Blackberry Priv with Android Review

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Priv, which is pronounced “priv” as in privilege, represents the Google-ization of BlackBerry. You can say out “OK, Google” to activate a voice search. You can take advantage of Google Now for predictive searches Google thinks you’ll be interested in. And in opening up Android to the BlackBerry loyalist — you’re still out there — devotees get access to the complete catalog of apps in the Google Play Store. On other recent BlackBerry’s you could get apps from the BlackBerry World (which you cannot get to from this phone) or the Amazon App Store.

BlackBerry chose Android for the Priv over its own BlackBerry 10 software, but the Canadian company insists it isn’t abandoning BlackBerry 10, which runs on other BlackBerry still in circulation, notably the throwback BlackBerry Classic and the passport-shaped BlackBerry Passport. I’m not ready to predict monumental sales, especially since it isn’t cheap.. You can get it “unlocked” for $699, so that it works with your wireless carrier of choice, so long as that choice is a GSM network like AT&T or T-Mobile. Or you can buy it under a plan from AT&T (no money down, $24.67 a month).

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BlackBerry claims you can get up to 22.5 hours of battery life in mixed use. If you’re out of juice you can charge it up in a hurry, though you’ll have to add a third-party fast-charger for this feat, since the one supplied in the box does not support fast charging.

When the charger is plugged in, you’ll see an illuminated green line along the right edge of the phone’s high-resolution (2560 x 1440), 5.4-inch display that clues you in on the battery status, even when the device is asleep. It’s a small but nice element.

BlackBerry claims you can get up to 22.5 hours of battery life in mixed use. If you’re out of juice you can charge it up in a hurry, though you’ll have to add a third-party fast-charger for this feat, since the one supplied in the box does not support fast charging.

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When the charger is plugged in, you’ll see an illuminated green line along the right edge of the phone’s high-resolution (2560 x 1440), 5.4-inch display that clues you in on the battery status, even when the device is asleep. It’s a small but nice element.

The biggest selling point, aside from Android, is the presence of a back-lit physical keyboard that lives up to BlackBerry’s reputation for making really good keyboards. You won’t see the keyboard at first — the designers have done an excellent job of hiding the keyboard under this relatively slim, near 6-inch tall slab. In fact, Priv is a little bit shorter than the iPhone 6s Plus, only slightly thicker and at 6.77-ounces weighs the same.

I don’t know if the Priv or Android can save BlackBerry. But it is a strong phone that may get more of you to give the fallen company another chance.


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