 10, that end to end security is still best in class, and there’re still millions of users that use and rely on BlackBerry 10.”
Would you choose a BlackBerry Priv over an iPhone? Let us know
- Follow Duncan on Twitter