Blackberry phones were popular because they were meant for business. Their security features were better than any other phone at the time. Some CEO’s would lose their minds if they didn’t have it. Even President Obama had to have a Blackberry over an iPhone 10 years ago.
Fast forward to today. Blackberry broke down and created the Android version called PRIV, hoping it would bring those CEOs back. I got this phone from my friends at Verizon Wireless to find out if they accomplished the job.
Let’s look at the specs. This is an Android phone running the Qualcomm 8992 Snapdragon 808 Heza-Core processor at 64-bit. An Adreno 418 GPU at 600 mHz and 32 GB Flash memory, upgradable to 2 TB.
The phone runs a display of 2560×1440 – or 1440p. The screen size is 5.4″ and has a 24-bit color depth. Camera is 18 MP with Optical Image Stabilization and Phase detect auto focus. You can record 4K at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps.
Slide the phone to reveal the Blackberry keyboard. A simple QWERTY keyboard minus numbers. Battery is a 3410 mAh non-removable which can be charged via the USB cable or Wireless charging through the Quick Charge 2.0 technology. This will get you through an average day without issue.
Pros and Cons of the Blackberry PRIV
Let’s get into it with the keyboard. I enjoy a good sliding phone keyboard, but the Blackberry PRIV’s does not cut it. The keys are too small and really makes the phone top-heavy when you open it to text. The keyboard adds weight to the overall phone as well. The way the keys are raised might even confuse someone who has a visual disability. The only way to get numbers is to use the shift key. I found this was not helpful at all.
The phone itself is a curved display similar to the S7 Edge. The side can give you information such as the charge of the phone. I am personally not a big fan of curved displays.
PRIV actually stands for “Private”. They worked hard at bringing the apps to Android for the same security as your old device. FIPS 140-2 compliant disk encryption, verified boot and secure bootchain, and BES12 which is the leading Enterprise Mobility management platform used by government and top Fortune 500 companies.
Add to that Blackberry’s secure Infrastructure, a secure distributed global network that transmits petabytes of encrypted data across the world. You can even Sandbox your phone with Android for Work to provide secure separation.
Still, some have been asking “Where’s the fingerprint reader”, and that’s a great question.
At 649.00 off-contract or $30 a month on a Verizon contract, you are buying security for an Android device. A decent battery and camera are good reasons to get this phone. But if you’re looking for the Blackberry experience, it’s just not there.