I have used this new phone for a week and will tell you why I love this new phone from Waterloo. I will also tell you what I don’t love about the Priv in the next part of this review.
Before you start comparing it to QWERTY old Blackberry, let me tell you that this is not a phone for everyone. It is clearly meant for top management, which has for many years been BlackBerry’s favourite clientele. It is priced to take on the top-end flagships like the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+. The price means even BlackBerry does not expect it to be a mass product.
Specs: 5.4-inch WQHD AMOLED display (2560 x 1440 pixels) | Snapdragon 808 processor | 3GB RAM | 32GB storage space (expandable to 200GB) | 18MP rear camera with OIS + 2MP front camera | 3410 mAh battery | Android 5.1 Lollipop
Price: Rs 62,999
It’s different: All the buzz so far about this phone has centred around how this is the first Android phone from BlackBerry which has been pushing its own operating system for many years. I choose to look at this phone differently. For me, this is the best Android phone with a keyboard at the moment and that is a pretty place to be in for BlackBerry, a very lonely place too. I am very adept at typing really fast for long durations on the smartphone and tablet. But I’m still in a minority. There are lots of people who do it because they don’t have an option and the handful of Android devices with keyboards are low-end devices not really meant for power users. With BlackBerry stating that it’s going to roll out more Android devices that play to its strength of keyboards and security, this could be a niche the company can really tap into.
The right tweaks: BlackBerry has been good enough to retain most natural elements of Android while adding their bits as add-ons and not as a wrap like other manufacturers have tried. I found the BlackBerry hub to be a great productivity app given that it plugs all my incoming messages into a single app with fewer chances of missing out on stuff. The gestures from BB10 OS have been added in a way to conjure what you need when you need it. Smart widgets work a bit like 3D Touch and are innovative, helping keep the home screens clean and clutter-free. I loved the shortcuts on the home screen to things you need the most like battery percentage, compose mail and so on. You will need to curate them a bit, but these are again very practical.
Design: The design is nothing revolutionary, certainly not for BlackBerry. But it seems to be the most natural way to add physical keys without making them look like an appendage. The overall size of the phone is very handy and if no one told you, there is no way to figure out that this phone has a slide out keyboard.
Call quality: One BlackBerry goodness that people take for granted is the overall call quality. If you are the sort that value your business then these calls are important enough for you to be able to communicate effectively in the traditional ways too. This phone has one of the best call quality I have experienced in recent times, both on the handset and on speaker phone.
Before you think I have sold out to BlackBerry, please note that this is my first blackberry device and I am just appreciating a good work done.