The BlackBerry Priv is the first handset from the smartphone manufacturer that is to run on Android OS. Apart from a 5.6-inch touchscreen, the device also boasts of a QWERTY keyboard that slides out from underneath.
Priv is short for Privilege and Privacy, which talks about the built-in software and features designed to keep your personal information safe from the prying eyes. The Priv is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 and has an 18MP primary camera with optical image stabilization.
The BlackBerry Priv is currently available in the US, although, we are not sure when the company plans on reaching out to the rest of the world.
Even though BlackBerry manufactured top of the line hardware, the BBOS was the reason for their downfall. In the age of Android and iOS, BBOS did not have any suitable apps for download while their interface was bland. As a result, even the fanatics started shifting to better platforms.
Even though BlackBerry is the epitome of last-gen QWERTY keyboards, the company deserves credit for at least trying out new design formulas. Over the years, most smartphone manufactures have simply copied the best-selling design layouts. BlackBerry begs to differ!
Hence, even though the Priv boasts a ridiculously high price tag and BlackBerry’s move to Android is too little too late, the smartphone still has a decent chance of striking the right chords with the enthusiast.
Design-wise, the Priv is a genius. Even though you don’t see the QWERTY keyboard at first, it slides out from underneath the device at your will. However, accommodating a QWERTY keyboard is not a simple task. The Priv is hence heavier and thicker than most smartphones today.
You won’t feel the thickness until you slide out the keyboard from underneath the shell. Whereas most sliding keyboards run the risk of breaking down after a certain period, the BlackBerry Priv feels robust. The overall build quality of the product is sturdy, lending the smartphone a premium feel.
However, some people are of the opinion that the Priv feels carbon-fibery and might break after a few days of use, but that is entirely up to your taste in smartphones and how you happen to use them.
Smartphones are built to sustain punishment and last. However, the users need to be careful to a certain extent while using the devices. Since a smartphone cannot be built like a tank, maintain portability while being lightweight and go easy on the pocket all at once.
Like previous designs, the BlackBerry Priv is curved around the edges, ensuring clear view from every angle, although, diminishing the usability of the touchscreen. Some people might find this feature unnecessary. However, the 2,560 x 1,440 PX AMOLED screen is perfect for viewing images or movies in High Definition.
However, we were depressed on hearing that in the age of USB-C (quick charge) BlackBerry is still stuck with microUSB. The guys need to get over their fetish of old-school technology and start embracing what’s coming, especially when they are charging $700 for a smartphone, which is premium pricing.
With players like Xiaomi, Gionee, OnePlus and others vying for a piece of the cake and at half the price too, BlackBerry should forget about brand value and give us something that we like.
Even international players like Motorola, Microsoft and Samsung are playing smart, but BlackBerry still chooses to follow Apple’s path!
Coming to usability, the QWERTY keyboard on the BlackBerry Priv will need some getting used to, especially since the regular customer base in now more comfortable using the touchscreen. The keyboard is considerably small, which means that people who are slightly well-built are going to have a hard time with it.