BlackBerry Priv-A Hardware Keyboard With A High Price

Blackberry priv Hands on

The BlackBerry Priv is theAndroid phone with a hardware keyboard.This smartphone is stylish and its stystem performs well,but the cost of entry is high.

The BlackBerry Priv is a BlackBerry phone that runs the Android OS. As such it is both a sign of BlackBerry’s desperation to find a market, but also another interesting smartphone from the company formally known as RIM. BlackBerry may be struggling for relevance as a phone maker in the post-iPhone world, but since it relaunched with the Z10 it has been continually making high quality and useful devices.Blackberry priv Hands on 03The recent BlackBerry Passport may not be your idea of fun, but it is unique, useful and high quality. The same could be said of the BlackBerry Classic – certainly not an iPhone clone, well made, well specced. BlackBerry makes only good quality hardware, and its software support remains excellent – albeit usually on the BlackBerry OS.

So whatever the existance of the BlackBerry Priv says about BlackBerry, Android and the current smartphone market, it is an interesting product. BlackBerry really doesn’t do anything else, and the first non-BlackBerry OS BlackBerry handset has to be worth a look. Especially as it is the only Android worth your consideration that has a hardware qwerty keyboard.Blackberry priv hands on 03That’s what it costs, but what about value? Well, the BlackBerry Priv’s wrapparound screen most closely resembles that of the Galaxy S6 Edge. Even the super expensive iPhone 6S retails from between £459 and £619. If the Priv wants to compete at this top level of the pool, it needs to be good.

The BlackBerry Priv is saddled with a SIM-free RRP of £569 in the UK, and $699 in the US. That puts it firmly in the upper echelons of flagship smartphones. Here in the UK you can pick it up from Selfridges for £579, or on contract from Carphone Warehouse for £54 a month with a £19 up front cost. Head over to Amazon UK and the Priv will set you back a whopping £669, currently.Blackberry priv hands on 02That’s what it costs, but what about value? Well, the BlackBerry Priv‘s wrapparound screen most closely resembles that of the Galaxy S6 Edge, which retails for around £650 to £700. Even the super expensive iPhone 6S retails from between £459 and £619. If the Priv wants to compete at this top level of the pool, it needs to be good.

The display wraps around the front of the BlackBerry Priv in a similar way to that of the Galaxy S6 Edge. And as an all black, glass-fronted smartphone with silver metal trim the Priv looks the part of a high-end phone. Around the back we find the traditional patterned BlackBerry finish with B’Berry logo in the middle. There is a protruding Schneider-Kreuznach camera sensor that stops the Priv lying flat on its back.

Along the top are trays for both the nanoSIM and microSD card. These pop up in a way that is simultaneously practical, as well as a little old school and somewhat flimsy feeling. Down the bottom we find a microUSB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Overall the BlackBerry Priv is something of a curate’s egg, design wise. Good looking and well put together, with some mildly disappointing elements that feel less than premium.