I, like many others, cut my smartphone teeth in the world of Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. In my case it was mostly the latter, and I can, happily, say that I carried one of the Waterloo company's phones in my arsenal up until just over 2 years ago.
But, now, in 2015, my personal excitement for BlackBerry has returned all thanks to the Priv. I won't lie, I really don't like the name. But the phone looks fantastic. Mostly due to Android.
My last experience of a BlackBerry was the Z10. It replaced my much loved, much abused Bold 9900 which remains one of my all time favorite smartphones to this day. BlackBerry OS 7 was the Achilles heel, but I adored the 9900. It was so close to the old Bold 9000.
BlackBerry 10 has it's good points, but ultimately it's not for me. I found I could use it, but I didn't particularly enjoy the experience. And since the Z10 was just another black slab with a touchscreen, I'd lost one of the things I clung to most from having a BlackBerry in one pocket. So I stopped using it and haven't picked up another BlackBerry since.
In 2015 it looks like I'll be able to get back what I lost without the compromises I wasn't prepared to make. Android — regular, untampered Android, at that — with BlackBerry's legendary keyboard. Take my money. Take it now.
BlackBerry, to me at least, hasn't struggled with the hardware, or even design really in recent years. What's been the problem has been the same thing that afflicts Microsoft, too: Software. Allowing Android apps into BlackBerry — funnily enough, something Microsoft is now doing, albeit in a different way — was a stop gap, but a couple of years ago the experience was horrid. I've not tried it since, but just slapping an app designed to work with one OS into another never felt like a good user experience to me.
So, what we're getting with the Priv — still don't like the name — is the best of both worlds. BlackBerry hardware with the company's legendary physical keyboard and Google's Android. And this is all before we really know, well, anything at all about the phone.
All we need now is the phone. Hurry up, BlackBerry. We're waiting.