CNET First Look
The BlackBerry Priv bets on Android and a novel, slide-out keyboardBlackBerry's first Android phone champions productivity and security, but the real star is the slide-out keyboard.
This is the BlackBerry Priv, and it's built to get stuff done. Now, it's BlackBerry's first Android phone. But it's hitting all the right notes, with a crisp curved display, speedy hardware, and the solid metal body that isn't too thick or heavy, but it's still a BlackBerry. You'll find favorites, like the BlackBerry Hub to help you manage all you messages. This is built from the ground up with security and privacy, or privacy in mind. And then there's the keyboard. I could do this all day. The slide mechanism is rigid enough that it wont pop open accidentally, but smooth enough to do casually with one hand. The slide means you get a nice 5.5 inch high resolution screen, and a full 4 row keyboard. No need to compromise. But whether or not you need a keyboard on a smartphone in 2015, is still up for debate. A keyboard leaves you more room on the screen to see the things you're working on. The physical key are spaced enough to type on accurately. But the keyboard is also really narrow. And the slide can be a bit top heavy especially if you've got smaller hands. If you've been itching for a phone with a physical keyboard, this is pretty much the only game in town. The sick design will turn heads and the hardware lines up neatly with the $699.00 price tag. That's unlocked without a contract. [MUSIC] Things aren't too clear cut for everyone else. This is BlackBerry's finest thanks in part to the switch from BlackBerry OS to Android Lollypop. But many of the elements that make BlackBerry special like the hub or BBM just seem to get in the way of Google's apps or third party tools for Google Play. The improvement is an important step for BlackBerry and the slide design is an exciting standout in a sea of black flags. But the competition remains fierce and the keyboard's novelty coupled with promises of secure entered OS might not be enough to move the masses and bring Blackberry back into the limelight.