Enterprise-level security promise
Inferior camera performance
The BlackBerry Priv is a distinct offering in the homogeneous market of Android smartphones. It has an additional privacy layer on top of stock Android and a premium hardware package to incline some buyers.
Android smartphones are no longer limited to the entry-level or mid-range market segments. We saw some of the high-end examples from companies like HTC, Samsung and Sony in the past. But now — as the market grows — it’s time for BlackBerry. Yes, BlackBerry is back in action with its Android smartphone. It’s none other than the BlackBerry Priv. The new smartphone nowhere like the past BlackBerry generations as it delivers a full-fledged Android experience out of the box. Additionally, the Canadian giant has provided some of its proprietary features. These are there to give you a mix-and-match of private and premium experience.
BlackBerry Priv review
We got our BlackBerry Priv unit a few weeks after its launch in India. So here begins our in-depth review.
What’s in the Box
The BlackBerry Priv was launched in India with a price tag of Rs. 62,990. At this price, the smartphone comes in a black-colored box that appears to be quite identical to some other high-end BlackBerry smartphones. The box touts to offer a “privilege” that we’ll try to unearth later in this review.
Once unboxed, the box of the Priv has the handset on the top and underneath it, there is a SIM eject tool, headset, AC charger and a data cable. There are also some manuals to ease your usage.
Moreover, the in-box content is of good quality and justifies the price of the smartphone.
BlackBerry is the company that previously brought robust offerings such as the Passport and Z3. But providing a tough build isn’t enough for the company to compete against Apple and Samsung. Therefore, it now revamped its strategy and designed the Priv with an all-new, hybrid design. It doesn’t made of metal but has high-quality plastic.
The BlackBerry Priv flaunts a curved edge display on the front, with a speaker bar on the bottom. A BlackBerry logo and an earpiece are available just above the screen. Besides, the front panel has a notification LED light as well as a secondary camera, ambient light and a proximity sensor.
Apart from the simple front panel, BlackBerry has made a noticeable change on the Priv from its ancestors. This comes apparently to retain the image of its former RIM. And this is a physical keyboard. It isn’t a fixed one that debuted in on the previously launched BlackBerry Passport. Instead, the new keyboard comes as a slide-out one to offer you a top-notch productivity experience.
While the slide-out keyboard makes the Priv a high-end option in the market, it lacks new features like a fast USB Type-C port as there is just a traditional microUSB port on the bottom. The base also has a 3.5mm jack for audio out.
On the top, the smartphone has a secondary microphone and two slots — one for nano-SIM card and the another one is for a microSD card.
The left side of the Priv has a power/lock key with silver finish.
On the right, there is a volume rocker with separate volume up and down keys as well as a play/pause button.
The rear side of the BlackBerry Priv enhances its premiumness, thanks to a carbon fibre back panel and a silver-plated brand logo. There is also a hump for the primary camera sensor that accompanies with two different LED flash bulbs.
Overall, the design of the BlackBerry Priv makes it a style statement. There is rubberised finish to avoid accidental falls and give an aristocratic feel in the hand. Further, the smartphone has the curved display and physical keyboard. All this makes it a smart piece of hardware with 147mm height, 77.2mm width and 9.4mm thickness.
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