BlackBerry Priv review: Your Private, Premium Android

BlackBerry Priv review: Your Private, Premium Android

Rating

4.5 out of 5
Design
4 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
Battery Backup
4 out of 5
Interface
3 out of 5
Value for Money

Total

3.9
3.9 out of 5

Overview

  • Pros:

    Dual-edge display
    Premium design
    Physical keyboard
    Enterprise-level security promise
    Pure Android

  • Cons:

    Plastic build
    Inferior camera performance
    Too pricey

  • Conclusion:

    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 enterprise-focused BlackBerry, too. The Canadian giant is back in action with its Android smartphone. It’s none other than the BlackBerry Priv. The new smartphone is nowhere like the previous BlackBerry model; it delivers a full-fledged Android experience out of the box. Additionally, the company 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

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv

We got our BlackBerry Priv unit a couple of weeks following 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 most of the preceding 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, you’ll find a SIM eject tool, headset, AC charger and a data cable. There are also some manuals to ease your usage.

BlackBerry Priv review

BlackBerry Priv with in-box content

Moreover, the in-box contents are of good quality and justify the price of the smartphone.

Design

BlackBerry is the company that previously brought robust offerings such as the Passport and Z3. But providing a tough build isn’t enough 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 to catch some eyeballs.

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 in a transformative way.

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. There is just a traditional microUSB port on the bottom. The base also has a 3.5mm jack for audio out.

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv with a microUSB port and 3.5mm jack on bottom

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.

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv with a nano-SIM and microSD card slots on top

The left side of the Priv has a power/lock key with silver finish.

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv with a power/lock key on left

On the right, there is a volume rocker with separate volume up and down keys as well as a play/pause button.

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv with a three-key volume rocker on right

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.

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv with a carbon fibre back

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 as the icing on the cake. All this makes it a smart piece of hardware with 147mm height, 77.2mm width and 9.4mm thickness.

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Categories: Mobiles