The BlackBerry Priv is undoubtedly the company's best smartphone yet, and it trounces rival devices when it comes to battery life. However, in a world where the word 'BlackBerry' is no longer associated with cool, and touchscreen keyboards are the norm, the Priv might suffer from limited appeal
Gorgeous screen, excellent camera, stellar battery life, great keyboard, solid design
A little bulky, software bugs, expensive
Display: 5in AMOLED 1440x2560 QHD AMOLED display
Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Operating system: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
Storage: 32GB, expandable via microSD up to 2TB
Battery: Integrated, 3,140mAh
Camera: 18MP rear, 2MP front
Dimensions: 147x77.2x9.4 mm
The BlackBerry Priv is the company's last chance of survival in the smartphone market. In its bid for survival, the company has decided to equip the BlackBerry Priv with Google's Android software, admitting to V3 that the lack of big-name apps on its own BlackBerry 10 alternative has contributed heavily to its long and well-documented downfall.
Not only is BlackBerry looking to Android to save itself, it's also hoping that the inclusion of a slide-out Qwerty keyboard will appeal to those who have been longing to ditch on-screen keys. The question is, do these people exist anymore?
The first thing you'll notice about the Priv is its size. The 5.4in screen, coupled with a discrete slide-out keyboard, mean it's by no means the thinnest or lightest of devices at 9.4mm thick and 192g. Saying that, we could squeeze it into our skinny jeans pocket, and we didn't find the Priv too cumbersome to use comfortably. The keyboard-come-trackpad also makes for easy one hand operation.
There's something oddly great about the BlackBerry Priv in terms of design. The overall appeal of the handset is that it's different to most others out there. The rear of the phone is made from the same Kevlar material seen on BlackBerry smartphones of old which, while lacking the glitz or glamour of the iPhone 6S, feels pleasing to the touch and retains BlackBerry's business-style heritage.
The BlackBerry Priv has a 5.4in 1440x2560 QHD AMOLED screen, complete with functional curved edges similar to those seen on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. The pixel density of 540ppi makes the screen as gorgeous as you'd expect, and it easily matches its Samsung competitor thanks to the deep blacks and punchy colours that the onboard AMOLED technology offers.
This display is toughened with Gorilla Glass 4. We've had a few clumsy moments with the phone, and the screen has come out unscathed.
It's been a long time since we've included a 'keyboard' section in a smartphone review, as BlackBerry has equipped the Priv with a slide-out Qwerty keyboard in a bid to set it apart from other devices on the market.
We didn't expect or want to like this keyboard, but our week with the Priv seems to have changed our mind. Rather than opting for the onscreen keyboard when typing an email, we've been using the physical alternative, making use of the full 5.4in of screen real estate. The keys are small, but so are our fingers, so we've found typing satisfying and quick, but those with bigger digits might struggle somewhat.
This speedy typing is helped by BlackBerry's intelligent predictive text, near identical to that found on the Z10 smartphone running the BlackBerry 10 OS. The Priv will show three words you're likely to type next, and to select one you simply swipe up on the keyboard. This means that the keyboard can also be used as a makeshift trackpad, while individual keys can be set as shortcuts to fire up apps - 'i' for Instagram, for example.
Next: Performance, software