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BlackBerry Priv Review by Dieter Bohn

2015.11.10 17:49 PT

[ The Verge ] Dieter Bohn:

Let’s start with the physical keyboard, because it’s the most BlackBerry thing about the Priv. The screen slides up with a satisfying snik to reveal the four plastic rows. It’s a fine keyboard, and it registers my keypresses without fail, even when I type quickly. It’s laid out in classic BlackBerry fashion, the better to appeal to people whose thumb muscles still remember their Bolds.

The keyboard makes a BlackBerry, and the keyboard on the Priv carries on the torch.

Beyond the keyboard, the Priv’s hardware is quite good. It has a 5.4-inch curved AMOLED display, a size that’s Goldilocks-just-right for a phone with a slide-out keyboard: big enough to feel expansive, but not so big it’s ridiculous. The display itself is plenty high resolution at 2560 x 1440 and looks great.

Curved? You mean the cover glass ends are tapered. Like the iPhone 6, right?

Unfortunately, the camera is slow. Even in the best of cases, you’re looking at about a second between the moment your finger hits the shutter button (or space bar) and when the image is shot and saved in your gallery. With HDR mode on, I’ve seen it take upwards of 4 or 5 seconds to finish taking an photo.

This is not just a BlackBerry thing; some Android smartphones, like my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, takes a bit of time between taking the shot and letting me review it. I was able to get rid of that lag by uninstalling every app uninstallable, shutting down all apps running in the background, and ratcheting down all background system services. iPhones — even the old iPhone 4s I have running iOS 9 — do not lag one bit. It must be software, and Bohn urges patience because the software in general needs to be more stable.