BlackBerry officially released its new security-focuses Android smartphone, BlackBerry Priv, in early November. By adding an Android smartphone to their hardware portfolio, they are hoping to strengthen their presence in the United States, where big players like Apple and Samsung have taken a strangehold on the market. The Canadian company is hoping that combining the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the mobile app ecosystem available within the Android OS will be a hit with consumers. We recently got our hands on a Blackberry Priv, and would like to offer our take on the features offered by this exciting new phone:
5.4 inch Display
This BlackBerry’s display is a stark contrast from previous BlackBerry models. This is because the vertical sides of the body are curved, and it contains a slide-out keyboard at the bottom. The Priv’s touch-screen is 5.4 inches with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, with a pixel density of 540 ppi. It makes the text look sharp and the images look crisp. There’s no doubt this is a high-quality display.
The Priv offers an on-screen keyboard, along with a slide-out touch-enabled physical keyboard with four rows. The keyboard is a flashback to the days before we had on-screen keyboards, when we were all typing emails on our BlackBerry devices. Oh, the good old days! The Priv also contains auto-correct features and next-word prediction, making typing a breeze. The slide-out keyboard also has scrolling and navigation functions based on thumb movements.
Software and Applications
BlackBerry devices have lacked essential apps for years, which is a major obstacle for consumers who want to use Instagram and other unavailable mainstream apps. BlackBerry final decided to make the move to another operating system, and adopted the Android OS. The phone runs smoothly using Android 5.11 Lollipop. Now all the apps available on Android phones can now be purchased and run on your BlackBerry without any sideloading workarounds. The one worry we have is that Android has a less-than-stellar security reputation, so will BlackBerry’s pledge to keep the Priv secure hold true? We didn’t run into any security issues during our short time with the phone, so only time will tell.
The BlackBerry Priv contains a non-removable 3410mAh lithium-ion battery. We were able to use the Priv all weekend without having to find an outlet to charge it, so it’s up to the standard set by the Samsung Galaxy smartphone product line. You can stream video for ten hours straight on the Priv, before needing to recharge.
If you are looking for a phone that has a beautiful display, a highly-functional four-row keyboard, and an Android OS with the promise of better security, we highly recommend the BlackBerry Priv.