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BlackBerry Priv review

7.6/10 AVG.
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BlackBerry Priv
BlackBerry Priv
BlackBerry Priv
BlackBerry Priv
BlackBerry Priv
BlackBerry Priv

Informr score
The BlackBerry Priv currently has an Informr score of 7.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 46 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Sharp and vibrant display
  • Full Android OS
  • Glass weave provides good grip
  • Several layers of phone security

What's bad

  • Slow shutter speed on camera
  • Very poor low light photos
  • Physical keyboard might be too small and flat for some users

BlackBerry used to be the biggest name in the smartphone market. That was until touch screen came along. Now it is ranked fifth in worldwide market shares. BlackBerry hopes to regain some momentum with the release of the Priv – their first smartphone that runs on Android. Staying true to their roots, the Priv comes with a physical keyboard that slides out from behind the screen. Experts were split on the keyboard with some finding the experience enjoyable while others describe it as too small to type on easily. Luckily, there is the option of a touch screen keyboard, which worked well for critics. Design-wise, BlackBerry opted for a glass-weave. While this provided experts with a good grip, they also noticed the back had a good amount of give when pushed.

On the front is the 5.4-inch curved AMOLED display, a size many experts find to be "just right" for viewing PDFs and presentations. It boasts a resolution of 2560 x 1440 for a pixel density of 540ppi. As expected, experts found the screen to be very crisp and sharp. They add colors were very rich and accurate. They were a bit disappointed with BlackBerry's choice to go with a curved screen as it ended up distorting edges of apps and taking away from their overall experience.

While not top-of-the-line, the Priv does come with a 1.8GHz hexa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. On paper, performance was on par with other Android phones like the Nexus 5X. For the most part reviewers did not experience any stutters or lag though a few did run into the odd slow-downs in certain apps and the occasional missed input on the touch screen. It managed to last experts a full day as well thanks to the 3,410mAh battery. It is also comes equipped with 32GB of internal storage, which is expandable via microSD slot. And since this runs Android OS, users have access to all of the apps available in the Google Play store and can even turn off the BlackBerry features for a full Android experience.

The biggest feature of the Priv is its security (the Priv stands for privacy). BlackBerry has augmented Android's privacy and security capabilities by bring in their own Root of Trust – a process that utilizes cryptographic keys into the hardware. They then added verified boot and secure bootchain and the new DTEK warning system app to rate each security feature. It also utilizes the picture password featured on BlackBerry 10, which allows users to unlock the phone by placing a finger on the screen and moving across a grid to input the pre-selected numbers. While experts appreciated the extra level of security, they found the picture password required almost too precise.

Armed with an 18MP sensor with optical image stabilization and dual-LED flash, experts agree the Priv's camera is far and away better than any found on its predecessors. With that said, they add it cannot compete with the likes of the Nexus 5X or iPhone. In good lighting situations, they were able to take fairly detailed and accurate pictures. Their low light pictures, on the other hand, tended to be grainy with very low-contrast and details. Another issue some critics had was with the slow speed of the shutter. It would often take a full second between the time they pressed the shutter to the time the camera took the shot and saved it to their gallery, with HDR mode taking up to five seconds.

Reviews are mixed for the BlackBerry Priv. On the one hand experts appreciate the changes BlackBerry made in order to remain competitive. On the other hand, many feel like they fell short. Ars Technica states, "Other than a subpar keyboard and camera, everything on the Priv is merely passable…Maybe BlackBerry will convince some enterprise customers to buy a few new Privs, but for normal consumers, there is nothing compelling here." The Verge adds, "This thing is chock-full of really good ideas, badly executed…" On the other hand Crackberry states, "It's a solid device that brings a lot together in a pretty compelling package…"

Operating system
Operating system
1.8 GHz
1.8 GHz
Screen Size
Screen Size
18+ MP
18+ MP
3410 mAh

What the Critics Are Saying...


The handset's many positive qualities are unlikely the reason that Blackberry has not yet had any major success in sales with its Priv: The accurate touchscreen, the non-slip casing material, and the high-resolution screen please in everyday use. The various software modification and decent primary...

- Andreas Kilian, Notebookcheck
The Mobile Indian
The Mobile Indian

Priv is a classic phone that combines the best of BlackBerry and Android

- Anil Satapathy, The Mobile Indian

Three things can be said about the PRIV: it’s overpriced, over-engineered and over-reaching. Granted, it does a hell of a lot of things right — from the screen to the total reworking of Android — but it falls short in terms of practicality and value for money. It’s a brave le...

- Andy Walker, Gearburn
Fone Arena
Fone Arena

the BlackBerry Priv is definitely costly phone to get in India for its specifications, even though it has a hardware keyboard that is not available on any other Android smartphones. The performance it good and the camera and the battery life could have been better. If you are into BlackBerry ecosyst...

- Srivatsan Sridhar, Fone Arena

Definitely worth a look if you're a BlackBerry or physical keyboard fan, but for everyone else - they may go elsewhere.

- Dan, Coolsmartphone

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the BlackBerry Priv user manual here.

BlackBerry backs up the Priv with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Priv has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact BlackBerry support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find BlackBerry's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.


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Quick view

Screen Size

The BlackBerry Priv's screen size is 5.4 inches with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution.

1.8 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 Hexa core 1.8 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow) operating system (OS).

18+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 18+ MP camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.

32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3410 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are 1350 minutes, 500 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

BlackBerry Priv Specs

Release Date November 16, 2015
Regions Available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Operating System Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 Hexa core 1.8 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.05 W/kg
Body: 1.15 W/kg
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headset, Data Cable
Mobile / Cellular Data
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 2000 GB)
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Main Camera
Resolution / Aperture
18+ Megapixels
4x digital
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution / Aperture
2+ Megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Image stabilization, Wide Selfie
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels
Pixel Density 540 pixels
Size 5.4 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 4, Glove touch
Power & Battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3410 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to 670 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to 500 minutes
Internet Use (Cellular) Unknown
Talk Time Up to 1350 minutes
Standby Time Up to 17 days
Mixed Usage
Physical Characteristics
Design Type Slider
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.7 x 7.7 x 0.9 cm (5.8 x 3 x 0.4 in)
Weight 192 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
External Speakers Yes
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Input / Keyboard Type QWERTY, Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Additional Information Other Names (AKA):
Related Links Manual (PDF)
BlackBerry Priv Reviews
Where to buy BlackBerry Priv
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