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Watch the BlackBerry Priv's sliding keyboard in action

Watch the BlackBerry Priv's sliding keyboard in action


Type like it's 2006

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We've seen the BlackBerry Priv screenshots, UK preorder page, and BlackBerry CEO John Chen awkwardly fumbling with it onstage while touting that it "runs Google." Now, we've got an official BlackBerry video showing off the Android-powered Priv's marquee feature — the return of the sliding QWERTY keyboard.

Read next: The Blackberry Priv review.

The video begins by convincing you that what you're seeing is an up-to-date Android smartphone with a 5.4-inch screen, only to hit us sideways with the surprise reveal that you can type like it's 2006. For those who can't let go of the physical keyboard, the Priv appears to offer the best of both worlds. Though the phone has a throwback design, its specs are up to date. The Priv comes with 3GB of memory, 32GB of storage (expandable to 2TB), a 1.8GHz processor, and a 18MP rear camera. No information is available at the moment on pricing or availability beyond the UK contract-only preorder page, but the company says it will be available by year's end.

If the Priv fails, BlackBerry may get out of the phone business

For BlackBerry, the Priv is a bold bet. The company says it hopes to sell 5 million phones a year or it may exit the phone business altogether. To do that, the company is banking on the more mainstream Android OS and nostalgia for pre-touchscreen keyboards. BlackBerry isn't giving up on its own BB10 software — it plans to release an update in March — but it is baking some of BB10's security features into the Priv.