PRIVACY IS PRICEY
BlackBerry never really went away. Moving with the times, they've come up with a great idea for a product – by combining all their strengths, such as their hallmark physical keyboard, and heightened smartphone security features that they're renowned for, but pairing all that with a smartphone running on an Android OS.
The BlackBerry PRIV has a huge (compared to most BlackBerry devices) 5.4-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) resolution display, resulting in a reasonably high pixel density of 550 ppi. The phone's interface and apps are clearly rendered, though app logos do not look very sharp. However, text appears sharp and clear, a huge plus given that the PRIV is still targeted at business-minded users.
The screen is actually curved at the edges, which gives it a nice visual feel but has limited practical use and does not wrap the rim like how Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge+ does. The PRIV doesn't compromise screen real estate for a physical keyboard too, as large screen actually hides a sliding keyboard.
At a glance, the keyboard seems like a simplified version of the old BlackBerry keyboards. Our experience with it though was cramped with buttons that were too small for our thumbs; this observation made in comparison with the BlackBerry Bold 9900. Nonetheless, the accuracy and tactile feel turned out well on for the PRIV once you get past this (re-)learning curve.
The PRIV is loaded with Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) and powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 808 64-bit processor. It is accompanied by 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. We had no issues with its performance, as it is one of the smoothest and fastest BlackBerry phones we've encountered so far. Storage space is further expandable by another 2TB via microSD.
Of course, being an Android smartphone now means the PRIV has typical Android features and access to all Google Play store and apps. But BlackBerry being BlackBerry, they've layered it with some of their fabled security measures under-thehood. All data on the PRIV is encrypted by default, and