Mobile Phones


Blackberry’s new Android smartphone Priv impresses, but is our data private?

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 November, 2015, 7:42pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 November, 2015, 11:05pm

Blackberry just announced Priv, its first ever smart phone with android system. With Blackberry’s security features, iconic keyboard and the wide range of app from Android ecosystem, it may be the one product that is going to save the struggling company.

Blackberry ditched its own operating system but stuck to its physical keyboard and it is one of the best features the phone has to offer. The Priv is 9.4 mm thick and first time user may not even realize there is a keyboard that slides out under the 5.4 inch screen.

Blackberry puts the speaker at the bottom of the phone which made the phone better balanced. It helps to avoid feeling of top-heavy when typing.  The keyboard is also a trackpad. It is especially handy for scrolling down web pages with links. You won’t click on links by mistake. The keys on the keyboard can also act as customizable shortcut keys. You can press Y to run Youtube or press B to call your boss.

The second most Blackberry thing is security. By switching to a more open and customizable operating system, Blackberry opens gate to a lot of risks.

To be more secure, Black berry developed a tracking app called Dtek. It tracks what every app is actually doing and notifies the user. Many applications are doing more than suppose to, if the flashlight app is also collecting your location details, the app will take note.

Blackberry also added security features in the hardware. It injects cryptographic keys into the hardware so that every component of the phone cannot be tempered with.

But the company did admit that phones with their own operating system are more secure than android ones and it will continue to make that for security concerned markets and Android phones will be the company’s focus in the future.

The operating system is simple and clean. Blackberry did not add many modifications like many other phone maker. The phone’s interface looks a lot like Google’s original design. t said the reason is to keep the phone simple and fast, since software modifications take time to load. It also makes updating the system much faster so that the phone can add on security patches in time.

Blackberry is many people’s work phone but new features in Priv could make this an entertaining phone too. The 5.4 curved screen has a resolution of 2560x1440 and the phone can support external storage of SD card up to 2TB (there isn’t SD card with this amount of storage). That gives more room to movies and pictures. And of course, there is the wide selection of games and contents in the GooglePlay store.

Overall, the Priv is overall a solid android phones. It has the design quality and specifications of other flagship phones. It also cost the same amount of money at HK$ 6500. But the Blackberry feature and charm would make it more competitive. The phone will be available to the city in mid-November.