BlackBerry Priv review

BlackBerry Priv
(Image: © Android Central)

A quality mobile experience means different things to different people, but a universal core to those experiences is the ability to enjoy using your phone without it feeling like work, even when you are using it specifically for work. BlackBerry has a long history of making people more productive through mobile experiences, but in an age where smartphones are used for play significantly more often than they are used for work, a new kind of balance needs to be struck without sacrificing those things that make us productive on smartphones. The Priv may not be the answer for everyone, but it's an answer no one else has come up with recently.

The quick take

BlackBerry has assembled a thoroughly enjoyable piece of hardware, and while the BlackBerry/Android software mashup isn't perfect it's a solid first attempt.

The good

  • Amazing battery life
  • Smooth, mostly Google interface
  • The best physical keyboard ever
  • Decent camera
  • Fantastic front-facing speaker

The bad

  • BlackBerry software occasionally gets in the way
  • Front-facing camera is a little weak
  • Launching with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

BlackBerry Priv

One hell of an Android phone

BlackBerry Priv Full review

Remember when a physical keyboard was a must on a smartphone? The act of typing more than 140 characters on a software keyboard was downright frustrating for many. Times have changed quite a bit, as not only have touch screens gotten really good but the software driving those keyboards has improved dramatically as well. Some rely on tracing and algorithms to predict your language and make it seem like typing is easier on glass, and for the hardware manufacturers that's a really good thing.

Keyboards on smartphones are expensive, especially if phones are supposed to keep getting thinner and lighter and cheaper and more powerful all at the same time. Cutting out the keyboard made this a lot less complicated, and made focusing on the commodity pricing to carve out market share while competing in design fairly trivial in comparison.

Are there still people out there who love a physical keyboard? Absolutely. Is there a company out there still making great keyboards? Absolutely. Are those phones running an OS that grants us access to the latest apps and features we Android fans love so much? Absolutely not. At least, not until now.

BlackBerry, the All-Father of smartphones, has decided to take a step left of its BB10 platform and give Android a shot. This means doing a lot more than just slapping Google's OS on something with the BlackBerry logo on it, though. For this to work, BlackBerry needs to take the things that make its phones special and integrate it with Android in a way that appeals to a new group of users without walking away from its loyal and loving audience. The first attempt is called the BlackBerry Priv, and it's the start of something new and exciting by resurrecting things that are neither new nor particularly exciting, which is kind of fantastic.

Here's our review.

About this review

I (Russell Holly) am writing this review after one week with the BlackBerry Priv. This 32GB BlackBerry Priv, which is running Android 5.1.1 (Build AAC826) was used primarily in Glen Burnie, Md on AT&T, an area which is mostly powered by an LTE network.

A Moto 360 2015 was paired to the phone for most of the review.

  • 5.43-inch dual curve Quad HD display
  • 2560x1440 resolution (540ppi)
  • Plastic AMOLED
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • 18MP Schneider-Kreuznach-certified rear camera
  • ƒ/2.2, optical image stabilization, dual-LED dual-color flash, BSI sensor
  • 4K 30fps and 1080p 60fps video
  • 2MP ƒ/2.8 front-facing camera
  • 3410mAh fixed battery
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
  • Qi and Powermat wireless charging
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core 64-bit processor
  • 2x1.8GHz Cortex-A57 cores + 4x1.44Ghz Cortex-A53 cores
  • 600MHz Adreno 418 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD storage expansion slot
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • DTEK by BlackBerry security suite
  • BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Calendar
  • Physical 35-key 4-row sliding keyboard
  • Contextual auto-correct, word prediction, and learning engine
  • Touch-sensitive gesture control

BlackBerry Priv video review

A feat of engineering

BlackBerry Priv Hardware

In a world where everyone wants phones to be almost all screen on the front with a battery big enough to get you through the day while simultaneously being thin and powerful, it's not easy to find room for a physical keyboard. Throw in the ability to comfortably use the phone with one hand and not have the entire experience feel cheap, and you've got a list of things most of the companies working without keyboards are struggling to functionally accomplish. The BlackBerry Priv hits all of these marks with ease, which is nothing short of impressive.

The soft-touch back of the phone is standard BlackBerry fare, and it's the good stuff. In fact, it might be a little too grippy for some. The material absorbs everything nearby, including fingerprints, stray hairs and whatever is in the bottom of your pocket right now. I found a dime once, just below the seven identical shapes that make up the BlackBerry logo, which is also covered in this soft-touch material. It covers everything that is matte black, wrapping with a sharp curve around to the sides where the metal trim starts and all around the speaker grille on the front of the phone.

The only thing not soft-touch in this matte black space are the four buttons that live on the sides of the phone. These polished metal buttons are for power, volume up, volume down, and a quick mute button when audio is playing, which is fairly standard for a BlackBerry phone but a little different for Android users. The power button sits alone on the left side of the phone, high enough that you're unlikely to press it accidentally but low enough that your thumb rests just below it when holding the phone with your left hand. These buttons stick out just enough to be tactile, and offer a satisfying click when pressed.

A slightly less polished version of the metal that comprises these buttons makes up the frame of the display, which you can feel along every edge just above the glass so as to protect the phone when set face down. Similar to Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge and edge+, the glass front to the BlackBerry Priv is curved. This curve is longer and more gradual than the soft-touch curve on the back, because the 5.43-inch AMOLED display is also curved on this phone. The only break in this curved glass is at the very top, where a small speaker grill lives for phone calls.

The end result is a phone that feels remarkably good when held with a single hand. Reaching across the display is comfortable thanks to the curves on the front and back, and although there are two speaker grilles on the front of this phone it is clear your primary audio source for music and the like is the much larger speaker on the bottom of the phone. The BlackBerry Priv is easily the most comfortable to hold plastic phone to have been made this year, and despite being on the larger end when looking at the screen size it feels a lot more like you're holding something like the Nexus 5X thanks to the design.

Oh right, and when you apply pressure on the display with both of your thumbs you find a full qwerty keyboard.

BlackBerry Priv

Sliding the display up is buttery smooth, requiring little force and gliding flawlessly up the track. At around the halfway point, the slider mechanism takes hold and guides the display up the rest of the way, so there's no loud clack as the two sides collide. It's a gentle, smooth transition that feels like a well-made piece of equipment. With the display fully extended, you'll notice the back of the display has the same metal from the trim across the back, along with the grooves that make up part of the slider mechanism.

BlackBerry has crafted an exceptional little computer.

The plastic bed to the keyboard lacks the soft-touch coating, but matches the color of the rest of the phone nicely. The backlit keys that pulse to life as the keyboard is revealed is unmistakably BlackBerry. Each key has a raised angle to it so you can press without mashing multiple keys, and with both thumbs over the keyboard you can reach everything with ease. Each key press feels like its own individual key on the board, with just the right amount of tactile response to confirm the key has been pressed. It's everything a four-row keyboard needs to be, and it's the kind of thing BlackBerry has gotten very good at building.

BlackBerry has crafted an exceptional little computer. It looks great, feels solid, and the design works hard to make this phone feel smaller than it is. The only thing about this experience that doesn't scream quality is a slight squish you get by pushing just below the BlackBerry logo, where there's a little gap between the plastic back and the battery compartment underneath. This could have something to do with our review models lacking wireless charging, since BlackBerry assures us all models sold through ShopBlackBerry and all US carrier versions will include this feature. Running BlackBerry 10, this would be an amazing little powerhouse not many people would use. Fortunately for us this is the BlackBerry Priv, powered by Android.

BlackBerry Priv

Lots and lots of optional options

BlackBerry Priv Software

While a combination of leaks and BlackBerry's slow promotional drip has made this phone one of the worst kept secrets of all time, there's a lot to talk about when it comes to the software powering the Priv. At first glance, this phone appears to be an almost Nexus-style Android experience. BlackBerry did this on purpose to make Android users feel more at home on this phone, but it doesn't take too many taps and swipes to see there's a whole lot of BlackBerry under this Material smokescreen.

BlackBerry's take on Android 5.1.1 starts with a homescreen with buttons and icons similar to the Google Now Launcher, but opening the actual launcher reveals three tabs and some sort options for your apps. This launcher holds your widgets like a lot of other Android 5.0+ launchers, but also has a tab for BlackBerry Shortcuts. These icons are meant to be placed on the homescreen like apps, but instead of opening the app to the landing screen or whatever you were just doing in that app, shortcuts take you to a specific activity. Most of these shortcuts are for BlackBerry functions, like messaging someone on BlackBerry Messenger or adding a calendar entry. If you scroll down far enough, you see shortcuts for quick settings functions and eventually support for Google apps like Inbox, Slides, and Maps. There are currently no third party apps in this Shortcuts menu, but if you're using BlackBerry or Google apps there's a reasonable chance you'll find something useful in there to try out.

BlackBerry Priv

Next up is the notification tray. At first glance this is a standard Google notification tray, complete with two swipes for quick settings and expandable notifications. Once you get a bunch of notifications, however, you see things are a little different. There's a gap in between your notifications and the settings panel where icons for supported apps will show up. If you tap on that icon, all of the notifications related to that app will appear and everything else will hide for a moment. It'd be cool idea for a quick glance if the app supported everything, but currently that's not the case. Third party apps that aren't supported show up in the regular notification lineup but nowhere else, and the notification icon doesn't distinguish between actual notifications and status messages. This means you occasionally get extra notification space for things like file upload confirmation, which doesn't help anyone.

You notifications also live on your homescreen now, thanks to the BlackBerry asterisk. This red icon sits in the top right corner of your app icon on the homescreen when there's any kind of notification for that app, so you know there's something to check out. You already know there's something to check out, because there's already an icon in your notification tray, but that is another matter entirely. This asterisk icon becomes even less useful when your app is in a folder, as the asterisk moves to the top right corner of the folder. Since the folder UI shows you the first four things you have in that folder on the homescreen, it frequently looks like there is activity on one app when reality is a little different. Ultimately this is a legacy BlackBerry thing that will make existing BB10 users who are making the switch feel more at home, but the less-than-helpful redundancy is likely to send veteran Android users looking for a replacement launcher.

This may seem strange, but one of the biggest parts of the software experience on the BlackBerry Priv is the physical keyboard.

A large part of the rest of the BlackBerry software experience is catering to BlackBerry users, which is a good thing. It's a necessary thing, and it's something that can either be done really well or absolutely horribly. Fortunately for everyone involved, BlackBerry chose the former. Every other part of the BlackBerry experience is opt-in. This includes BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry Hub, and something called the Productivity Tab. BlackBerry Messenger is something everyone knows about already, it's the messaging client BlackBerry has championed for years now, and you either love it or can't stand it. BlackBerry Hub is a clever way to organize all of your communication mechanisms in a single place, all in a single timeline to sort through and interact with. This includes social networking apps, messaging apps, and of course email. This is also one of those things you either love or cant stand, but as a workflow management system BlackBerry Hub is unparalleled. You have to give it everything in order to be totally functional, but if you actually do that there's a good chance you'll find the workflow compelling.

Productivity Tab is another monster entirely. It's this unassuming little tab that floats to the right of everything on all of your screens, and when you swipe across it you're taken to a quick glance at your calendar, task list, BlackBerry Hub, and contacts list. It's a great tool for quickly grabbing information when sending a message and you need to confirm something like a schedule or a phone number, and BlackBerry gives you a lot of control over where it lives on the screen and how obtrusive it is. Perhaps most important, it looks nice and it highly functional. BlackBerry did a great job making it work so well with the curved screen on the Priv, so you can swipe in from the side and quickly take advantage of these features when you want them.

This may seem like a strange sentence to read, but one of the biggest parts of the software experience on the BlackBerry Priv is the physical keyboard. This keyboard is a whole lot more than four rows of buttons for text input, which is important because with the screen slid up this phone is really tall. For starters the entire keyboard is capacitive, which means you can swipe your finger across the keyboard itself and the swipe is registered on the screen. This includes swiping left and right on the homescreen to jump from one page to another and scrolling up and down on websites and in apps. When typing on the keyboard, a row of word suggestions appears on the screen just like it would for a software keyboard. Swiping up on the keyboard under those words will set them in your existing sentence as though you had tapped on the screen, so your thumbs never have to leave the keyboard when typing.

BlackBerry Priv

Accessing your ALT keyboard happens on screen as well. Swiping down on the keyboard causes a virtual keyboard to appear on the screen, but instead of showing you what you already have on your keyboard you get secondary options like punctuation and the number pad. You can access these things with the ALT key on the keyboard, but sometimes it's faster to move up to the glass for those quick punctuation grabs. The only downside to this feature is it requires the BlackBerry software keyboard to be set as the active keyboard in order to work properly, and while the BlackBerry physical keyboard is awesome its software keyboard isn't quite as capable as many of the Android software keyboards.

The rest of this software experience is quite similar to Google's vision for Android, which BlackBerry says was on purpose. This is a setup Android veterans and BlackBerry faithful can set up to create the experience they are most comfortable with, and there's very little about this setup that forces either side of that equation to delve to deep into the other side of things unless they want to. Also, and we can't stress enough just how amazing this really is, despite this being an AT&T version of the BlackBerry Priv there are no carrier-fed bloatware apps to be found on this phone. It's a worthy compromise, and outside of a few bugs we found where BlackBerry Hub ate notifications so they didn't appear in the notification tray, it's a solid setup that is both fast and capable.

Naturally the big question asked as soon as we sat down with BlackBerry was when this phone would expect to see Android 6.0, but the closest thing we got to a solid answer was "sometime after the new year." While it doesn't look like BlackBerry made a ton of changes to the software, which would suggest updating would be quick and mostly painless, there's a lot going on under the hood here that will cause some delays on BlackBerry's end. Fortunately for everyone, BlackBerry is assuring everyone there's going to be very little delay in things like security patches, which will be rolling out no later than one month after Google makes them public.

BlackBerry Priv

As secure as you choose to be

BlackBerry Priv Security and privacy

A big focus for BlackBerry with the Priv is going to be how secure and safe this phone is compared to the other experiences out there, that requires both a careful explanation and a deep look at how accurate those claims actually are. For BlackBerry, Priv stands for Privilege and Privacy. It says so right on the box, but what does that actually mean?

For starters, the BlackBerry Priv is certified for FIPS 140-2 Data at Rest and Data in Transit. This means there's a certified cryptographic module being used to keep data encrypted on the phone, and there's a physical tamper seal in the phone to let you know if the hardware portion has been tampered with or compromised. BlackBerry attributes part of this to a proprietary mechanism for encrypting the data on the Priv, and while that sounds exciting it means there are big parts of this experience that are just about as far from open source as you can get.

BlackBerry also claims to have hardened the linux kernel that powers the Android OS, but isn't currently going into specifics. The promise here is it would be a lot more complicated for low level exploits to happen on the Priv, and it's the kind of promise we will undoubtedly see tested sooner rather than later.

The end result of all this is a series of tools that could make you more secure if you choose to use them.

This is BlackBerry working to keep the data on your phone encrypted at all times, and they are doing so in a way that is functionally different from the way Google is currently doing it on its Nexus products. This difference has been certified for use in places that don't usually let you wander in with any phone you'd find on the street, which is BlackBerry's bread and butter.

In userspace, BlackBerry has added the DTEK app to keep an eye on you as a user. It's a fairly standard security app, themed with BlackBerry stylings and built to let you know when things are either potential risks or misbehaving. If you leave Developer Options on and ADB enabled, for example, DTEK will lower you security rating and tell you why. If you use a less secure lockscreen, or you aren't using a lockscreen at all, your overall security rating will drop even further. It's not something you'll be using particularly often, and it's not going to keep you safe from anything that would attempt to access your data under the UI, but it's a good way to encourage users to be more aware and secure in their personal lives.

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry has also moved its picture lockscreen to Android, and if you've never used it before it might become your new favorite thing. Rather than a pattern or pin someone could see by glancing over your shoulder, picture lock places a grid of random numbers on the screen for you to interact with. You choose a number and a destination when creating the lock, and when you go to unlock the phone you pull the entire page of numbers around until one of the iterations of the number you chose lines up in the location you designated. It's hard to imagine how anyone could figure out your lock by looking over your shoulder with this, but the flip side is it becomes a little more challenging to unlock the phone in direct sunlight.

The end result of all this is a series of tools that could make you more secure if you choose to use them, and coupled with BlackBerry's promise to work with Google to get security patches on the Priv within a month of its release, it means this is going to be among the more secure phones on the market today. It's an important thing to think about, whether you're looking at a smartphone as an entertainment vehicle or a business appliance, and BlackBerry has all the pieces in place for a great experience for both kinds of users.

BlackBerry Priv

Business in the front, party in the back

BlackBerry Priv Camera

You don't hear many people talk about how excited they are to use the camera on a BlackBerry, and while a good bit of that has to do with the current core audience it's clear smartphone photography and camera features have never really been a focus for this company. Cameras on BlackBerry phones have always been good enough, but never really exceptional or packed with a ton of features. The BlackBerry Priv is in a different ecosystem, and its potential audience has watched a year of truly exceptional smartphone cameras paraded before them in spectacular fashion. This means something more than just a decent sensor and a simple app are needed to help this camera stand out. The rear camera on this phone manages this with little problem. The front camera, not so much.

An 18MP camera bulges out from the back of the BlackBerry Priv, with a metal ring around the glass to protect the lens from fingers or laying the phone on its back. This Optical Image Stabilization-enhanced camera works with a simple BlackBerry camera app to ensure taking photos is quick and easy, with results that will satisfy all but the most serious of phonetographers.

Color reproduction is great, and taking the shot even with shaky hands or a moving scene more often than not ends with a decent photo. Even in low light, this camera performs above average. The only real downfall here is the time it takes to capture an image. While a single snap isn't usually more than a quarter second away from the moment you tapped the button, HDR shots often take noticeably longer and if you're using BlackBerry's live filters the normal capture can lag a little as well.

BlackBerry offers an additional Enhanced Video Stabilization when recording video, but only when shooting in 1080p at 30fps. If you make the jump to 60fps or you increase the resolution to 4K, this feature is automatically disabled. The stabilization difference is noticeable enough that you'll miss it if you lack steady hands or you're recording in a moving car, and because the resolution settings are inside a separate menu in the camera app there's a good chance you won't think about it when capturing a quick video of something happening right that second. It's not a huge deal either way, but a quick toggle on the primary UI for the camera would have gone a long way here.

The front facing camera tries really hard to be a decent camera, but in 2015 a 2MP sensor just isn't going to compete with the 5MP and 8MP offerings we've seen from the competition this year. Backgrounds frequently appear blown out if it's a bright day, and there's not enough detail to really appreciate some of the features BlackBerry has included in this app. The Panoramic Selfie mode, for example, does a fantastic job capturing a wide image with very little stitching errors, but frequently the detail beyond the content a foot or two from the camera is lacking.

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. More than anything, BlackBerry's offering highlights just how ridiculously good smartphone cameras have gotten over the past year in order for these criticisms to hold any actual weight.

BlackBerry Priv

A remarkable union of function and experience

BlackBerry Priv Experience

Physical keyboards have been a part of the Android experience from day one, but their miserable fade from existence on this platform left a bad taste in a lot of mouths. The last couple of Android phones with physical keyboards weren't very good, and a lot of that had to do with cost cutting to stay competitive or a constant battle with the Android OS and its apps when it came to landscape sliders. The portrait slider on the BlackBerry Priv is exceptional in every way, and using it every day quickly highlighted how differently many of us use our phones without a physical keyboard.

Sending a quick message on a virtual keyboard is fast and effortless nowadays, which is awesome. Load up your favorite tracing keyboard or learning keyboard and before long you can type noticeably faster than most people ever would on a physical smartphone keyboard. That speed is what made the switch so easy, because it didn't feel like we were actually missing out on anything anymore. Where that starts to fall apart for some is when you go to type for extended periods of time. After a couple of sentences, typing on these virtual keyboards is exhausting. Whether it's doubling back every couple of words to correct the mistakes the trace keyboard made or your suggestion keyboard has corrected public to Pub for the fourth time in an email to your boss because you frequently invite your friends to come drinking, virtual keyboards still aren't great at more than a paragraph for a lot of people.

This is one of the biggest reasons BlackBerry still has a physical keyboard, and the difference is clear. A full third of this review was written on a BlackBerry Priv while doing things like waiting to pick kids up from school or standing in the checkout line, which is something that would never happen on Google's fantastic trace keyboard or SwiftKey's amazing suggestion keyboard. Those are without a doubt the two options to reach for when taking a quick note or for sending a tweet, but BlackBerry still owns the long game and that's significant for some folks.

BlackBerry Priv

It makes a noticeable difference in how you use your phone on a day to day basis, which is why BlackBerry stuffed a 3410 mAh battery into this phone. Long form typing means the 5.4-inch display is on for quite a while as you type, but you still have to be able to get through the day. Days with heavy typing often ended with more than five hours of screen on time, which meant on days where the phone was disconnected from power at 6 a.m. the 15 percent warning would show up at around 10:30 p.m. On days where the phone was used more like we use the Nexus 5X or Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, by 10:30 p.m. that battery would be a lot closer to 40 percent remaining. This is a phone that will have zero problems getting most people through a full day.

Audio quality is also great when using the headphone jack, which you'd expect given the rest of the experience on the phone.

Another remarkably well implemented part of the BlackBerry Priv is the bottom speaker. This front facing speaker is louder than most, and produces audio that easily competes with HTC's BoomSound speakers. Gaming, movies, and music all sound great, though admittedly one sided if you're holding the phone landscape. Audio quality is also great when using the headphone jack, which you'd expect given the rest of the experience on the phone. When testing with our Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones the Priv delivered audio comparable to the HTC One M9, which is to say the highs and mids come in nice and clear but the lows are occasionally a little on the muddy side. It's better than most smartphone audio experiences, but not quite as compelling as the LG V10.

Finally, the 2560x1440 display on the BlackBerry Priv wants for very little. The colors on the screen look great, though predictably saturated as this is an AMOLED display. Text is nice and sharp, and at max brightness the display is usable in sunlight. There's still nothing that holds a candle to the ridiculous outdoor mode Samsung has in its phones this year, but outside of those screens this is easily one of the better displays you can get on a phone today. It's also worth pointing out that the more subtle curve of the glass on the BlackBerry Priv makes the edges of the display a lot more usable outdoors than the Galaxy S6 edge or edge+, as there are a great deal fewer reflections to compete with.

BlackBerry Priv

A welcomed addition

BlackBerry Priv Bottom line

Who knew that we'd get to 2015 and one of the more capable manufacturers of Android phones would be BlackBerry? The notion is fantastic and bizarre at the same time, but there's little about this phone we don't like, and that is good news for everyone. It's a great all around phone when closed, and the physical keyboard takes that experience over the top and directly competes with the current top of the line Android phones. It's a serious phone for serious people, but it's also a whole lot of fun and built to be entertaining. It's also running a decent, reasonably secure adaptation of Android, which is a huge plus for everyone.

The BlackBerry Priv deserves its $699 price tag. It's an experience that completely justifies the price, which isn't something we get to say about the high end of the smartphone market often enough anymore. While it's true the mid range has gotten really good and the cost of phones like the Nexus 6P has gone a long way towards demanding manufacturers justify a higher price point, BlackBerry has absolutely done that with the Priv. This needs to be the start of a long relationship between BlackBerry and Android, as it sets a new standard for the kind of quality we as users should demand from high end smartphones.

Should you buy it? Absolutely.

This may not be the experience for everyone, and that's ok. Some folks are limited by cost, while others are perfectly happy with Google's Nexus 6P (as well you should, it's an amazing phone in its own right). Anyone looking for something a little different, or anyone interested in returning to a world where physical keyboards are a thing need to give the BlackBerry Priv a serious look.

This is absolutely one of the best phones to be released this year, and while BlackBerry still has to demonstrate it can keep its promises when it comes to software updates this is already an exceptional experience. It's only going to get better from here.

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • I want this thing.... Tempted to let my Note 5 go for one. Posted via the Android Central App
  • for the improved battery, keyboard, sd card, and curved glass 18mp camera its def an upgrade from the note 5.
  • Apart from the super useful s-pen nobody else have
  • Between the two...I would definitely keep my Note 5. It's one of the top consumers choice (see ranking for example...) based on satisfaction.
  • I wouldn't call it an upgrade to be honest, it just intrigues me. I've always been a closet BB fan (owned a z10, z30, and a Passport). Posted via the Android Central App
  • You owned pretty much all of their recent devices. I'd say that your more of a fan than a closet fan. It's okay to say it. Posted via the MATERIAL AC App
  • Not an upgrade. Not a bad side grade. The keyboard is a negative IMHO __________________________________________________________________________________-_________________________-____________________
  • Your opinion, mate. But it doesn't add thickness or weight. So that's something to stomach for other manufacturers.... :-D That BlackBerry virtual keyboard actually rocks hard core. Flick up words between the rows with accuracy instead of tracing swypes... "... and while the BlackBerry physical keyboard is awesome its software keyboard isn't quite as capable as many of the Android software keyboards." Cheers! :-)
  • I agree, Prem. I love this feature on my Z30. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The keyboard is the differentiator. I don't know why anyone would buy this if they're not interested in a physical keyboard. That the rest of the specs are decent means that pkb enthusiasts won't be stuck with a 2012 model on Froyo.
  • I feel the same. It appears to be an awesome phone, with the flexibility of a physical keyboard/track pad. The track pad functions intrigue me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It looks like no one paid attention to its differentiator: security and productivity. I know that coming from a different android to this phone doesn't look that much as an upgrade, specially if you've never tried or used a BlackBerry recently. The HUB, the calendar and the contacts apps along with dtek and all the security measures in place, those are the differentiators. The other specs are just to put it a par with other OEMs but trust a BlackBerry user, productivity and security are top priorities for us. Not to mention the pkb as extra on a 5.4 screen! This phone is going to kick some serious as. ;) Posted via Android Central App
  • If the keyboard was like the old slider ones that made phones really thick then I would agree. I don't see why the keyboard would be a negative in the Priv. That said, I use a Note 4 and love the SPen. Great way to create messages and notes. Too bad Samsung has removed the features I personally care about in their current phones. I will miss the SPen when I upgrade. But I refuse to support a vendor that removes features just to raise their ASP.
  • Agreed about Note 4 vs Note 5. I am not sure why Samsng couldn't have introduced varient of Note 5 with removable back/battery/SD card along with unibody design. Android is about making more choices available, not less. In anycase, I doubt Note 4 will be obsolete soon. With penultimate display, very good camera, removable battery/SD card, it should last a long long time.
  • Lol, you know nothing of phone design. You wonder why Samsung didn't release a radically different version of a flagship device like it'd be easy or cheap. Samsung releasing a phone that doesn't fit your usage patterns does not mean choices are being taken away. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You can't have a removable back/battery and a unibody design. Those are kind of opposites of each other.
  • Funny, I'm the opposite. I went with the Note 5 as I think it's a serious improvement in design over previous models. Removable back and SD support aren't really high on my list of wants though either. There are phones for everyone out there. I get why previous Note owners are disappointed but the reasons they are happen to be the same reasons I bought the phone in the first place.
  • I had a Blackberry slider in the past and the keyboard was great to have. Even though it was a much simpler keyboard, without the capacative touch and the "work flick" thing, it still rocked. The really great thing about the PRIV is that it sounds like you could use it quite happily without ever opening the keyboard and it would still be a very competent device - best of both worlds. I am really pleased about this phone, because I can't picture NOT having a physical keyboard - if I have to use the wife's iPhone, I am ready to fire the stupid thing against a wall within the first sentence ... have never had a pleasant experience with an on-glass keyboard.
  • this is actually a downgrade. The Priv is another outdated product made by BB.
  • Just like the Nexus 5X huh? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol, the 5X has a price to match. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It does, but they are completely different devices. I was referring more to the hardware as being "outdated". I just have to roll my eyes when people say the 808 and 810 are outdated. I wouldn't even call the 805 outdated, but I wouldn't want to see it in a new flagship. Haha. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't even see the 800/801 as outdated if you can get them at a good price. The performance still rocks and the efficiency isn't bad. Phones like the Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520 are still smooth as butter.
  • Everything with the 800-805 running decent software is smooth as butter
  • So how is this a downgrade?
  • In what way, the keyboard. Did you even read the review or watch the video, it fits seamless into the unit, which means without knowing it was there anybody would think this was a normal phone. The keyboard is there if you need it, it's especially helpful when using Word or Excel as it gives the use more display to use. Didn't think about that did you, this is anything but a downgrade. Apple users have been saying the same thing about the stylus and the Surfaces keyboard, Apple now has a Surface clone. Advanced security features, technical specs, curved display, SD Reader, BlackBerry Hub, what is actually a downgrade here because I don't see any, in fact I see you phone that beats most premium phones on the market. Also Next time instead of just shot gunning an insult, why don't you actually try being articulate and explain as to why this is a downgrade.
  • How so?
  • That BlackBerry virtual keyboard is actually great. One point in the review I'd like to have reviewed... ;-) Try and you will buy!
  • Me as well... i have the note 5 and this phone seems awesome. I used to use blackberry, but switched to android because their app store was useless.
  • Me too... as I face yet another darned friggin screen replacement of my LG G2 I am reminded of how much I desperately miss my BB keyboard!
  • Samsung being Samsung, you can be assured that if this Blackberry has some serious success that Samsung already has a physical keyboard phone designed and ready to compete. Very likely a new Note 5 version with a Stylus for productivity. Samsung of course won't unleash such a device unless this one is a big success, because why not let Blackberry be the one that fails if this isn't successful.
  • My friend, nothing from this world compares to a BlackBerry keyboard. They can try and try and will never get it right. If they, for some reason, get close to right, will be because they are copying the creators of the best pkb to ever exist. *drops the mic* Posted via Android Central App
  • mauro.... I never said Samsung would do it better. In fact, they don't need to do it better. Their marketing department will crush blackberry, then say the slider/android was their idea and everyone will believe it. Point being, for those of you who think that this one phone will somehow revive Blackberry, it won't. But if you really like Blackberry's keyboards and what they have done here and really will pay the crazy price, then that is great for you. Just funny to see the BlackBerry people somehow believe this phone somehow puts BlackBerry back at the top.
  • its a phone review not a discussion on the company's stock and decisions.
  • Samsung sunk their boat when they created the S6. TheiPhone wannabe. Samsung already has a questionable reputation and them competing with the BB on a pkb will not happen because those who like the pkb will think BB first.
  • You just wait and watch.
  • are you talking about that Masterpiece they made for the Edge...LMFAO
  • Samsung should just stick to making Tvs lol the edge keyboard was so bad that Samsung fans won't even bring up lol it looks led so cheap and fake
  • It's got more that a keyboard the differentiates it.
  • Nice video Russell !!! This was a surprising result, didn't think it will be this good. Tempting now.
  • Great video!
  • Whoa...unexpected ....NICE!! I'm impressed on the PRIV and nice review, Russell. You guys are setting a nice standard with the reviews lately. Plus, he took a pic of my an S1000RR just like mine. It's fate! Now, about that shouldn't have to be a PRIVilege to own one. I wish Palm could have pulled this off instead of dying at the hands of HP.
  • Russell
    Great videographer
    Your production herein has brought tech gadget review videos to a new 'award winning' level.
  • Oh thank god it's good. I kinda ensured that by not pre-ordering like I usually do and waiting for the review. Off to go get in the back-order line ...
  • Seriously, who saw this level of quality coming from BlackBerry on its first Android phone? Sure you know BB can do hardware, but handling the software well, too? I wanna spend more time with one, that's for sure.
  • The software on this phone seems really well thought out. This phone is going to be really good for android as a whole.
  • BlackBerry 10 is amazing! Too bad not a lot of people know it. I'm using the Q5 right now. The apps gap is really the only problem. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's a pretty big problem. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Android tablet and a BlackBerry phone takes care of everything I actually need, personally. Not too big of a problem if you don't make it one. I'm a Classic man
  • It's not a problem for me. But it is for everyone else. Posted via Android Central App with my underrated BlackBerry Q5
  • Yes it is. Which sucks. Posted via Android Central App with my underrated BlackBerry Q5
  • Really between BB app store and Amazon how is it possible not have what you need?
  • It's really not that bad considering 85% of all apps have never been downloaded, 5% make any money and less than 5% are actually used more than once. In addition, Android apps can be downloaded via Amazon and run perfectly fine on BB10. In all honesty, how mileage apps, to do list, messaging apps do we really need?
  • I love my Z10. I've had it for over 2 years and have kicked it, dropped it on pavement (multiple times), doused it in water (twice) and it is still going strong. it looks new and I don't keep it in a case. I like how small and streamlined it is. More so than the apps is the poor battery life at this point. I've thought about upgrading my phone but have been afraid that I can't get the durability of my Z10 in other phones. I'm seriously interested in the PRIV, but I wish that BB had invested some time in upgrading battery life, etc for us die hard fans
  • I guess blackberry knew. They worked on their Android intergration for ages. They are thoughtful perfectionists, design geniuses, part of why many aspects of BB10.3 seems streaks ahead of Android. Every recent phone they have released has been not just good be great.
  • Speaker as good as BoomSound, can't wait to hear it. Glad I pre-ordered and cancelled my 6p pre-order!
  • Shouldn't have
  • I don't think people gave BB10 enough credit. They do software pretty darn good these days. Posted via the Android Central App
  • BB10 is a very efficient OS with a beautiful UI. Sadly, there's no critical mass to build a decent ecosystem around it, and after the better part of 3 years, it's hard to see what could possibly jumpstart it. We've clearly reached a point where BlackBerry has to offer its customers a choice. I'm at the point where I'm hoping this version of Android is made available for my Passport.
  • 100%, it's a business move now. If they offered this software on the passport I'd buy it immediately.
  • Yes I checked out the Priv today and while I am sure I can get used to the smaller PKB -- Android on my Passport would be ideal. The Passport has a superb keyboard in every respect IMO...
  • I love BlackBerry 10. I hope it continues in a corporate level.
  • I agree. I think everyone expected when they heard about this phone that in traditional Blackberry fashion they would have butchered Android Overlay. As it turns out, I think Blackberry is setting a good example of what manufacturers should be doing right now. And that is to leverage the quality of near stock Android and enhancing the weak areas, such as security and productivity. The physical keyboard intrigues me, but I am more interested in this phone because of the complete package, including a well implemented Android and what seems to be very good hardware. My only hesitation is the price and that it doesn't have M right out of the box. I don't like the vague response they gave about a future upgrade. Last thing I want to be doing is to sit around and wait for another Android upgrade.
  • It wasn't a vague response. They have a direct answer. Posted via Android Central App
  • "closest thing we got to a solid answer was "sometime after the new year."
  • But that's a yes, time frame was not confirmed. It was, however, confirmed that they will update. Posted via Android Central App
  • I thought they would improve Android by making it more efficient and productive by adding the HUB, calendar and contact. Vague??? The only reason it come with M is because it would have taken longer to get on the market. M is coming.
  • How an it have M out of the box?
  • Andrew - This doesn't surprise me one bit. Blackberry's BB10 OS is by far the most user friendly and productive MOS available on the market. In reality the Android software is less user friendly and productive than BB10. I also believe the " app gap" is no where near as bad as what IOS and Android would have you believe especially considering Android apps can be downloaded from the Amazon store and run perfectly fine on BB10.
  • Even Amazon is limited on what it has for some people. Not to mention difference in functionality of those apps.
  • I'm impressed. Thought it would be decent, but not this good. Sounds like Blackberry actually put a lot of thought into this device. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think BlackBerry 10 users know that BlackBerry is capable of such quality. But so few of us exist... hopefully this will share the dream of what BlackBerry 10 was meant to be.
  • We always knew. People just didn't want to give BlackBerry a chance. Posted via the AC App on my BlackBerry® Passport
  • Exactly! Posted via Android Central App with my underrated BlackBerry Q5
  • #realitycheck Seems to me BB has had years and years of chances but couldn't get out of the stone age until recently and even then the app gap could not be overcome without android.
  • +1 and I was a blackberry user for almost a decade. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Your 1/2 right. BB was late coming to the market with an all touch screen product but they been available for 3-4 years and without a doubt BB10 runds circle around Android and IOS. Their biggest mistake is not spending money on advertising and the little they did was lame. While other have spending big $$$$ on advertising BB was spending $$$ on buying companies with a focus on security that have increased their ability to keep their phones and BES the most secure on the market.
  • Cheers, mate! :-D
  • Here's to us, Crackberry addicts posting comments on AC! So awkward to read android users say good thing about BlackBerry! Posted via Android Central App
  • Here's the thing, you don't just blast out this product in a few months. Blackberry must have been working on this for at least 12 months considering design, software adaptation with BB Hub etc. They may have released it JUST in time. On a side note, the HTC A9 comparison to the iPhone 6 is interesting. HTC must have also been working on that design for a few years, including arranging manufacturing etc. It's funny how HTC and Apple look the same, while Blackberry is completely outside the box.
  • Very nice job Russell. I do like my 6P but the soft spot I have for blackberry just came back! Pretty impressed! Might have to reach deep into my sock drawer if the reviews follow this one! Damn I do not want to like it but I do...
  • Russell, any rebuttal to Engadget's claim the "keyboard isn't great" ?
  • Russell seems pretty happy with it based on just his general talk about it, and of course the positive remarks in this review. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, just curious if he had any thoughts on why they would say that, since Russell's review comments are beyond glowing. I'll find out for myself tomorrow, but I'm not worried :)
  • IMHO I think Engadget's review was probably based on someone that didn't seriously use the physical keyboard for a long enough time. Going from a touchscreen device for the past 5 years to a physical keyboard, the PKB is going to feel really weird.. And you won't be efficient with it. It takes some practice to get to the level of productivity with it. I just played with the PRIV in the store today and the keyboard is just fine. It's wider than their tiny Q10 devices and it's a really nice keyboard. You need to use it for a week to truly appreciate it though.
  • Engadget reviews are no longer unique or helpful in any way. They've lost it...
  • That makes sense. I look forward to getting one of these and getting that amazing proficiency back. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah I get that now after having the phone for two days. My first afternoon with the physical keyboard was surprisingly frustrating - I felt really "slow", I couldn't find the punctuation keys right away and my first reaction was "this is terrible!" Also the shift keys and the alt keys seemed in the wrong places to me, that they should have been swapped, but once you figure out you can long-press a letter for a capital version you find you really don't need the shift key at all. Anyway I'm getting much more comfortable with the physical keyboard now and am enjoying some of the "extra" features like the capacitive trackpad/cursor control.
  • Yep, that sweet moment is when you are talking to someone and paying full attention + making eye contact, but typing out a long message to someone on your phone at the same time. That's when the physical keyboard REALLY shines. You can type on that thing, fully, with proper punctuation, without looking at the phone whatsoever and have 0 typos. It definitely has it's advantages.
  • Are you genuinely surprised that igadget craps on something that is not iOS related?
  • My only complaint, especially for the price, is the large use of plastic. The bottom (keyboard) frame and front speaker grill should all be aluminum, not plastic. Disappointed in the physical hardware (and that weak plastic back isn't great, either). Very surprised by the cheaper materials used in a $700 phone. Otherwise, looks very intriguing. The plastic could be a deal breaker for me at that price. Will have to mess with one in person at AT&T...
  • Well I think irrespective of plastic or not, at this price it's a tough sell. Guess they know that and probably targeting a niche market, previous BlackBerry fans, users worried about Android security, physical keyboard fans etc !! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ya, especially since they used the 808. They should've at least used the 810 to help justify the price tag
  • Nothing wrong with the 808. My LG G4 uses it and it's a beast!
  • This doesn't feel cheap at all. Not sure how you would expect to have metal where sliding parts go? If you're worried about a 'premium' feel, don't. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Metal sliding parts? Pretty much the norm in manufacturing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, a car engine has tons of moving metal parts. Trouble is, metal rubbing on metal is not ideal. The new Hamilton Beach SD toaster. Powered by the Snapdragon 810.
  • It's no trouble at all, really. We're not running the screen up and down 3000/times per minute so its not like we have to change the oil. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, yeah. But you're still wearing it. Unless BB is smart and puts graphite to stop that. The new Hamilton Beach SD toaster. Powered by the Snapdragon 810.
  • I used a BB Torch for a couple years and the sliding metal rails for the KB remained smooth and even. I had no issues with it sticking. The problem I had with the slider in the Torch was durability. A drop of even a couple feet caused the slider to bend just enough to make it feel loose and develop up and down play. You could feel the sloppiness both opened and closed. I hope BB has gotten that issue ironed out on the Priv. * “Powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you.” *
  • Manufacturing doesn't equal something you flip open several times a day and carry in your pocket. Pretty sure I wouldn't fancy having to keep applying WD40 to my phone! Go out and actually try one of these first before deciding plastic bits equals bad. I'm not disappointed. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I never said that plastic equals bad. I'm sure the sliding mechanism works fine and is plenty durable. I'm just commenting, in general, that you make it seem as though having any sliding parts that are made out of metal sounds ridiculous. It's not ridiculous at all. Given the choice I would much rather have it made out of metal than plastic. But BlackBerry isn't some new company and this isn't from a Kickstarter campaign. They've done this before and I'm sure they know how to do it well. I'm not shitting on the phone at all. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I like the way aluminium looks but I think it actually makes the phone look cheap. If there was a material cheaper than aluminium i'm sure coke cans will be made out of it.
  • Tim Cans are, also known as iPhones... ;-P
  • I'm sure that the Slider Rails are Steel but if the frame was Aluminum it would bend and scratch very easily. BlackBerry "Plastics" are extremely dense and very High quality.
  • With lubricant yes. Without lubricant, no its a terrible idea.
  • Apparently nobody realizes just how small they can make lifetime lubricated bearings. I see them almost everyday in my profession. They are tiny and work flawlessly. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I was just thinking that. There are coatings (lubricants) that can be applied right at the factory that are not liquid based and will last a lifetime. Polymers and/or Teflon come to mind. I kind of thought that the comments about the sliding keyboard were a little funny. After all, when was the last time you had to lubricate the struts lifting the hatch of your car? Not to mention the high heat lubricants they are adding to engine components in high heat conditions to make parts slippery and increase gas mileage. In 2015, commenting on how one would lubricate a smart phone is a stupid one.
  • Metal isn't as forgiving as plastic when it's distorted for whatever reason (slight bending in pockets for example). When it comes to tiny mechanisms, plastic isn't as precise, but it's much more forgiving. Can you imagine the flak BlackBerry would take if the sliding mechanism jammed after someone drops their phone for the first time? No, in this case, plastic is the better material.
  • Plastic =/= Cheap The new Hamilton Beach SD toaster. Powered by the Snapdragon 810.
  • If it's the same type of material as the BlackBerry z10 there shouldn't be a problem! PassportSQW100-1/
  • That plastic on back is carbon fiber and it's more expensive than iPhone or samsungs cheap back covers lol u thought that was just a plastic ... Go check the new Lambo it has carbon fiber all around
  • Well, there's plastic and there's plastic. The back of the Priv uses the same carbon fibre weave as that used on the black BB Z30. Amazingly strong and grippy...and light. It's deceptive. If one equates quality with weight then in some respects this may not live up to expectations. However, modern material science such as kevlar and carbon fibre give great flexibility and strength. One just has to rethink one's perceptions a little. ;) Think formula one race car rather than Abram's tank.
  • Shut up about the "metal" already. It sure looks and feels great but good and grippy plastic is more durable, less prone to scratches and less heat too
  • The plastic back is actually a very strong glass weave. It's strong and it's grippy and resists finger prints. Coupled with the curved sides, you won't be dropping this phone. Gorilla Glass 4 is quality too, no?
  • The Plastic is a valid complaint for a $700 phone. There are variations of the quality of plastics that does make a huge difference. There is a lot you can do to plastic that can set it apart. Either way, my opinion that this phones crazy price of $700 is in part because of it not being metal. I do think the keyboard has value. As does the security/privacy improvements. But I think this price far exceeds that value and simply becomes none justified profit taking.
  • So you don't think it's with $700 because it has plastic? Take a close look at that plastic and the specs that no other Android phone has.
  • I'm still going to wait a couple of months until I can read what people say about it. Thank you for the awesome review.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I was secretly hoping this phone would totally blow so I would have not 2nd guessing on my Nexus 6P purchase. Damn you Blackberry!! LOL
  • Haha! Hope you can still swap or sell. Enjoy! :-)
  • I've had my NP for 12 hours. I'm not going to get rid of it anytime soon. My wife said I have to keep this phone for at least 3 months.
  • Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • I like this phone .... And I don't like many phones. Posted via the 6P
  • The BB PRIV is perhaps one of 2015's biggest pieces of tech. And it doesn't disappoint. Great performance, excellent design, a wonderful physical keyboard, software the way it should be and Blackberry's traditionally excellent security for enterprise use. My friend in Canada is getting one. $699 is steep and I think it's a bit too expensive but I think it's worth it. The new Hamilton Beach SD toaster. Powered by the Snapdragon 810.
  • This one's got the 808... :-D
  • I have a G4, which has the same processor. The SD808 is perhaps the only competent high-end chip Qualcomm put out this year.
  • The G4 is pretty well known for its performance issues. I've also read that this phone has some issues in that area too. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That depends on the variant, really. I know the carrier variants do tend to have issues. My H815 unlocked unit doesn't seem to have any right now. The new Hamilton Beach SD toaster. Powered by the Snapdragon 810.
  • Well said. People who are instantly bias against a phone or any unfamiliar technology are going to miss out on possibly a great device. Many great devices. I applaud any manufacturer who tries to explore new ways to enhance users phone experiences with creative hardware, even if it doesn't work out. But this phone is well executed and I am impressed. They put some good thoughts into this. Clearly, there are some weaknesses and people will pick them apart.
  • Very thorough review. I enjoyed reading it! I know it was mentioned, but I think that's incredible the battery gets you through the entire day. My wife uses an S6 Edge, and her biggest complaint is that her phone dies mid day, from moderate use. I'm using a Passport right now, which almost gets me through two full days, but since I think I'm going to grab the Priv, nice to know it's still a great battery.
  • Agreed. Passport user here, too. That capacitive keyboard is gonna rock even harder, because it slides, too! :-D
  • Such a good phone. Never knew how much I missed the keyboard until I started using one of these Posted via the Android Central App
  • I want to bang out some writing on one. I miss typing on my physical keyboarded phones in high school and college... I want one. Boss, can I have one? Posted via the Android Central App
  • If you have to ask your Boss to buy you one, I think it speaks to how over priced this phone is. You know Phil will say no, but hey, maybe Russell will send you his review unit.
  • It's no more expensive than any other high end Android.
  • This phone is going to be the shot in the arm that android was needing. I really like the UI as it seems to have a lot of useful features.
  • Android was doing just fine "a fanboy, DAT that sh...I don't like"
  • Yeah right, lol! Android seems backwards next to iOS, Windows 10 Phone, or BB 10.3 - it seriously lacks innovation right now.
  • No one is complaining. the only people screaming are BlackBerry fanboys mad because no one gave a shit about BB10
  • +1 LoL
  • U mean Apple users lol how can 1 % scream when Apple users are so biased against any android... Many android users were blackberry users first so they know the quality of blackberry it was just the apps for security reason because it was for business ppl
  • Cool story. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What innovation do they others bring?
  • Innovation for Android is far ahead of all other OS's. It isn't even a comparison. Too much Innovation is actually the problem for Android. Look at all the overlays, features added by OEM's, etc etc. The problem this causes is consistency and update issues. That is really what Google needs to address and they are working on it.
  • Thank Android for the features you enjoy on your iToy
  • Nope
  • It appears to be a nice device, but I wouldn't say it is game changing in the Android World. If it is a shot in the arm for Android, the shot is filled with water.
  • "Some models have Qi wireless charging" - which models?
  • Eh, ordered it anyway. It's in stock at the AT&T store on Michigan Ave next to my office, so I'll have it in my hands before noon tomorrow :)
  • Unlocked US models and the US carrier models have Qi. It's basically only the Canadian carrier models that don't, for whatever reason. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's because Canadian carriers don't mandate it. There's some rules in the US where Qi is recommended.. But in Canada those rules don't exist so carriers choose to forego the wireless charging and either drop the price down a tad bit, or take a bit more margin. It's weird, I know. But just be happy you're in the US if you are :P
  • From the top of my head, the STV100-1, -2 and -5 Posted via the Android Central App
  • ... and all phones sold by US carriers
  • Never mind, I see it, shopblackberry and US carrier models (so I'm assuming the one I'm picking up from AT&T tomorrow will have it!)
  • It will.
  • Really intrigued by the software that runs the capacitive keyboard. It sounds like it's desperately needed but also actually works great. Those are the little things that you want to see all manufacturers pay attention to but a lot of them just don't think about. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well I'm impressed. I didn't expect to see this one get such a high rating, but after reading this I can see why it did. Coming from the Pre Plus and being an avid Android user, I am definitely craving some hands on with this phone. Posted via the Android Central App on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Can I just say... for everyone of u who dissed us BlackBerry users just cos of apps and couldn't actually see past that.. you lost. Now u know. Welcome to our world.. albeit Android layered with BlackBerry 10'ish type experience. I've got the phone too so not hating. We can all be friends now but I feel so vindicated for sticking with BlackBerry all that time. Long live BlackBerry. Long live Android. Posted via the AC App on my BlackBerry® Passport
  • Indeed. :) Posted via Android Central App
  • But it's a Android phone "a fanboy, DAT that sh...I don't like"
  • That's true. Would be better with BB 10.3 But some people love apps. They like to play candy crush and whatsapp their friends (not that you can't do all of that perfectly fine on BB10.3)
  • If you could do it just fine on BB10 then why is this device running android?
    Why did Chen go crying about apps?
  • Chen wanted to save the handset business... BlackBerry Loyalists remained with BlackBerry but that did not turn out profitable for the company. People were running away in troves from BB and the handset business is needed when you re selling an entire solution to a business... That's the reason why Chen went Android. Heck even BlackBerry loyalists started craving Apps because everything was moving there. The developers did not want to work with BB10 because the OS came too late to the party... That's just my two cents
  • I have never seen to many Blackberry haters. Sure there are critics, but not much hate. And Blackberry was right to be called out on their lack of Apps. That is not hate, that is just facts. I think secretly, there are a huge number of Android fans who have always wanted Blackberry to be successful, but felt jilted when they were forced to go to Android. I am a big Windows Phone OS fan, but do I use one? No, because there are crappy or no Apps and MS keeps making mistakes. I just can't be productive with one. I have moved on to Android, but that doesn't mean I hate MS or wouldn't go back if they could actually compete and give me what I need. I just think your vindication is misplaced in tossing it back in the face of Android users, because if Blackberry is successful, it will be on the back of Android.
  • Lack of apps? Do you know that android apps can be downloaded on BB10 OS from Amazon and work perfectly fine?
  • How many?
  • No one lost anything.
  • That Ganja hitting hard eh?
  • I want it so badly.
  • Wishing I had waited for this instead of getting the Moto X Pure. I also really like the notification badges on app icons.
  • yes me too! I dont like the traditional android one you get lost in a world of white bars!!!
  • Nova Launcher Prime + TeslaUnread provide a similar notification badge on your icons. Haven't used it recently myself though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • How is the balance of a phone of this size when using the keyboard either with two thumbs or with one thumb (the latter while holding the phone in one hand)?
  • Did you read the article? It says very lightweight and thin. Easy to use.
  • Yes, I did read it. Lightweight and thinness are very relevant, but in my opinion do not say much about balance. To begin with, the weight and thinness are very relative; for a device like this (5.4 inch and keyboard) they are indeed good. But when you’re typing like that, you hold the device at one end and then it is over 18 cm long and still weighs a considerable amount (192 grams) compared to other devices. “Traditional” BlackBerries are much shorter. The balance then would very much depend on the weight distribution of the phone. I can imagine that most weight is around the keyboard and that the other end is relatively lightweight. If not, especially typing for a longer time could be very tiring. The positive experiences in the review may indeed be clear enough, but I would have liked to read about this aspect more explicitly.
  • Looks like most of the reviews are Positive. Way to GO BlackBerry! Now, I'm curious to see what Boy Genius Report and all those other smartphone haters and their blogs have to say about it. Of course, they will probably spit on it because they won't want to admit that maybe JUST maybe BlackBerry made a GREAT phone running Android.
  • BGR is a joke. I wouldn't put much credence in their thoughts. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I know I know, but one can dream.
  • Read the Gizmodo one, they're dumping on it..... Or better not, don't giv'em any clicks or ad views! :-)
  • What's this bgr you speak of?
  • Boy Genius Report. It's notoriously pro Apple.
  • Is this the part where you pretend that the vast majority of the issues most reviewers had with previous BB phones was the software they were running? I can't remember when last a reviewer claimed BB made poor hardware. If anything, this vindicates their position. It took a move to Android for popular reviewers to universally laud and recommend Blackberry's efforts.
  • Obvious they never really used BB10 OS which by far the most productive and efficient OS on the mobile market. It's also obvious BB was 2-3 years late getting it on the market. BB was asleep at the wheel for way to long.
  • Sorry, wanted to upvote, fat-fingered it and even reported the post! It's all good! :-D
  • Agreed. Blackberry probably just made the best Android phone there is!!
  • Whelp I'll have one before the month is over I can't wait. LG G4 today... idk tomorrow.
  • Great video review, touch of the Michael Fisher's about it, and I mean that as a compliment.
  • This sounds like a solid offering from BB. I got my start in smartphones using BB and enjoyed using every one of the different models over the years. I'm glad to see they are still hanging on. Now they need to release a BB Classic running Android,
  • I'm hoping for a passport with android. :) Posted via Android Central App with my underrated BlackBerry Q5
  • This is probably a dumb question, but can you use keyboards like Swiftkey (for prediction) with the physical keyboard?
  • That would really be pointless. Part of the advantage of a physical keyboard is not tiring yourself out with complicated finger movements. It's really fast without swype methods when you adjust to it - I think a physical keyboard with practice can outpace any touch input method (when errors etc are factored in). And without being tiring. There might be a way you can, but it seems like a weird thing to want.
  • The software keyboard you install has no bearing on how the prediction on the hardware keyboard works. As Russell points out, the only thing that changes is you lose some of the extra on-screen features that are part of blackberry's software keyboard. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wait, so even if I have say TouchPal for a virtual keyboard, it'll kick back to the BlackBerry keyboard's word prediction when you slide out the physical keys? That's a bummer, I liked the way TouchPal did physical keyboard support back on my Captivate Glide... Posted via the Android Central App
  • WOW! Blackberry almost perfected the android experience in their first try. Unbelievable!!!
  • Great review. This phone has definitely moved to the top of the list for when I finally do upgrade. It ticks a lot of the right boxes for me. Front facing speaker has become a requirement since switching to the m8. I like the idea of the extra security, too. The physical keyboard and long battery life just makes for bonuses! It'll be a while before I'm ready to upgrade so the price is bound to come down some and that will give time to give this thing a good shakedown. Looking forward to what else they come out with. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wait till you hear that speaker while you're trying to type... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why, does it sound really loud? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The speaker sits below the keyboard, so your hands will cover it while typing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Clearly a nice phone... I had a feeling it would exceed expectations. Of course the "Priv" thing is wasted in the UK given that our illustrious leaders are looking to track absolutely everything we do on-line...
  • Ugh, right? If they go forward with their (unworkable) plans to ban encryption, then this phone, and any other phone with encryption, would be effectively illegal. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No fingerprint sensor? I'm surprised. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No one can crack that picture lock. No need for finger print.
  • Fingerprint is still faster. And used for more than just unlocking your phone when you wake it up. Purchases, secure apps, etc. are all better with a fingerprint sensor. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They are working on better biometrics that will surpass fingerprint recognition
  • I'm guessing they just couldn't fit one in, what with the keyboard mechanism and the big battery. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It makes me happy, Android people like the phone :) You guys now understand why we love bb Posted via Android Central App
  • Well... Not really. Since this is the first BB Android phone
  • I've seen more photos of that bike in the past week... Posted via the Android Central App
  • If they had a GPE it would be off the hook. Lol. ;-) Posted via the 6P
  • I want one. I want other phones too though. Life is tough. Posted via the MATERIAL AC App
  • Wow! great review! Never knew blackberry could be this exciting with Android OS.
  • Then why is Gizmodo's review headlined, "BlackBerry Priv Review: Nope, Not For Me—Not Even For My Worst Enemy"? Posted via sheer force of will from my Nexus 6P!
  • Sounds like someone who had no other intention but to write a bad "review" of a phone before they even used it, then wrote it without a clear head. The least they could've done is gotten things factually correct when they blathered on about hating it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I read the article, he got the screen size wrong, there were no specifics or examples of how things "lagged". He had no screenshots, camera, samples or even examples of true day to day use. I respect and love Android Central so much more for this unbiased, thorough and professional review. Don't waste your time reading that crap. There are plenty of places with better second opinions, or people can wait around for Andrew or Phil to give a second opinion and I don't think it will be far from this review. LG G4 today... idk tomorrow.
  • That is not a review. That is a hate article. Alright, so you say the camera sucks. Where's the proof? This is why I get my reviews from only a few websites. AC is one of them.
  • Yup! All those other sites like BGR, Gizmodo and such pretend to be Android loving enthusiasts but they're mostly Apple lovers. I don't understand why someone who mainly uses Android would even read and consider their articles!
  • I classified The Verge an an iFanboy site. Then the Nexus 6P happened.
  • Yes I read his post as well and for me it tells me he didn't have the phone to review. He was always going to write something negative. He could have written a comparison post and compared the Nexus 6P to the Blackberry PRIV. But alas, he has come across as as a Blackberry hater for no real reason.
  • this is my next....full stop
  • Russell, this is my second comment on this Review. I had to come back and tell you how well you knocked it out of the park. I've been on YouTube and hitting the other tech sites and I have to say, yours is by far the best. Crackberry didn't hold a candle to this thanks so much for this writeup. You kept it honest and factual and support your likes and dislikes. This was the greatest and ultimately the deciding factor in me getting the phone. LG G4 today... idk tomorrow.
  • I hope they do well with this one and it brings them some success. Enough to continue down this road w/ Android...or "the google". ;) Truly it could be a match made in heaven for both Android users and the remaining Blackberry users. I have a Note 5 on Verizon so I won't be switching but who knows maybe next year? I hope they release the sequel next year called "Acy" and include MST technology on it for mobile purchases anywhere and have it on all 4 major US carriers. Then, I'll sell whatever I got and grab one. Nice work Blackberry. You were the first phone I really loved, and one day I might hook up with you again.
  • Like the phone buy I"m very concerned Android will make me less productive and less efficient switching from BB10. I'm staing with BB 10 until it's not supported.
  • Ok.
  • Want one. Please. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Anyone knows if it supports Bluetooth apt-x?
  • Wow! After reading this thorough and well written review, I for sure will get it! I especially can relate to waiting in the checkout lines, and at a red lights, and during other daily situations to write a reply or something, how hard it is to do using a virtual keyboard, Thank you for a great piece and great efforts! Posted via Android Central App
  • Decent review but still not enough to convince me to buy one.
  • What do you seek to know? It will be on display in stores. You could check out a demo in a store that has it.
  • Then nothing ever will
  • Very excited to try this but could someone possibly carify one thing for me? 1. If the security is going to have restraints on the os, will it not allow me to install 3rd party apps outside the play store? Im talking about apps like youtube mate, showbox and popcorn time etc.
    Will it quite simply let me un tick the 3rd party option like on other android devices 2. Im glad that it has similar rubberised backing, is it similar to what the torch felt like and Im assuming we wont need a case for this, if there is such a thing. To finish off the only thing I will miss using from my note 4 is the s pen. But I think the keyboard is a great replacement Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol no, you'll need a case. Posted by a Nexus 6
  • the Crackberry review said the edge was the same as on the Z30 (which I use). I bought a bumper case for the Z30 but realized immediately it is not needed - the screen cannot lay flat. I keep a screen protector on and that's it. I have only "kind of" dropped it a few times (falling out of my pocket when getting out of a car) - and no damage or problems. I love that it has the same textured glass back as the Z30...almost elegant to the touch and just enough "stick" so it doesn't slide around
  • I reeeeally want to see the cases for this phone. My first Android was a slider and cases were notoriously bad/light. Let's see how far we've come. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Z30 user here. It seems the back material is the same as on the Z30, with more premium materials around the sides and front. I don't use a case on the Z30 and I've only one nick in the plastic from a drop to concrete. No screen cracks or scratches though. I use a BB leather pouch to keep it from being scratched up by keys etc when in my pocket, but then no case while using it. It's the best of both worlds for me. I'd be curious to know if you can access the headphone jack (on the bottom) while it's in one of BB's OEM leather pouches.
  • •Since BlackBerry already has this option in BB10, it should carry over to the Priv--as was noted that the user is as secure as the user chooses to be. BlackBerry DTEK is an included resource for assisting the user in ascertaining which apps & settings affect security--providing users with more information for choices.
    •Cases & accessories are already available through Cases are available & are often advised / suggested but not required. Some BlackBerry devices (such as the different varieties of the Passport) are easier to drop & damage, but most BlackBerry devices that I know of are quite resilient (hence BlackBerry's highest ranking in long-term device ownership). The grippy backing should help avoid almost inevitable drops, but with that much screen--exposed dual curved edges & all, it makes sense to get a high-quality case for this high-end phone.
  • Great interview man, very detailed and very professional, bravo Posted via the Android Central App
  • Great "Priview" for a great device. One thing I might not full agree with is... "... and while the BlackBerry physical keyboard is awesome its software keyboard isn't quite as capable as many of the Android software keyboards." That BlackBerry virtual keyboard is top notch on BB10, and I wouldn't expect it to be any less on the Priv. Maybe you, as the reviewer would have needed a little more practice on it to fully appreciate it... you can flick up words between the rows, no fighting with patterns or tracing swypes... :-D Cheers from the friends over at CrackBerry!
  • I'm going to respectfully disagree with you, again. I used bb10 for a couple years, while the keyboard was mostly adequate, I was never a fan of the swiping to select words. However, I'm guessing he means options and customizations, too. Themes, resizing, undocking, shifting the keys to one side for one handed typing, customizing layouts, emoji, etc...
  • I use Google kb, Samsung kb, Fleksy, Swiftkey, Swype, LG kb (I've owned a lot of Androids and am using a Note 5 today) and I don't find any of them as good as the virtual kb on the z30. So unless they've screwed up the port, I'm pretty sure I won't be disappointed.
  • "BlackBerry Messenger is something everyone knows about already..." I'm part of "everyone" and I never heard of "BlackBerry Messenger" before. Would like to know more. Is this some BlackBerry feature that you have to connect to some corporate email system to do secure messaging?
  • Maybe thats bec. U R a much younger one of the " everyone " !!
    BBM is the private Messeging app from BB since last decade and up.
    Now you do know right ?
  • Come & check it out: Join the conversation on BBM. It's more than just a messenger!
    Find it in your app store or in the following website:
  • BBM is actually available right now in the Play Store and had been for a while if you want to check it out. Posted via the Android Central App
  • If you don't have the location services turned off always, how secure can it actually be? Posted by a Nexus 6
  • I'm so conflicted about this phone! On one hand the software and Blackberry's additions seem really awesom, oh my god that keyboard, and the battery life sounds amazing. On the other hand, I was going to wait for the next gen of flagships with the Snapdragon 820 and the Snapdragon 808 is a huge sticking point for me. I get that it's not all about the processor and blah blah blah, but I'm really not keen on paying that much money for what may soon be considered mid range hardware (compared to the Snapdragon 820 and 4GB RAM combos that are sure to come). But that keyboard has got my attention, believe me. I love physical keyboards on a phone (I've had 2 keyboard phones already and I loved them to bits) and this has got me all excited. It's just the damn 808. Why couldn't they wait till early next year and release it with an 820? :( that'd future proof it at least. Sony Xperia Z2
    Nvidia Shield
    Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
  • You will have to get over that conflicted view, because better smartphones are coming out all the time with better specifications. It is virtually impossible to keep up. Processor speed bla bla bla .... well its not bla bla bla because worrying about Snapdragon 820 vs Snapdragon 808 is pointless. Almost all apps will run fast regardless what SnapDragon you have. I don't know what processor I have in my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 of 2013, but it can handle everything thrown at it today and thensome. 3GB RAM vs 4GB RAM another pointless worry. 3GB is more than enough to handle everything. It really is all about the keyboard and the screen. If those are things that really tick the boxes for you, then this device is the one to get. For me its the only reason I want this phone. The last keyboard phone/computer I had was the Nokia N900. The best phone ever!
  • Thank you! Couldn't have said it better myself. Look at the SD800 in the Nexus 5. It absolutely flies and is usually faster and smoother than the 805 in my Nexus 6. Blackberry likely found that the 808 was better suited for this phone and could have used the 810 had it performed better in this phone not to mention the heat and battery drain issues with the 810. Posted via the Android Central App
  • How fast is fast enough? Apps open almost instantaneous on lesser processors now.
  • I'm more concerned about the long term performance. My Xperia Z2 is becoming unusable in some circumstances because of how slow it can be. I know that the processor is not the only factor in that, but I imagine it can have a significant impact on it. Sony Xperia Z2
    Nvidia Shield
    Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
  • That's because this phone rounds out BlackBerry's phone lineup for THIS year. As it sells well, BlackBerry will offer more. This year also saw the release of the innovative, award-winning Passport Silver Edition after the Q20 Classic, Leap, & BB10 version 3.3. The BlackBerry Hub, privacy (running Google Play Services through BlackBerry's more secure servers), security (hardened Linux kernel), & available subsidized pricing do more for users than the specs that are mentioned (as little gets said about the 2TB SDXC capability, Time-Shift camera mode, taking still shots from videos, BlackBerry Blend, or its invulnerability to Stagefright's vulnerability disclosed October 1st). As Mr. Earle Hyman expressed as Russell Huxtable, "If you have a decision to make, then you don't have enough information."
  • I'm surprised by the glowing praise given that the majority of other sites are far more critical. This review and the obvious "bestest thing ever" Crackberry version are clear outliers.
  • And some, mentioning no names, didn't even want to properly look at the phone and just decided to write a bad review. Three of us on the AC team currently have a Priv and have been using it around a week. And we're all in agreement on what Russell wrote here. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thanks for the unbias review fortunately I can see through the agenda that some sites have when it concerns BlackBerry, BBOS was antiquated, BB10 lacked apps, Priv stands apart from previous BlackBerry devices, it's mainstream and if you can afford it, it appears to be a competitor to other flagship devices.
  • This is a great review man , the #Priv is a great phone to go for in my openion which will make me go back from iphone 6 back to android-BlackBerry combination.
  • I want the BB apks! Posted via the Nexus 6 on Cloud White..
  • Do you think they'll actually run on anything other than the priv? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Very interesting. I want this phone, maybe next year if updates hold up. Posted via the Android Central App
  • With a SD 808 and 3 Gb of RAM, a light version of Android (lighter than the one of LG), I would have expected better score in Antutu, but it only scored 41k while my 8months old G4 full of apps got 49k. BB should optimise more or this phone will lag in few months only! Posted via the Android Central App
  • My guess is that all of the security measures that BB put in place with this phone is the reason why the benchmarks are lower.
  • Not many people care about the benchmarks persey. How much faster can you get then instantaneous?
  • Excellent review and video Russell. I hope there are many others like you who take the time to review this phone properly and don't just write it off, like most seem to have written of Blackberry. How do you think Android ROM addicts will like it? I read BB have said it will not be able to be rooted, flashed with recovery software or any future custom ROMs? Are there enough things in the settings and behind the scenes to keep a hardened smartphone nerd interested? What is the closest Android experience or SmartPnone to the PRIV? You mention the Nexus 6 a lot, but what about other devices such as the Sumsung Note series? How does it compare to your previous phone you were using before the PRIV?
  • Hm...crackberry isn't reviewing this blackberry device this time? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol they should just bring all the staff over here. Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Both sites reviewed
  • The keyboard can be used for gaming as well
  • It looks great and with as many emails as I respond to on my phone, the keyboard would be a nice addition. Unfortunately the only reason for me personally I cant consider it is the lack of fingerprint reader. Being a system admin for a credit union and getting sensitive data through email on my phone forces a lockscreen password of 8 digit minimum. Only way around that is if the phone is equipped with a fingerprint reader. I had a couple phones before that I had to manually type the 8 digit password to get in every time I wanted to respond to a text or what not, and its miserable. Hopefully there's a V2 with one.
  • Who is your security officer? Because fingerprint readers are pretty darn insecure. They are consumer grade at best.
  • Much more secured than someone looking your password over your shoulders in the train!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's a controllable action though.
  • BlackBerry Picture password. Shoulder surfing proof!
  • Where is the fingerprint that I use daily? I would say secondly (thanks no password/sign/draw/other craps anymore it 's a breath in my life) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah that's unacceptable. Specifically for that price. If it was couple hundred bucks less I can maybe understand. Kinda like Motorola's approach. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Probably not secure enough. Posted via the Android Central App on my BlackBerry Passport
  • How do gloves affect the sensor?
  • The camera in the dark and hdr is the worse of the high end phone of 2015? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Man, and I just got the V10. Not that it's a bad phone (It's really great, actually), I almost wish I'd waited just a little longer until I saw a review of the Priv. Ah well, I'm sure I'll get the Priv 2 if Blackberry makes one!
  • I love blackberry but I ll wait 2-3 more years... Welcome back to the market Blackberry. Waiting for the dinosaur Nokia now... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Being an android site I'd like to know how this Priv would run with Nova launcher Considering the BB Launcher gives you widgets, search box, some settings and allows you to assign shortcuts are those things lost if you install Nova Launcher?
  • Well I was having problems deciding on keeping my Nexus 6, or getting a Droid Turbo or the LG V10, but this seals the deal. As soon as this is out on VZW, I'm going back to BB
  • Funny to hear BlackBerry described as the "All-Father of Smartphones " after all the hate sent it's way. Any candidates for positions of Thor or Loki of smartphones?
  • Maybe it's obvious, but I'm a little surprised not to see this addressed in the review or questions so far...
    Could I use it as a blackberry enterprise device? Maybe it depends on my employer? The question basically stems from the fact that andriod support from my employer comes from Mobile Iron which is pretty much the worst.
  • It's not obvious. I'd like to know this too. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It depends on your employer and what version of BES they're using. BES 12 supports BBOS, BB10, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. BES 10 supports BBOS, BB10, iOS, and Android. Versions older than 10 only support BBOS.
  • Another thing that is really interesting is typing with the physical keyboard and not losing any display to it. Your texting window or an email you're typing out is suddenly a lot bigger.
  • Gah, I can't take it anymore!!! I saw the video and my jaw dropped at how awesome the keyboard is. Not only is it a keyboard, but it's also a trackpad and those shortcuts are pretty darn useful. I.....WANT......ONE!
  • We are coming in the form of Surface phone. Posted by a Lumia Lover.
  • "THE BAD BlackBerry software occasionally gets in the way" LOLOL love it.
  • Android Central posted that as of yesterday only 26 percent of all Android devices are just now running Lollipop. How can this device releasing with Lollipop be a "con" if even Android Central notes there are bugs in the 5X Nexus device. Kind of seems like a "Catch 22" to me. Posted via Android Central App
  • "when this phone would expect to see Android 6.0, but the closest thing we got to a solid answer was "sometime after the new year."" "BlackBerry still has to demonstrate it can keep its promises when it comes to software updates " Yeah.... I was a Crackberryhead for years. The single biggest thing RIM ever proved to me was that they had no ability to deliver software in a timely fashion. Good luck on getting Marshmallow any time soon. How long did it take Blackberry to "harden" Lollipop? Now, imagine how long it's going to take them to "harden" Marshmallow once their software development resources are splitting time between that and maintenance on the version they've (now) released. I would feel much better about this phone and Blackberry's ability to keep it current if they did NOT mess with the OS at all and instead just delivered a Google Pure Experience with their own stuff only added on top.
  • Different management
  • Doesn't look like Ars Technica reviewed the same phone...
  • Hmmm, Nexus imprint and nexus updates vs a physical keyboard with a few tricks. Not enough BBY. I hope this phone does well enough for them to create a follow up that is actually up to date in its features.
  • They have a plastic slider case, so yes.
  • Does it have a bumper or silicon case as the screen will be broken on the first fall like the Samsung 6 edge? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I liked the guy's reaction when he discovered the physical keyboard.
  • Great review, I've always had a soft spot for BlackBerry but love Android. Had my note 5 not been as awesome as it is, I would definitely have given the Priv a try. I hope it is a big success and BlackBerry makes a comeback selling quality cutting edge Android devices like the Priv seems to be. I'd be interested in a Passport style Android device in the future. It could be a perfect combination for me, that form factor but add a similar spen like the galaxy note line. That would be interesting indeed! Posted from my Beast Galaxy Note 5 DEVICE HISTORY (since they got smart)
    PHONES: Galaxy Nexus, LG viper, Galaxy s3, HTC Evo 4g, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy s5, LG G-Flex, Galaxy Mega 6.3, Galaxy s6 edge, Galaxy Note 5. TABLETS: Galaxy Note 10.1 gt-n8013, Galaxy tab 3 7.0. Lenovo tab2 A8 50f WATCH: Galaxy gear
  • Seems a pretty good effort from BlackBerry. It's in the upper end of the market in terms of price, but when it offers as many stand out features as this, it's hard to say it's not worth the money. Too rich for my blood, but maybe I'll try used one out in a year or so. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Brilliant review... Going to get this BlackBerry in a few days can't wait! :)) Posted via the Android Central App on my LG G4
  • I want a physical keyboard back... I miss my blackberry... how sturdy it was - the physical keyboard most of all.
    Looks like I need yet ANOTHER LG G2 screen replaced because it just dies in patches or lines and I'm sick of it. Sick of not being able to type without turning the screen in 3 different directions.
    Please please BB... please don't let this fail...
  • What a great review - so nice to see a Blackberry getting a good report and presumably from a non-Blackberry user? I already have one on order and can't wait to try it out. The bar has been set high, but I reckon this could beat it and I am genuinely looking forward to a Blackberry experience with Android software and apps.... Can't wait!
  • Take my money already BB. Finally! Great review.
  • Meh! Only difference I see between the new BB and other high end phones is the physical keyboard. I don't wanna sound like a hater cause I love BB but that's what I see here. And the price is too much. Even though I can afford a $500 phone, I learned that with a $300 phone, I do just fine. I was even thinking going windows phone with the Microsoft 640 for $80. Posted via the Android Central App on Moto X 2014/Moto G3/Moto G1/Lenovo Tab S8/ Lenovo Yoga 11 on $35 Cricket wireless plan.
  • If that's all you see then read the spec page
  • Nexus 6P > this Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nexus 6P, note 5, s6/edge, moto x pure, lg v10 >>>>>> this 
  • Ha ha ha ha ha the name blackberry cracks me up. Posted via the Android Central App
  • i'm pumped. now if the price in Canada wasn't a butt raping $899 :(
  • So you can enable developer options and side load. Shouldn't they have turned off these features to keep it more secure?
  • So, I am no a fan of BB, but I love (and miss miserably) physical keyboards. So this device is PERFECT for me. And here goes my question. Can I just install a different launcher to avoid the BB propietary applications? Someone spend some money and do such thing. Then comeback and tell me how it goes.. jeje.. Just kidding, I only need someone that requieres the same thing and that has an acount in here and then buys the PRIV so he/she/it can post it for all of us to know. Thank you!! PD. Or maybe the reviewer already did that, reads my post and reply me kindly.
  • In the year 2015, the year of the Android camera, I find it hard to believe that a "decent" camera is a pro. Y'all have dinged other Android phones for less I feel. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nice!!! via AC App on
    VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • I'm just disappointed in the camera, more so in the lower light shots, like the one of that river or lake, and the front-facing camera is pretty terrible.
  • And at $700, I don't think there are enough buyers for this phone to make this a huge success. Maybe that is the point of the higher price, to make up the money. Unfortunately, the reality is that this phone will remain a niche product. It will certainly be remembered and put in the history books as "remember when" in this keyboard less world. I would buy one, but I won't pay that kind of money for it. So it is nice, but a month from now, everyone will have already forgotten about it.
  • I want the hub only .... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Will yhere be released for tmobile to sell? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Signs point to no....
  • Nicely done review and what looks to be a very cool device..Never having been a Crackberry user and enjoying my S3 I'm not sure I'd make the jump but it's certainly a device well worth considering on many accounts!
  • Tempted to ditch my S6 edge for this... Software looks better and the battery life is better. Also, I can continue to charge wirelessly with the Priv. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes, I agree. I'm GOING to ditch my S6 Edge for this as soon as T-Mobile gets it. If it takes them too long I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy it at full price unlocked (hopefully not)...
  • This or the 6p? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thank you so much for the review. I am on the passport right now and will definitely get one when it comes to India Posted via the Android Central App
  • Glad everyone is enjoying the PRIV. You're welcome. :-)
  • Gorgeous device. Cant wait to get it. Thanks for the review
  • I got mine today... It is Phenomenal...
  • Well this makes things a bit more complicated for me. I have used a BB forever (tried one of the original Androids and tossed after a week as a tacky piece of plastic junk - but that was years ago). I always bought the newest BB up to Z30 - which I use now (I finally got tired of those tiny screens and decided I COULD live with a virtual keyboard). Of course BB users are always in fear of the company going under - and then there is the abject ridicule by others when they see a my age it no longer bothers me. I am not a big App person (although occasionally I will see one advertised and wish I had that - but 10 minutes later I have forgotten about it). I swore I would stay with the Z30 until it died (I think it is absolutely great) - and then BB would be gone and I would have to start over with an Android. So here I am sort of intrigued but not crazy about spending $700 and being disloyal to my Z30 - that does it all and does it all on a nice big screen (anything bigger probably won't fit in the jackets I wear (left pocket for the phone). I guess I will wait and see, knowing full well that if others do so BB will fail (this is their last chance - I am pretty sure of that) - but maybe not. Maybe I should think of the $800 (with tax and shipping) as just one fewer Ralph Lauren leather jackets..........How will I explain this to my Z30?
  • Impressive. My wife would love this thing! Posted from a Nexus 6 via the Android Central App
  • It's cute, has some interesting differentiating features, but... Speaking in general terms not special case uses, the Nexus 6p is really the only flagship to consider this year and well into next. Unless you need an Spen or this keyboard etc there's just no point in buying this, a Note, a Galaxy, a Moto or anything else because the Nexus 6p is better than all of them. Not in the hardware category because there are several well built phones this year in that respect. But the 6p's software crushes everything else because it has zero OEM or Carrier Ware and instant updates. Name me one thing that any other phone offers that makes it better than the 6p. Display quality? Sure the Note 5's is crisper but this isn't a 60" HDTV we're buying here. Spen? Moto Active display/assist? etc? Those are niche items If you really have a thing for them then more power to you, I'll never argue choice is bad for those people OIS? Meh. Faint advantage Battery life? The 6p's is already well regarded None of those trump not having to put up with bloatware, delayed updates, the exceptional design, performance, nexus Imprint, of the 6p. You could've had a good case to argue against the Nexus 5 or 6 the last 2 years. This year Google+Huawei crushed it. In fact there's really only two phones worth buying at the flagship level this year. You either buy a nexus 6p or an iPhone, the only difference being which OS you prefer. I'm actually glad Google abandoned trying to please the OEM's by not making Nexus too good like they did in the past. It's about time the OEM-Carrier update delays and bloatware were completely and utterly shamed into second place. Yeah that was massively fanboy-ish I know. You may now enter nerd-rage mode and commence bashing me :)
  • Spoken like a true fanboy. If your fav device doesn't have it, it's not important. For anyone serious about using their phone for photography, OIS is a killer feature, and lack of it a deal breaker. Samsung's screen is a major plus if you use your phone outdoors a lot (or drive a convertible). For many of us the 6P is seriously lacking in features and capabilities. Grow up and realize the whole world doesn't conform to your fanboy desires.
  • Of course it does! Pft.
  • HUB without a doubt one of the best features on the phone.
  • I almost fell asleep reading that!
  • It's a shame Russell never responds to any comments. Did the same thing with the 6.0 review. How does AC allow that? Kinda ruins a nice review.
  • "the All-Father of smartphones"? Someone needs to Google the history of smartphones.
  • that's right!
  • Why won't this stupid page let me edit my own post? C'mon AC, get it right. Anyway, the lack of root is probably a deal-breaker for me. If I were using my phone for work email, the keyboard might make it worthwhile, but I'm not, so the Priv's biggest advantage doesn't really matter for me.
  • It would be pointless for them to let you root it.
  • For anyone who hasnt used the BB hub you will have a hard time using anything else once you have. Obviously i have one on the way :)
  • And the most interesting fact about this review here is that so many of the AC fellows like Richard, Ara, Andrew, they all are so actively participating in the comments section. It means this device is definitely worth some consideration. Posted via the Android Central App on my Galaxy S3 Neo Dual Sim which thankfully doesn't have S-pen and does not have a horrible metal body.
  • great review by Russell
  • Can someone explain why I cannot read this review on my Nexus 7? The entire article has been hijacked 3 times by some incredibly frustrating interstitial CDW ad that cannot be avoided, or closed, or dismissed. I understand advertising is important to revenue but when it hijacks my ability to read the actual content it has gone beyond what is acceptable.
  • If it worked with Fi I'd really want to try it. Maybe it'll be available through work. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Although it's a tad larger than I prefer, I am very interested the Priv, surprisingly. I think I'll add it to my Christmas List. And great review, Russell.
  • Seems like the reviews are all over the place with this phone. Some good, some bad. Interesting.. 
  • It's not surprising that the Godfather of Crackberry came out of hiding to bless this phone? I mean seriously. The price alone is BS. BB, and it's fanbois, still can't rationalize that it isn't 2006. I amazes me the number of fanbois swearing how great it functions, without any damn way of actually having the phone in their hands. Don't lose you objectivity Android Central. It's what separates you from the cesspool that Crackberry is these days.
  • What's wrong with the price?
  • Congratulations Russell, that is a great video and review! I think you covered all the relevant points just right. BB is not for me, but the wife won't give up her keyboard so hoping to get her on this when the price comes down a little.
  • I think the crux of the device is this. BlackBerry may have nailed it with the form factor. A big slab with a discreet highly advanced integrated physical keyboard or any software one you may want. They may have nailed it with their implementation of the Android OS. Get out of the way of Android OS but add what is necessary to secure the device and polish the user experience. Full access to any Android app, Google Play services if you need them. The camera seems as good as any on competing flagships. Don't like front facing camera? Piece o' cake to update in the next phone. No finger print scanner? Piece o cake to add to the next phone but probably unlikely to ever appear on any BlackBerry. How quickly before the competitors appear with their similar versions? There is an opportunity here for BBRY to capture large numbers of high end device hardware sales. This device and how BBRY handles and manages it's rollout and software updates and security patching is going to be very fun to watch and experience (once I buy one) .
  • It could have had more battery instead of that keyboard. Posted via the Android Central App
  • And if BlackBerry can make such a solid device first go then why oh why didn't they start doing this in 2011? Perhaps they would still be relevant. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Different era...
  • kudo to the review discussing audio quality. Not a lot of reviewers touch on this subject
  • very nice should go a long way
    like having a mini ALIENWARE laptop
    i think everybody may buy IT if it was a little cheaper say 1/2 price
    if barack obama (us President ) has one it will motivate more people to buy it
  • Is it a good phone? Absolutely. Is it worth $699? Absolutely not.
  • Why not?
  • Have had many BBs and the Priv is the best and most capable of all. Learning more about it each day and even the three AT&T staff members at the Arlington, VA store said they were going to get the Priv after testing all of the functions...they agreed it was the best Android phone and liked the keyboard. And yes, they sold their two allotted Privs quickly on Friday. AT&T Priv STV100-1
  • Are you guys ready for next NEXUS phone made my BlackBerry?
  • ...
  • Surprised you think the front facing speaker is any good. I find it terrible. Its a tiny mono speaker on the left hand side of the grill. The rest of the grill has no speaker in it. It sounds muffled and the volume isn't very good. I'm also not a fan of the pkb. Its to small and cramped compared to other BB keyboards and reminds me more of the Torch keyboard.
  • Don't buy it and "Chive on"!!
  • You forgot one of the cons - $700 and not enough crackberry fans to save it from being a flop.
  • It seems it already sold out. So much for $700 being too much
  • My pre-ordered Priv has shipped - can't wait!
  • Is it just me, or somebody else also missed there is no mention of signal strength and call quality? How are they compared to Moto X Style and Galaxy S6/S6 Edge? Please comment Russel
  • I won't buy this phone as I have a 6P on the way but this is probably the best written review plus video that AC has ever done. Great job Russ!!
  • Read quiet a bit discerning reviews from other publications. Main issues are heat, camera, and apps launching slow.
  • Several of these mentioned issues can be fixed with software updates that are here and more coming on the way
  • Haven't experienced any of that.
  • Blackberry did a great job with this phone. The software looks basically stock, and BB pretty much just enhanced the android experience, without taking away that vanilla android experience. I think they should focus on their software apps, and continue to leverage Android for the OS.
  • Want this phone. Hope it comes to Denmark
  • Here is a not so glowing review. This seems to be more of the norm, than those just clamoring over it because it has a keyboard.
  • This guy is obviously a BlackBerry basher. Period! Posted via the Android Central App
  • This review is spot on. After almost a week of ownership I love my Priv. Blackberry has overlayed the best of BlackBerry 10 on Android for a very refined experience. I gave up my Galaxy S6 Edge (poor battery life and reception; finicky keyboard) and don't regret it. Go BlackBerry! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Keyboard In 2015 ! i don't think its a good idea.
  • I don't understand why a new phone such as this this would launch with a old OS. After using the Nexus 6P for he last couple of months I don't think I could ever use a phone full of bloatware, last year's OS, and updates that have to be tested ad nauseum by the carrier. The Pure Android experience is such a vast difference over my other phones. The Priv looks awesome and I'm sure it's very hi quality....just can't handle the rest.
  • I've been using Android since the G1. I've owned high-end phones from Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola, etc., and high-end non-Android devices from BlackBerry and Nokia, including the first BB10 device and the latest Lumia. My son and I just bought two Privs. I can honestly say that this is the best Android device we both have owned. What's most interesting is that while people seem most excited by the physical keyboard, this phone would kick ass without it, and would make an incredibly thin and light phone even thinner and lighter. That said, I'm typing this on the physical keyboard. :-) This is a comprehensive and accurate review. My only complaint is that the phone gets warm, even hot when the battery saver isn't on or while charging. Since I mentioned the battery saver, I should note that you can run with it enabled all day with no noticeable performance hit and extend the Priv's already impressive battery life. I'd like larger keys on the physical keyboard as well, but my guess is we'll see that when the Passport or Classic get an Android version. And I'll be first in line. BlackBerry is back.
  • I am waiting Desperately to switch to priv. but i still love my passport Dinu,
    Microsft CSP
  • Just got my priv you have to get used to the physical keyboard but once you do its a Joy to use definitely the best of both worlds. I really like what blackberry did with this device you can tell that they put there heart into this device when making it. Also the little touches they implemented just perfect. The specs are more than good enough for most people all round it's a good phone the best blackberry camera ever and so unique and build quality out of this world that's blackberry for you. In my eyes easily the best android phone out there just think deep down about what it brings to the table before you comment. Posted via the Android Central App
  • My buddy, who works the in the Verizon Wireless retail store in Visalia, CA uses this as his company phone and he's absolutely stocked about this device!
  • I like blackberry a lot. Will give the priv a try and see. I like the Q10 a lot. The keyboard just make it for me. When I type on it makes me operat so fast. Really nice
  • Waiting for Z10/Z30 running Android :)
  • Not going to lie, the first time I saw the Priv was in a Youtube video about 2 weeks ago. The fact that I've never heard of it nor even seen it until 2 weeks ago tells me that it wasn't a popular phone. And trust me, I'm surrounded by college students and the main demographics that will be using smartphones.
  • I did a great miss... This telephone I should have bought.
    For many years I have been an entuastic BlackBerry user - Now I had left theme - and bought a Huawei Mate 8..
    Everthing works well except for one - 1 - thing !!
    My last BlackBerry, a Z30 has an extreamely better recieving than Mate 8, in datacommunications.
    It's very big diffence using Skype, Viber and Whatsapp ! They drop out very often. NO GOOD !
    Every test taking care of the layout, cameras, prosessors, and everything else > than recieving. That's bad.....