Blackberry had once owned the market of smartphones like a king. Its devices were the first choice among bankers, lawyers, office executives and sales people. This was approximately a little less than a decade ago, when the phone’s operating system had fewer competitors and a promising privacy feature. As Android took over the world of smart phones, other operating systems have seen a gradual death, except the iPhone which has kept its head up high all the time.
With a footprint of less than 1% in the smartphone market, Blackberry emerges with the Blackberry Priv as it attempts to stay afloat in the competitive market of smartphones. While we are yet to find out if the phone makes it or breaks it as it enters the highly dynamic smartphone market again, the Priv’s most interesting feature is the slide-out keyboard.
Blackberry has taken great measures to design a phone that will look sleek and yet handle rough use. The Priv has a 5.43 inch screen below which is a slide out keyboard. The top of the device has the microSD card slot which can house SD cards up to 2TB and the SIM tray. The opposite end is the micro USB port 2.0. The phone uses AMOLED display lending the device bright and warm colors on the display screen. It has a woven glass fiber back which renders a classy touch to the phone.
Blackberry Priv comes with Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and the company is supposedly working to update the phone to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) in approximately six months. For a company where user privacy is at the forefront, Blackberry has made all efforts to ensure security on the phone. The Blackberry DTEK app is excellent when it comes to privacy. Some additions to the Android platform made by Blackberry to ensure security are, a cryptographic key embedded in the hardware and a hardened Linux kernel to avoid vulnerabilities.
Blackberry’s focus on business class customers points out the importance it gives to the security features of the Blackberry Priv. People had chosen a Blackberry above other phones because of its privacy features, and now that the phone has made a comeback, the possibility is that Blackberry fans may return to the phone and sales of the Blackberry Priv may surge in the market.
The Priv has an 18 megapixel camera at the back which includes optical image stabilization and the ability to record 4K videos. For a phone company that has not been much focused on cameras before, this seems to be a refreshing change, and the picture quality is fairly decent when compared to other phones. A 2 megapixel front camera allows 2x digital zoom and lets you take panoramic selfies. Pictures taken in low light are not very good, but overall the camera seems to produce good pictures.
The Blackberry Priv stays ahead of the game by using a 1.8 GHz hexa-core 64 bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor along with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. This means the phone performs well when it comes to using multiple apps and it does not show much lag. The Priv has a non-removable 3,410 mAh battery which renders the phone a longer battery life.
Blackberry’s comeback to the smartphone market is getting attention from many users who may contemplate returning to Blackberry. The phone’s keyboard and security packed software makes it desirable for those who want a change from typing on the glass of their phones. The security of Blackberry has always been noteworthy, and may win back the customers it had lost to Android.
The phone’s look and its advantage of having a keyboard may keep it ahead in the market of smartphones. While it is going to be competing with Android titans like Samsung and iPhone we can hardly forget that this is a phone company that had once dominated the market with its advanced technology. Blackberry’s prolonged wait before moving to the Android platform may make it difficult for the company to emerge at the top of the market. It may have been easier if we had Blackberry phones with an Android OS 5 years ago.