PRIVby BlackBerry

  • PRIV
  • PRIV
  • PRIV
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
A solid product. Despite some flaws, it's still a good value.
75%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • BlackBerry keyboard fanatics have the best of both worlds: a touch-screen device running Android and a slide-out keyboard for typing long emails.
  • The battery offers enough power to get through a solid day's worth of use.
  • This first BlackBerry to run Android gives users access to all the apps in the Play Store.

CONS

  • Overall performance is sluggish at times, especially in the BlackBerry Hub.
  • The camera takes far too long to capture a photo after the shutter button is pressed, resulting in missed shots.
  • At $699, the PRIV is overpriced when compared with competing Android smartphones.
The BlackBerry PRIV is the company's first smartphone to run Google's Android OS, instead of its own proprietary software. The PRIV features a familiar slide-out keyboard hidden behind a 5.4-inch dual-curved display. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of memory, and 32GB of storage space. A microSD slot can be used to increase storage up to 2TB. A 3,410 milliamp-hour battery is tucked inside the device, providing enough juice to power through an entire day. The PRIV runs Android, but offers BlackBerry software enhancements, such as the BlackBerry Hub and BBM.
NamePRIVZ30PassportBlackBerry Classic
ManufacturerBlackBerryBlackBerryBlackBerryBlackBerry
Techwalla Score
75%
70%
68%
66%
List Price$699$240$700$323
80%

The BlackBerry Priv is a pretty outstanding attempt at an Android device, but that’s not the problem. I’m more worried about the fact that B…

The BlackBerry Priv is a pretty outstanding attempt at an Android device, but that’s not the problem. I’m more worried about the fact that BlackBerry's introductory Android device costs a little too much for a last-ditch effort. The Priv will be available from AT&T, presumably with a subsidy, but its $700 price tag is still a bit steep considering the price of Nexus devices and Motorola’s smartphones these days. And I don’t think BlackBerry offers something particularly extraordinary that’d make someone consider the Priv over the latest Samsung device.

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80%

The BlackBerry Priv comes to the Android table offering something different and it delivers. The biggest thing about this handset is the QWE…

The BlackBerry Priv comes to the Android table offering something different and it delivers. The biggest thing about this handset is the QWERTY keyboard that's uniquely BlackBerry. That might appeal to those who think they can't live without it, but fancy getting into the wider world of Android.

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77%

For physical keyboard devotees, there’s not much choice in the smartphone world right now, but BlackBerry does a decent job with the Priv. T…

For physical keyboard devotees, there’s not much choice in the smartphone world right now, but BlackBerry does a decent job with the Priv. The high price will deter fair-weather buyers, but if you can’t stand typing on glass, this is your only option.

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74%

Unfortunately, the camera is slow. Even in the best of cases, you're looking at about a second between the moment your finger hits the shutt…

Unfortunately, the camera is slow. Even in the best of cases, you're looking at about a second between the moment your finger hits the shutter button (or space bar) and when the image is shot and saved in your gallery. With HDR mode on, I've seen it take upwards of 4 or 5 seconds to finish taking an photo.

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70%

If you want a phone with a physical keyboard, the BlackBerry Priv is an excellent choice. It’s also a top contender if you have security con…

If you want a phone with a physical keyboard, the BlackBerry Priv is an excellent choice. It’s also a top contender if you have security concerns. Other than purchasing a Nexus 6P or Moto X Style Pure Edition, BlackBerry’s Priv might be the best way to assure you actually get the needed and necessary hardware updates you need to stay safe online.

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70%

Android and an awesome keyboard make the Priv the best BlackBerry in years, but if you're not a keyboard lover and aren't much of a security…

Android and an awesome keyboard make the Priv the best BlackBerry in years, but if you're not a keyboard lover and aren't much of a security seeker, you'll find phones that are cheaper, or offer better features than the Priv.

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The camera app, too, appears to be a bit off. I've taken a photo in low light, for example, and a notification for the camera app suggests t…

The camera app, too, appears to be a bit off. I've taken a photo in low light, for example, and a notification for the camera app suggests that it's been processing for well over 30 minutes - that can't be accurate. We're guessing these little bits and pieces will be ironed out as soon as possible.

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BlackBerry's camera setup for the Priv is more than adequate for most users out there. The rear camera does a great job capturing quick imag…

BlackBerry's camera setup for the Priv is more than adequate for most users out there. The rear camera does a great job capturing quick images and video, and unless you are a relentless selfie fiend you'll probably find the front camera good enough to get by.

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Even at a competitive price of $400-$500, we'd be hard pressed to buy a phone with a hardware keyboard when the hardware keyboard is bad. Th…

Even at a competitive price of $400-$500, we'd be hard pressed to buy a phone with a hardware keyboard when the hardware keyboard is bad. The keys are small and flat, the keyboard is cramped, and hardware keyboard autocorrect is shoehorned into an operating system layout where it clearly isn't welcome.

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The pitch with the Priv is simple: Using a BlackBerry phone no longer means having to make compromises. Everything you can do with your exis…

The pitch with the Priv is simple: Using a BlackBerry phone no longer means having to make compromises. Everything you can do with your existing Android phone, you can do with the Priv. I’ve spent a week with the latest and greatest from BlackBerry, and I can confidently say the company has pulled this off.

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Typing on real keys with a phablet-sized 5.4-inch screen towering over them is odd at first, but once I found my acrobatic balance, my finge…

Typing on real keys with a phablet-sized 5.4-inch screen towering over them is odd at first, but once I found my acrobatic balance, my fingers were scurrying around at up to 60 words per minute. That’s about 20% faster than I type on my iPhone (though still 15% slower than on the BlackBerry Classic’s larger, wider, backlit keyboard).

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The battery life on the Priv, while not exactly as great as the battery life on my Passport, still manages to get me through my day with rel…

The battery life on the Priv, while not exactly as great as the battery life on my Passport, still manages to get me through my day with relative ease, even through what I would personally consider some intense use.

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