BlackBerry brings first Android smartphone to Australia exclusively through Optus

BlackBerry's first Android smartphone – the BlackBerry Priv – is now available in Australia, exclusively through Optus. While Optus' business customers have the option to purchase the handset outright through their account manager, regular buyers will need to sign up for a 24-month contract to get their BlackBerry fix.

The BlackBerry Priv is a 5.4-inch Android powered smartphone featuring a similar dual-curve display to the one utilised by Samsung for the Galaxy S6 Edge. Sliding up the display reveals one of BlackBerry's hallmark physical keyboards.

While the Priv runs Android Lollipop, BlackBerry says it's shored up security through a number of modifications including an app that monitors which applications access the camera, microphone, and user data; thousands of changes to the Linux kernel; and hardware based cryptographic keys.

Under the hood, the Priv packs a 5.4-inch Quad HD display, a six-core Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, an 18MP camera, and a 3,410mAh battery.

Optus is selling the BlackBerry Priv on 24 month contracts starting from AUD$67 per month. The entry level plan includes unlimited talk and text, and 1.5GB of data. AUD$80 takes this up to 4GB, and AUD$88 to 8GB. Until March 10, subscribers can get the Priv and 18GB of data for AUD$100 per month.

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