Blackberry PRIV Secure Smartphone
Product DescriptionBlackBerry Secure smartphone, powered by Android. PRIV combines everything you expect from BlackBerry, plus the full eco-system of Android and its apps. PRIV comes with added security to let you know when your data could be at risk, so you can take action to improve it.
- Classic Physical QWERTY keyboard, Optical trackpad and 5.4-inch AMOLED Touchscreen
- Android v5.1 Lollipop
- 18 Megapixel Camera (Schneider-Kreuznach optics) w/ Optical image stabilization, Autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash + Front-facing 2 Megapixel Camera
- Dual-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A57 & quad-core 1.44 GHz Cortex-A53 Processor, Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808, Adreno 418 Graphics
- Internal Memory: 32GB, 3GB RAM + microSD Slot Expandable up to 200GB
Top ReviewsBlackBerry PRIV: One Year Review! Excellent BlackBerry/Android Experience!
by Boramy (5 out of 5 stars)
December 25, 2016
Had owned this phone for almost a year exactly! So this review is based off my experience during the 2016 year!
I was never big into "apps" and games on my phone. When i look at phone, I look for Messaging, Phone Call Quality, Build Quality, and ease of use. Overall I look for a solid "Communication" tool, when it comes to phone devices.
I have been big into phones since the LG Env3. That was probably my favorite non-smart phone ever. After that i was one of many first Apple iPhone Owners. It was definitely hyped up alot, and it was a great device, however it got boring quickly. So i sold that, and tried out the Motorola Droid with slideout keyboard. Awesome device....when it worked! Phone would freeze/lag multiple times, then eventually the physical keyboard stopped working. Fail. After having tried, Apple's device, and Android device and being disappointed in both, i was in the market for a new device.
First BlackBerry Experience:
Thats when i purchased my very first BlackBerry Bold 9700. And thats when i was hooked! A solid and beautifully crafted device, that just offered a premium experience i couldnt get with Apple or Android! So from there, have come to use several BB devices such as the Bold 9930, Curve, then once OS10 was born, owned the Z10, Q10, Passport, Passport Silver Edition (BEST BB10 experience currently available)
And Now! BlackBerry PRIV! First Impressions:
When, the device came in, i was observing the build quality, and it feels like such a premium device. It has that hardware build quality, I have always felt with BlackBerry devices. This was a bit of a challenge too. Not only do you have a sliding mechanism, that is constantly sliding up down, you have this physical keyboard hidden underneath, that is ALSO functions as a touch sensitive trackpad, so you can scroll, left/right/up down by swiping across the keyboard! Just wonderfully crafted and it still holds up after a year!
Software, Camera and Battery Life:
It took some getting use to Android, coming from BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry 10 is incredible, but i just came out too late to get traction, and not having access to the app world the way Apple and Android does. really held BB10 back. My Android arrived with Lollipop installed, and it was pretty blazing fast! I also liked BlackBerry's Launcher on the device. It just allows you to still have the Hub where everything you need is all in one section. And its so nice to know you can go into the Google Play App Store, and install any app and know it will work. No sideloading or hoping the app works, because its for a BB10 device. Now the battery life at first wasnt good. It maybe lasted a good 6 HRS with occasional use, but once updated to Marshmallow, the battery life got significantly better! I could go 12 hours, and still have 50% when id get home. This device also rarely, RARELY freezes up or lags, like previous Android device experiences. Camera is also very quick and clear! No issues here.
Phone Call Quality and Messaging Experience:
GREAT Phone call quality! Clear and crisp. The slideout Physical keyboard is beautiful! I bit small for me however, but keyboard's keys are solid and are constant everytime! I do sometimes type on the virtual BB keyboard which is also brilliant and responsive! But its really nice having those options depending on my mood/preference at the time.
Been very happy with the device. BlackBerry continues to listen to their user base and continues to make refinements and updates to continuously give us the best BlackBerry/Android experience we can get!
Dont be hesitant to get this phone!
by Gail (4 out of 5 stars)
February 9, 2017
Im 22 and had a galaxy s6 active and I've always wanted to go back to a keyboard phone but didn't want to go back to basic. I took a chance buying this phone because I was afraid to switch to blackberry because it seemed so outdated.
If you are in the position I was in, I say do it! It is such an awesome phone!!!! It is android powered so it can do everything a galaxy phone can do. It's very modern! I love the quirky features it has when it comes to customizing.
The phone is fast, updated, modern, and it works amazingly! I use the keyboard and the on screen keyboard. I love both of the options.
The only con (that's why it's 4 stars) I see with this phone is the 2mp camera in the front. It sucks for selfie lovers but honestly, it doesn't even seem like a big deal. The back camera is 18mp, more than the galaxy s6, so if you really wanted to take a selfie, just the phone around, it's big enough to hold. Overall, I love it! And I recommend getting it!!!!!
The moment i updated the OS to Android 6.0.1 things changed completely.
by Gizzella Colonna (4 out of 5 stars)
February 17, 2017
When i got the device the battery wouldn't last long. The moment i updated the OS to Android 6.0.1 things changed completely. Not only is the OS much friendlier to use, but the battery life seems to have expanded. And you can always consult a graph that tells you how life is consumed and what time it will die.
On a different note, the device is quite portable for my small hand. Better than expected. On the minus side, the physical keyboard may render redundant after all, which makes the device heavier unnecessarily.
The 5.4-inch dual-curved Quad HD screen is stunning indeed. So far, i'm very happy with my purchase.
Finally, a new phone I actually like!
by Scarlet (5 out of 5 stars)
November 29, 2016
Bought this because I hate being without QWERTY. Owned both the classic and the passport, although not for long. Loved the keyboards but I hated how I couldn't use my favorite apps (like snapchat and my credit card app) on those phones. Because those phones had such a sad user experience for me, a waited a while to buy the PRIV. I really wish I didn't wait so long. This phone is great. It does everything I want it to do. No more frusterated typing on touch screens anymore. I can just flip the keyboard out. Both cameras are great. It runs apps perfectly.I can type notes up quickly and accurately.I don't have to slide my greasy fingers across the screen when reading articles, because I can slide them around the keyboard/trackpad instead. It's even got a little swipeable "edge" tab at the one side. The only improvements I could suggest are that I wish it had a better battery life , and I wish I could switch though songs by holding the volume buttons.
Either way, this is a new phone I actually like. I hated settling with phones that are nothing but screen . I hate those phones so much they all look the same and they're so ugly. So boring and I hate waiting for the keyboards to come up just for them to take up half the screen. Not to mention typing in the cold or with long nails or without looking at those phones is a freaking nightmare. This phone is the best.
by J (4 out of 5 stars)
April 16, 2017
I absolutely love this phone!!! (Just an FYI, I'm currently writing this review on the Priv.) Bought this phone through Amazon a few months ago, and am completely blown away by how it has exceeded my expectations. I'm writing this review a few months after, so I could give an accurate review.
The main differentiating feature of this phone is, of course, the QWERTY keyboard. It's been beyond useful for work usage (writing e-mails and texts to co-workers) and everyday use (typing directions in maps, writing texts to friends and social media posts, blogging, etc.). The keyboard's biometric feature is also a nice surprise, allowing me to scroll without touching the screen (surprisingly useful for online shopping and browsing). It's a bit smaller than the old Droid phones that were the kings of QWERTY, back when they were still making QWERTYs. But, even though it's small, it still does the job and is the best in the market right now. Plus, the sliding feature is also hard to come by nowadays - I love that I can hide the keyboard when I don't need it.
The screen size is also nice and big, perfect for watching YouTube and Netflix videos while on the move. The resolution is detailed and during the first few weeks when I pulled out my phone to watch videos or look at pictures, my friends immediately asked what phone this was haha. And they were surprised to hear it was a BlackBerry (most people think it's gone out of business already).
As for the software, it has been outstanding. But I bought the phone a full year after it's initial release, so that's probably why I didn't experience the problems first-adopters have talked about. BlackBerry seems to have smoothed out the software now. The Priv has run all of the apps I've thrown at it, from web browsing, Facebook, blogging and maps to video watching, Uber/Lyft hailing and picture-taking, this phone hasn't lagged or failed on me. (Previous phones I had lagged and failed while trying to watch videos or hail a last minute ride, so this phone has been phenomenal.)
All in all, this phone has been what I've been looking for: a great, high-end phone that can be used for both work settings and casual, social situations and entertainment. So long as the hardware and software remain usable, I'll be using this phone and will be very sad when it's tech gets old, and requires me to upgrade (as excellent QWERTYs probably won't exist anymore).
Beware! Carrier unlocked vs factory unlocked.
by Sparks (4 out of 5 stars)
April 29, 2016
The phone is very nice. This is more of a warning to people to confirm what they are getting. Most of these sellers are listing "Unlocked Priv" and are showing pictures of the factory unlocked device. Don't be surprised if you get an AT&T branded phone at your door. While it will be "carrier unlocked," this is not the same as a factory unlocked phone. You will get the carrier bloatware along with being at the mercy of the carrier for your software updates.
Come for the hardware keyboard, stay for the impressiveness
by James Nelson (4 out of 5 stars)
October 2, 2017
Definitely worth the money today, at the price of about 300 USD. I got a System Upgrade notification shortly after connecting to the internet, and, after the upgrade was finished, everything is working as expected (Android 6.0.1). The screen is clear and vivid, its brightness keeps things visible in strong daylight, and it can also go dim enough for a great reading experience in the dark. Great battery life! It's also greatly responsive after many days without a power-off, though I recommend an ad blocker for anyone using a lot of their browser app. The slideout keyboard doesn't have every key or symbol you might want, but the keyboard gestures (!!) provide an acceptable alternative. Sound quality coming from the 3.5mm jack is great for this form factor. It also takes signals like a champ - wi fi, cellular and bluetooth were all working flawlessly for me even in somewhat hot conditions. Wireless charging works painlessly and is VERY handy (though you have to check your model number, certain PRIV versions don't have it). Overall - I knew I wanted it because of the slideout keyboard, and I was willing to put up with anything bad - so I was impressed with how modern and well-performing it turned out to be.
- how bloated it is with Blackberry apps from the start. I solved this by replacing some of the default apps (SMS, notes, to-do list, image viewing) with FOSS apps, and also leveraging Marshmallow to block a lot of those default behaviors. (Such as the DTEK app.) I still use Blackberry's clock app though.
- upgrading to Marshmallow is about 1.5 GB to download.
- would like to see a refresh of this that has a Usb 3.1 C port.
- all of the included ringtones are annoying, which prompted me to transfer over the one I had from my old Asus phone.
- icon sizing on the home screen is weird. You can change font size in the menus, but not for the launcher apparently. Somewhere between setting the font size & custom screen density is the sweetspot for the ideal viewing experience, which I'm still trying to find.
Excellent BlackBerry phone!
by Earl P. Dean (5 out of 5 stars)
January 14, 2018
This phone has a bigger screen than my last one, which helps me. It's a fast phone, and it runs Android apps fine. This one is an unlocked phone and I've got it attached to an AT&T Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plan that gets me the free HBO. I haven't set that up yet, but it's a big reason I took the plan and this phone. I love the phone, always wanted a BlackBerry. And this one being their first Android phone really helps their cause. There's two things to watch for on it: let it power down and off, and then let it sit for about twenty seconds before plugging in the power cord. It think it might need that to keep it from rebooting to the system setup menu when you plug it in too early. No biggie there. The other thing is that it uses a little battery when you run apps-- it's not going to tank on you or anything, but you may see a drop in battery left percentage.
Husband loves it!
by Kindle Customer (5 out of 5 stars)
November 26, 2016
Got it for my husband, a die-hard blackberry fan. He enjoys the access to android apps while maintaining all the blackberry features. The display is large and HD. Nice looking phone overall! He's had it for over 10 months now and working flawlessly. No complaints.
Great For The Price, Even Better Updated
by C. E. Toutwid (5 out of 5 stars)
February 16, 2018
After A Week:
I bought a Qi wireless charger for the phone, works beautifully. Getting used to the settings for this phone - there are a lot of them. Love the lift to wake option, where you pick the phone up and the screen comes on. So simple and yet a nice option. The flip to mute or sleep is nice too. Getting a call you don't want? Flip the phone face down. Ringer off. Or simply place the phone face down to put the device into sleep mode and save more on battery life.
I installed a program called RAM Booster to flush the RAM, it really helps keep this phone running snappy. 3GBs of RAMis good but for running multiple apps, it can run out quick and cause lockups while the system tries to free the RAM. This program flushes it every time I pick it up to use it.
One Day Later:
I can see a difference in battery life after updating to Marshmallow. The phone would not let me do the update, it kept starting the download then pausing and saying 'waiting for wifi.' A quick internet search brought up a solution... you have to disable Google Play Services. Which the phones warns you not to do... do it anyways. The update didn't work at first but after exiting the update and going back in it started right up and did it's thing.
I'm liking the phone more and more as I use it. The predictive text is SO MUCH better than every other phone I have used. It doesn't change words on me, it allows me to decide. Which is what it is supposed to do, what it used to do back in the day.
It charges quite fast, the phone was dead when I got it but had a full charge in a little over 3 hours.
Original quick review:
Just got it today. Mine was a Verizon phone, comes with a sim preinstalled. Had Lollipop 5.1 installed... I just upgraded it to Marshmallow 6.01. Battery gets warm but not that bad. I live in the north so that may help. Battery life today was okay, not great but if memory serves me, Marshmallow improved battery life. We'll see tomorrow at work. Today I got home from a full charge to 32% left. Watched maybe a half an hour of videos, some messenger chatting and a bunch of downloading.
Mine came with cheap headphones even though the listing says it doesn't.
I really like the phone. Will update this as time passes.
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