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BlackBerry's Priv Android phone comes to Verizon

The keyboard-packing device is now available on every big US network but Sprint.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
March 4, 2016
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For power Android users who need a physical keyboard, one of the few devices left is the BlackBerry Priv. Until now, it could only be found on AT&T and T-Mobile, but it's now available on Verizon, the biggest network in the US -- for a price. While it costs as little as $700 or so unlocked, Big Red is selling it for $720 sans contract, or a hefty $30 per month over two years. However, it means that BlackBerry's first and only Android device (so far) is now available to over 80 percent of US subscribers, with just Sprint missing from the big four.

We liked the Priv overall, but its appeal is limited to BlackBerry fans. For the same sum, you could get a brand new Galaxy S7, a device that will handily outperform it. Plus, we were actually disappointed with the keyboard itself, if you compare it to those on previous BlackBerry models. Now that it's broadly available, it will be interesting to see if enough people really want a keyboard and the extra security in the Priv. If not, it could spell the end of BlackBerry handsets, which first arrived in 2003 as the original smartphones. CEO John Chen said he may kill all devices if they don't turn a profit this year.

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