The first Android smartphone by BlackBerry is quite impressive, but needs more convincing.
Operating System Android 5.1.1 Lollipop // Memory 3GB RAM // Connectivity 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz), 802.11a/n/ac (5GHz), 4G mobile hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, NFC, USB 2.0 connector // Storage 32GB Flash, expandable up to 2TB via microSD // Camera 18MP rear, 2MP front // Keyboard Slide-out, touch-enabled 4-row physical keyboard // Battery 3,410mAh Liion (non-removable) // Dimensions 147 x 77.2 x 9.4 mm // Weight 192g // Warranty 1-year // Contact Brightstar Distribution Sdn Bhd // Telephone (03) 7940 2888 // URL global.blackberry.com it has BlackBerry's DTEK for Android, which gives users an overview of what apps are using phone resources. For example, a simple torchlight app that tries to access the phone's mic or camera can be singled out as a breach in security.
The curved side offers a BlackBerry-sque productivity widget when you slide it across the screen. It's quite simple, handling your events, unread emails, to-do list and favorite contacts.
On the rear, the PRIV comes with an 18MP rear camera, with an f/2.2 aperture using a six-element lens configuration. It boasts many powerful photography features, such as Optical Image Stabilization – for less blurry photos, phase detect autofocus – for breakneck autofocus speeds, Back Side Illumination stacked sensor – for better performance in low-light conditions. Our quick rear camera test proved that the photos taken have some artifacts along the edges of the subject and background, but it is otherwise a very decent camera for a modern smartphone.
The 3,400mAh battery capacity is larger than some other 5.5-inch smartphones on the market, such as the Oppo R7s, and even the Apple iPhone 6s Plus. According to BlackBerry, the PRIV is capable of up to 23.9 hours of talk time, and averages about 22.5 hours for mixed use. It uses a Micro-USB 2.0 port to charge and transfer files, which is the norm for most other phones.
The PRIV works like a decent Android smartphone through and through. It is a solid effort by BlackBerry on their first Android device. However, it still has much room for improvement if BlackBerry wants to woo back the average consumer. At RM3,559, there is a sea of Android devices that offer more for less.
Our informal poll around the office show that the return of the physical keyboard isn't as highly regarded anymore. Not only is the keyboard on the PRIV a little pinched, touchscreen keyboards and technologies have vastly improved since BlackBerry was in its prime. However, we can't argue with the satisfaction of sliding open the keyboard. Security, as the main component of the PRIV is a strong argument in its favor, though the lack of fingerprint sensor integration is telling. BlackBerry, however, claims biometrics is not actually that secure and it was a conscious decision to leave out of the PRIV.
The PRIV isn't just about software or the BlackBerry experience – it comes with an impressive 18-megapixel rear camera, making it a flagship device.