BlackBerry’s latest device, The BlackBerry Priv, has officially launched. While previous devices in the BlackBerry range were only Android App compatible, the BlackBerry Priv is now the first device in the range to officially run Android Lollipop.
When taking a closer look at what’s under the hood of the BlackBerry Priv, we found that the device features a Qualcomm 8992 Snapdragon 808 Hexa-Core, 64 bit processor… A processor that has been specifically designed in order to provide processing performance and power management for the most demanding tasks. To add to the power processing specs, the BlackBerry Priv kicks things up a notch by adding in 3GB of RAM.
Powering the BlackBerry Priv is a 3410 mAh battery. While spending quite some time with the BlackBerry Priv we found that it performed quite well during heavy usage. While the device does tend to get a bit hot, the 3410 MAh battery performed rather well and ultimately provided up to 22 – 24 hours of charge (dependent of usage).
While the BlackBerry Priv proves that it can go the distance, when it comes to battery life, it is also a beautifully designed device. From the full slide out QWERTY physical keyboard, which screams BlackBerry, to the 18 MP Schneider-Kreuznach certified camera… the BlackBerry Priv is a device that has been designed to look exceptionally classy. Made from premium materials, the BlackBerry Priv features a large 5.4 inch edge-to-edge curved display – which has been made from the rigorously drop tested Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
As an additional feature BlackBerry has included what the company calls a “Battery Edge Display.” Using the screen’s curved edge you can see battery charge status when your device is sleeping. As your device is charging, the strip grows and transitions from red to yellow to green depending on the charge level, with a full green strip indicating that the device is fully charged.
When the device is asleep and charging, the percentage of your current battery power and an estimate of how much time until the device is fully charged appears above the strip. The indicator will automatically disappear when the room is dark. This ultimately prevents the user from having to wake up the device in order to check the charge level.
Adding to the premium design is a laser drilled front-facing speaker. The front-facing speaker is equipped with 3 Microphones with high dynamic range, which allow for a top notch audio experience. To make the device even more visually appealing, BlackBerry has also placed an easy to access Nano SIM Card Tray as well as a MicroSD Card Tray on the top of the device.
While the BlackBerry Priv excels in most areas, it unfortunately features an under par 2 MP front-facing camera. While the rear-facing 18 MP Schneider-Kreuznach certified camera was on point… the 2MP front-facing camera just did not perform well at all. Still images shot on the device were of poor quality and video calls were equally so. This was disappointing to experience especially for a device of this calibre and quality.
Moving away from the camera quality, the BlackBerry Priv places a lot of focus on user security. Whether it’s your financial reports or your selfies, your data is encrypted. To add to the security features extra steps have been taken by BlackBerry, at both a hardware and software level, to authenticate and harden the Android OS in order to protect the user from malware and any attempts to tamper with your OS.
BlackBerry’s DTEK dashboard also comes standard with the device. BlackBerry DTEK is essentially a single dashboard that allows the user to monitor and control application access to their microphone, camera, location and personal information.
The Priv is a great first attempt at an Android powered device by BlackBerry. It features power specs as well as a crisp, clean, and classy design. While the overall design and functionality of the device is on point, the Priv is slightly undermined by its below par front-facing camera. Granted, most business users will not be using the device for selfies; however, a device of this calibre does deserve better when it comes to camera quality.
Speaking of business users, BlackBerry has placed a lot of focus on user security. Not only does the device come with BlackBerry’s DTEK software, but the devices also encrypts sensitive files. While security is a highlight, one of the BlackBerry Priv’s best features is it’s physical keyboard. Not only does look great, but the keys are touch sensitive and can be used like a large trackpad – which allows a user to interact with their device in a more efficient and natural way.
Overall, BlackBerry has launched a great Android powered device. It’s easy-to-use, looks greats, and it is a powerhouse under the hood.
The BlackBerry Priv was reviewed by Darryl Linington
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