Blackberry, one of the world’s most secure smartphones, has been through ups and downs in recent times. From declining sales, increased competition to organizational shakeup and hostile takeovers, Blackberry has managed to remain afloat in the face of cut-throat competition. Nowadays, when top Smartphone brands such as Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, are mentioned, this former undisputed market leader (Blackberry) gets relegated to obsolescence.
However, BlackBerry isn’t throwing in the towel yet. This Canadian company is trying to make a strong comeback in recent times with the unveiling of the BlackBerry Priv. The Priv in its name denotes privacy, which is the bedrock of most BlackBerry products. The surprising feature of the BlackBerry Priv is that it’s Android powered. I guess, BlackBerry has realized that its proprietary mobile OS isn’t in demand anymore. And if you can’t beat them (Android/iOS), you’d have to join them.
BlackBerry has brought back a relic feature (hardware keyboard) uncommon with high-end smartphones produced in recent times. Well, to stand out, you need to be different. And that’s what BlackBerry did. The exterior is basically a standard Android Smartphone design but with the BlackBerry logo on it. The bottom of the Smartphone houses its front facing speaker. The power button is placed on the left side of the Smartphone while the volume buttons are on the right. The button arrangement may seem awkward to many; you’ll need some time to get a hang of it. The Screen slides upwards, revealing the hardware keyboard bellow.
Although BlackBerry hasn’t really competed in the full flagship Smartphone market in recent times, the BlackBerry Priv packs some of the best displays to rival other competing brands with regards to quality. The Blackberry Priv packs an impressive 5.4-Inch AMOLED display, with a Quad HD resolution. The Pixel density of this amazing smartphone isn’t bad either. The Priv’s pixel density stands at 540 PPI. The onscreen text appears sharp and color saturation is in the right mix. The Ambient display of this amazing device takes advantage of the AMOLED feature in the Priv’s display. It activates when there is a new notification. The display can be programmed to wake when you pick up your smartphone. However, this feature doesn’t work all the time.
The BlackBerry Priv is powered by an hexacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, which is clocked at 1.8GHz, and backed by a 3GB RAM and the Adreno 418 GPU. Although the Snapdragon 808 processor isn’t exactly the latest on the market, it has lived up to the billing so far, taking into consideration its performance on other flagship Smartphones. The performance of apps and games on the BlackBerry has been great so far, with little hitches here and there.
Unlike most premium Android devices, the BlackBerry Priv comes with front facing speakers which are optimized for superior and crystal clear sounds. However, the BlackBerry Priv’s speaker volume isn’t as loud as most Android devices out there, nevertheless, it’s superior in terms of sound quality than most high-end smartphones with rear facing speakers.
Connectivity options of this amazing smartphone are pretty impressive, as it comes with NFC, 32GB of internal memory, which can be increased to 2TB using a microSD memory card. It also comes with a SIM slot at the top. The BlackBerry Priv packs a massive 3410mAh battery, which is needed to power its battery demanding apps. Don’t expect much from the Priv’s battery, as with most Blackberry batteries, it’s pretty much average at best. The battery of the BlackBerry Priv is capable lasting a day on a single charge. That’s if you use it minimally. Activities with huge on-screen time will all you get barely 5 to 6 hours of service from your smartphone. Avoid activities that require the screen to remain on consistently, so as to improve battery performance.
The Camera functionality is one of the biggest selling points of the BlackBerry Priv. This Smartphone comes with an 18MP primary camera with optical image stabilization. However, the front facing camera still retains the old, dismal 2MP. I mean, we are in 2016. Most entry level smartphones already have the 2MP front facing camera as a standard feature. The disparity between the primary and secondary cameras is overly broad. One would expect a top-end brand, looking to make a comeback, to raise the standard a bit in this regard. The camera app comes with a boring design and it’s a bit slow with regards to performance. There are some basic shooting modes such as Panorama, Video, and HDR. Well, these shooting modes don’t offer much flexibility in terms of control, and most of their functionalities are set to auto.
In conclusion, the BlackBerry Priv may not pack all the best apps and capabilities one would have expected, but it does possess certain features (privacy and security) that are highly regarded in corporate circles. The BlackBerry Priv is BlackBerry’s first shot at the Android market, however; it is left to be seen if the latest flagship from the stables of BlackBerry is enough to make it relevant in the face of rising competition.
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