BlackBerry Priv Review: Price, Design & Specs

You heard the rumours that Canadian tech giants BlackBerry were working on producing an Android phone, right? Well its reality and already circulated in the market. The Blackberry Priv is the first BlackBerry phone to be powered by android.

BlackBerry Priv Review

I’m a very big fan of BlackBerry, as a matter of fact BlackBerry phones have my heart, it was just sad to admit the fact that the Android and Apple suddenly took over the market from BlackBerry which at some point in time was the raving Phone.

From the curves to the bolds and even to the Z series, I enjoyed every bit of my blackberry. I’m not so keen about having Android O.S run on my BlackBerry, but I embrace technological enhancements, and as such I welcome the BlackBerry priv.

The Blackberry Priv is a device that is expected to save BlackBerry. How do I mean by that? If BlackBerry as the smartphone that once dominated the global market must stay relevant, the BlackBerry Priv is the device that is expected to work that out.

The beautiful device is designed in such a way that it has a stylish hardware qwerty keyboard, retains certain BlackBerry features and yet still does what Androids do. Briefly I’ll take you on a BlackBerry Priv Review: Release Date, Price, Design and Specs of the Blackberry priv.

BlackBerry Priv Review: Release Date and Price

The first ever Android phone from BlackBerry was announced in October 2015 and released in November 2015. The Blackberry priv has a wraparound screen that is similar to the one on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and a stylish QWERTY  hardware keyboard, but it seems to be a high budget phone as its first entry price is $699 in the US and £569 in the UK.

At such price, can the Priv compete favourably with other top notch Android devices?

BlackBerry Priv Review: Design

Talk about design and you can testify to the fact that BlackBerry is known for quality design. Never has there been a time when BlackBerry produced a poorly designed device, and I doubt if they have that in their plans.

At 147 x 77.2 x 9.4mm with the display closed the BlackBerry Priv seems to be a bold device.  The slider device extends to 184mm when slid open and weighs 192g. There is a slight ridge above the speaker beneath the sizeable display which just begs you to slide it up, without which you might not even notice that there is a keyboard under the screen. It moves easily, and slots into place with a satisfying click.

BlackBerry Priv Review

The wraparound display of the BlackBerry Priv is similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. And as an all-black, glass-fronted smartphone with silver metal trim the Priv has a nice build. Around the back we find the traditional patterned glass weave BlackBerry finish with BlackBerry logo in the middle and a protruding Schneider-Kreuznach camera sensor that stops the Priv lying flat on its back.

BlackBerry opted to put the speaker in the front, at the bottom, and also included a ‘Mute’ button in between the volume buttons. The Nano SIM and MicroSD card slot are located at the top of the phone accessible via pin eject tray. Down the bottom is a micro USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

BlackBerry Priv Review: Display

The Priv has a 5.4-inch QHD dual-curved display that wraps around the front. It has a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440, a spec that makes for a pixel density of around 540 ppi. It is an AMOLED screen and therefore bright and colourful. The screen to a large extent gives the BlackBerry Priv a premium look.

BlackBerry Priv Review: Hardware

The Blackberry Priv has a Snapdragon 808 processor and 3GB of RAM. With 32GB of internal storage and a MicroSD card slot that supports up to 2TB, the in-built GPU offers Adreno 418 graphics.

BlackBerry claims that the 3410mAh non-removable batteryin the Priv offers up to 22.5 hours of mixed usage on a single charge. The device is a bit slow to Charge, as such it takes about two hours fo the device battery to get full from flat.

The Priv has an 18MP Schneider-Kreuznach camera with an optical image stabilizer, phase detection, autofocus and a dual-LED flash. You can capture 2160p video at 30fps, and 1080p at 60fps. At the front is a 2MP camera that captures video at 720p.

BlackBerry Priv Review: Software

The BlackBerry Priv is an Android device that runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop O.S and will be upgraded to Android Marshmallow O.S in 2016. As a full Android device, you can enjoy complete access to Google play store and all other android features and apps on this device.

One noticeable difference between the Priv and a native Android is in the way of notifications. As with the traditional BlackBerry, the app icon gets a red and white icon in the top left corner whenever there is a notification yet to be attended to. BlackBerry fans will also appreciate the blinking notification LED at the top which changes colour.

BlackBerry Priv Review: Specs

Operating System: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Size: 147 (184 opened) x 77.2 x 9.4mm

Weight : 192g

Processor: 

  • Snapdragon 808 Hexa-Core, 64 bit
  • Adreno 418, 600MHz GPU

Memory:

  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB Internal Memory
  • MicroSD card slot (up to 2TB)

Display:

  • Curved 5.43”
  • 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • 540 PPI
  • WQHD Plastic AMOLED
  • High Brightness Mode for Outdoor Readability
  • 24-bit color depth
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4

Camera:

  • 18MP Auto-Focus (Rear Camera)
  • 2MP Fixed-Focus, f2.8 (Front Camera)
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
  • Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF), Fast focus lock
  • HDR
  • 6-element f2.2 lens
  • Back Side Illumination (BSI2) Stacked Sensor
  • Dual Colour, Dual 2 mm2LED Flash – Enhanced photo color balance
  • 4k Video Recording: 30 fps, 1080p HD video recording at 60 fps, 6DOF video stabilization combined with OIS for incredibly smooth video
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Continuous & touch to focus, face detection, image stabilization
  • Panorama, Burst, Live Filters
  • Multi-Frame Low Light Enhancement
  • Wide Selfie Mode (also known as Selfie Panorama)
  • Multi-Frame Low Light Enhancement

Dedicated Keys: Volume Up/Down, Mute, Lock(Power On/Off)

Notification: Tone, vibrate, on-screen or LED indicator

Touch Capabilities:

  • 10-point multi-touch
  • Supports Passive Stylus
  • Glove Mode
  • Capacitive Touch Keyboard: Allows navigation gestures, fine cursor control, swipe to select word predictions, swipe back for word deletion

Keyboard:

  • Physical Sliding Keyboard, with support for:
  • Contextual auto-correction
  • Contextual next word prediction
  • Personalized learning engine

Voice Input/output:

  • Integrated speaker and 3 microphones
  • BlackBerry Natural Sound enabled: Receiver cavity microphone monitors what the user hears and adjusts in real time for best performance. The system monitors speaker motion in real time to ensure maximum loudness without distortion
  • Virtual Back Volume Speaker – high surface area material in the speaker cavity provides higher loudness in a more compact space
  • Hands-free headset capable
  • Bluetooth headset capable
  • Integrated Hands-Free Speakerphone

Headset : 3.5 mm stereo

Ports and Connectivity:

  • USB 2.0 Connector with SlimPort enabled
  • USB 2.0 fully supported with standard microUSB 2.0 cable (included in box)
  • Cabled-Video Out, 4k @30 fps, supported with standard SlimPort adaptor (not included in box). SlimPort adaptor cables exist to support the following video protocols: HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort 1.1, DisplayPort 1.2, DVI
  • NFC

Power Adapter

  • +5V DC / 1.3A AC power adapter, OMTP Compliant
  • QC2.0 Enabled – Compatible with QC2 Chargers

Battery:

  • 3410 (typ) 3360 (min) mAh 4.4V 680 Wh/L integrated non-removable battery
  • Fast charge enabled
  • Up to 22.5 hours Mixed Usage

Network:

  • FD-LTE1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 13, 17, 20, 28
  • HSPA+ 1, 2, 4, 5/6, 8
  • TD-LTE 41
  • Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE

Wi-Fi:

  • 802.11 b/g/n for 2.4GHz
  • 802.11 a/n for 5GHz
  • 802.11 ac for 5GHz
  • 4G Mobile Hotspot
  • Wi-Fi Direct 2×2 MIMO

Bluetooth Support: Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (LE)

GPS:

  • Assisted, Autonomous and Simultaneous GPS
  • Pre-loaded Google Maps
  • E911 supported

SIM Interface:

  • Nano SIM card (4FF)
  • Supports 1.8V and 3.0V cards

 Advanced Sensors :

  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Time of Flight (ToF)
  • Proximity
  • Ambient Light
  • Altimeter
  • Activity Monitor

BlackBerry Priv Review: The BlackBerry Priv is a welcomed device as it competes as a full Android device and still retains some of those lovely features of the traditional blackberry phone. The hardware keyboard is a point to really consider, we saw the best camera yet on a BlackBerry device on the BlackBerry Priv and a wraparound screen the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge are some of the features the Priv prides itself in. It somehow seems to be priced a little bit too high for an Android new comer.

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