After years of trying to stay relevant in the smartphone market dominated by devices running iOS and Android, BlackBerry has finally embraced the latter OS and released the BlackBerry PRIV. A premium smartphone with Android’s full ecosystem but layered with BlackBerry’s top-notch security features. Is the PRIV the one device that BlackBerry and Android fans are waiting for? Find out in our review.
We have published our first impressions of the device last week which you can read here. You can also watch our hands-on video below:
Design and Construction
Being the company’s first Android device, BlackBerry made sure to put their best foot forward. With an asking price of Php45K, the PRIV is as premium as it gets.
Up front, we have the 5.4-inch QHD AMOLED display mounted with Gorilla Glass 4. That glass bends through on the sides like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge +. It is then enclosed in a metal frame with gunmetal finish.
Above the display are the BlackBerry branding, earpiece, LED notification, light sensor, and 2MP front camera. Down below, separate from the frame, is a wide strip of pinholes for the loudspeaker and microphone.
To the left is the power button, while on the right are the volume buttons.
Right up top are SIM and microSD card slot and secondary microphone. Down at the bottom are the microUSB port and the headset jack.
Flip it on its back and you will find the 18MP Schneider-Kreuznach camera, dual-tone flash, and the BlackBerry logo. You will also notice the rubbery carbon fiber finish which is grippy and resistant to smudges and fingerprints.
Slide the display up and it will reveal the physical 4-row QWERTY keyboard which also accepts swipes for vertical and horizontal scrolling. The keys are very quiet but clicky. Typing on it will take some getting used to especially if you’re already used to typing on screen.
On hand, the PRIV is obviously made from premium materials. However, upon picking up, the device produces slight creaks which is most likely caused by the two sliding parts – the display and keyboard.
The size is good enough for users with large hands but those with small ones may find the PRIV too large and too tall especially when using the physical keyboard. Although sleek-looking, it’s not exactly one of the slimmest out there at 9.4mm and it’s hefty too at 192g.