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08-14-16 11:37 AM
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  1. jojetski's Avatar
    I am writing this review because I was not sure if I wanted to switch over to android based on my business use. I figured there may be people who have my requirements who would want to know what is in store if they do switch to the Priv from an OS 10 device.

    Quickly about me, I have been using Blackberry since the click wheel days; my first device was a color blackberry with the click wheel, then the original Bold, a Curve, a Torch 9810, a Z10, a Passport and now the Priv. I am a small business owner (attorney), the reason from my smart phone is to keep in communication with my business and to be able to handle those communications when I am not in the office. Security is important to me as I was in charge of IT security for over 20 years when I worked as a Senior Server Engineer; I have managed BES servers in the past and understand what they provide. I prefer a large display so that I can see what I am working on without doing a lot of scrolling and when I am on the web for business or fun I like a larger display. After Security and the Display size my next requirement is to have a keyboard to make input faster. Finally I want app compatibility, I have things like Honeywell HVAC and Alarm for my business as well as some casual games like candy crush for those times I am waiting for my wife to finish her shopping.

    After security, my biggest concern switching to the Priv would be how well it handles my e-mail and text. I have a Hosted Office 365 exchange account, a Hotmail account and texts. I read up on the Hub, Microsoft Outlook Client and the Nine exchange clients in depth and read about several other exchange clients. I decided to try the Hub first as I use it on my Passport and Z10 originally.

    The bottom lineI am very happy with the priv. I chose to wait to buy one until June 2016 for a few reasons.

    First, I try and keep my phones for at least 2 years before I buy a new one. It had only been a little over a year when the priv came out that I had had my Passport and my wife had her White passport. My daughter was still using her Z10.

    Second being that Blackberry had just started with Android I wanted to give them some time to get some updates out and some comfort with the OS. I remember getting my Z10 when it first came out. I loved it however I was disappointed that not all features of BBOS 7 had been migrated yet. I had to buy Hub ++ to get the notifications I was used to and there were a few other features that didnt come out until 10.2.1 before I felt like I had all of my original functions of BBOS 7. I figured if I had given it enough time I would not have to deal with some of the growing pains. I was hoping Marshmallow would be out by the time I bought my phones because I knew Marshmallow would allow Blackberry to be more granular with the security.

    Third I knew when I upgraded to the priv I would be buying 3 phones. My daughter had been waiting for the priv to replace her z10. Also I buy my phones outright from Blackberry. I got burnt on the Z10s being bought from AT&T and waiting for updates. It was so nice on our Passports to get updates right away because we bought them directly from Blackberry. Being that I am buying 3 phones (if I bought them at full price) we are talking about $2,000. I was waiting for the first price drop before I made the change. I was REALLY tempted to buy 3 during the lets dump our priv inventory blowout from AT&T and being that we are on AT&T I knew eventually I would get the updates but I held back. I could read in the forms that people were still waiting on Marshmallow and previous monthly security updates. It is worth a higher price to me to get the updates when they are ready and not wait months.

    Once the fathers day sale was announced I bought 3 privs right away to get the sale price. I have been very happy with my priv. With the app launch (swipe up from the bottom and choose one of three apps including the hub) it feels like OS 10 to me but improved. OS 10 I could swipe up and to the right to get my hub no matter where I am. On the priv I swipe up and to the right to get my hub but I can also swipe to the left and get my calendar the second most used app on my priv passed the hub and swipe up to the middle and get my phone screen the third reason I use my phone. Thats an improvement.

    Between blackberry and google updates to the apps, I am getting app updates weekly. Whether you agree or not OS 10 support is waning and will get worse over time in my opinion both in apps and the actual OS. I want to be on a healthy vibrant OS that is growing and being updated. Annoying blackberry loyalist will argue that weekly updates mean there are a lot of bugs. I say that is crap because there are many updates, especially in the browser, that should be happening on OS 10 but are not. They are in maintenance mode on blackberry not on growth mode like Android.

    As far as battery goes it has been awesome. As I stated I started with Marshmallow so I cant comment on lollipop. On my passports I easily would go two days on one charge as long as I wasnt doing casual games. I am not a road warrior, when I am in the office I am using my landline and my computer to do all of my communicating except for a random text that will come in. If youre getting great battery life on the passport I think you will get the same on the priv as that is what I am experiencing. Even if I do play games etc I definitely can make it the whole day on one charge.

    So what are the negatives? The biggest negative to me is that the text client was not written by blackberry it is the native google client. Therefore, your texting experience will be 100% seamless like it is on OS 10. Dont get me wrong it would not be a reason for me to not switch because it works OK but it could be much better. First, since it is not a native blackberry app the notifications dont work the same. I had to resort to 3rd party LED manager to get the color LED I wanted for my text. Being the manager was free it didnt cost me anything (I chose light manager) but before you say see it isnt fully backed that is the exact thing that happened to me when OS 10 was released. I had to resort to Hub ++ (and pay for it) to get the same functionality I had on BBOS 7. It can get confusing switching from the native blackberry text app and the hub for settings etc. but its not the end of the world. I just hope that blackberry writes their own text app it will make integration much tighter and what I expect for paying a premium to own a blackberry device. I could switch to another third party text app but for now I will use the built in one and hope blackberry brings out their own.

    The next biggest negative to me is the LED notification. It only shows you the last notification. Meaning I have blue for corporate e-mail and green for personal e-mail and purple for text and yellow for calendar. I love to be able to look at my phone and know what has happened. However, the way android works is the LED only blinks that last notification color. If it is blinking blue and then a personal e-mail it switches to green and the blue stops. On OS 10 it would blink green and then alternate with blue so I know I have both types of e-mails waiting for me. This can be fixed by blackberry because their clients (e-mail, calendar etc) are sending out the notification. They can code their apps to realize a second notification has come in and then manually alternate the color even if the OS does not do this natively. This is where value add can come in. This is also another reason to do a native text client, that would give them more control.

    Staying on the notification theme I havent (because I dont think I can) figured out how to get the vibrations setup like OS 10. I had it one vibration was a business e-mail. Two vibrations was a text or calendar. Three or more was the phone ringing. They dont have it that granular for all of the e-mail, text, calendar. You can on some but not on others. Again OS 10 had this same limitation when it first came out so I had to rely on Hub ++ to get what I wanted until OS 10.2.1.

    The next annoyance is the keyboard. I like the option of the keyboard but I lived with the Z10 for a while and have gotten (sort of) used to an on screen keyboard. Plus, for quick replies the on screen can be easier to use. After having a passport (where the keyboard was TOO spread out) and switching to the priv where the keyboard is too close together I can say the only two keyboards that worked well for me were the bold and the curve. All other keyboards since have been a bust. However, there are ways to improve the priv now. First would be to put the numbers up on the screen (as a default option). That way I can do letters and numbers quickly with the physical keyboard and a small on screen keyboard. They did that with the passport and it worked really well. If I think typing on a squished keyboard is bad, well it gets worse when I have to hold down the alt key to get numbers. Then when I push the symbol to get the onscreen numbers.what does it do.it defaults to all the symbols I dont need. I called tech support to see if I could set this behavior to default to the second symbol screen (the one with the numbers, period etc) but no, every time I hit the sym button I then need to hit the switch button on the symbol screen to get to the symbols I want (the numbers). This is why for short messages I used the on screen keyboard because I get letters and numbers in one screen.

    The next annoyance is how to set things up. Screens are not consistent. It took me a while to find all the settings to get the phone setup the way I like. OS 10 is a more consistent interface, android feels like a city that wasnt planned properly so there are weird streets going strange places instead of a planned grid pattern.

    The final annoyance would be the curved screen. From an aesthetic perspective I love the curved screen it looks good and I think cool. However, when youre holding the phone it is WAY too easy for your hand to touch the edge of the screen and cause things to happen you didnt intend because the screen is curved around and the side of your palm or finger touches the screen. On a non curved screen that rarely happens.

    So what improvements did they make?

    I love the new calendar. I can see a single day while still being in month view and quickly move around the calendar. OS 10 is not as smooth. Once you go to day view you can only switch to a day within the week then you have to go back to month view to go to a different day. On the priv you expand a day and above the day and below the day is the rest of the calendar you can just scroll to your next day, press it and now your looking at that day. Much easier and faster.

    I like the swipe left and right gestures in the hub. You can set them to do what you want, I have swipe left to delete the message and swipe right to mark it as unread.

    Regarding performance, I dont see any lag and it is as smooth as my passport was. I keep my apps to a minimum so I am sure as with any phone, and os that if you load too many you might bog it down.

    I have followed some thriving technologies and some dead technologies over the years (can anyone say Zune or HD-DVD). It can be painful to follow a dead technology and at some point youre going to have to change. I have just learned to try and see the writing on the wall and move over before it gets to painful. I think the writing is on the wall OS 10 is in maintenance mode and will be dead sooner rather than later. I was looking for Priv to be as close to my OS 10 experience and I believe it is. Is everything like it was on OS 10, no but as I stated before OS 10 was missing things from BBOS 7. Hopefully over time those few missing things will show back up. I like what blackberry stands for in the security area and I want them to succeed so I think buying an Android secured by blackberry only furthers this goal. I also think that should be there marking slogan. Blackberry powered by Android is not as compelling as Android secured by Blackberry. To me that is what they are selling. For the morons who think that android sold by blackberry should be the same price or cheaper than an equivalent android I couldnt disagree more. Blackberry adds a lot of value and should charge for that. As a business owner I am fine with paying a premium to get the security and would expect to pay it. Also major corporations will understand it. Blackberry just needs to educate. They should do videos of a stock android phone getting compromised and how those same programs would fail on a blackberry because the root is locked in silicon.
    07-30-16 05:47 PM
  2. gebco's Avatar
    Very well written. I appreciate the thought process and your reflections. Much of what you've said mirrors my experience as well. I'm in public sector management and also depend on my phone for effective communication.

    Posted via the CrackBerry App for Android
    syclone1978 likes this.
    07-30-16 06:06 PM
  3. Aju's Avatar
    Posted via CB10
    Last edited by Aju; 07-30-16 at 06:41 PM.
    07-30-16 06:09 PM
  4. chrispmoto's Avatar
    Great write up.
    I love my Priv too.

    Clicked and flicked with my Priv.
    07-30-16 06:33 PM
  5. dmits's Avatar
    After a few months you will not miss OS10 at all. The original Bold 9000 was an absolutely fantastic phone and that was the best BlackBerry keyboard ever. The 9900 also was a great keyboard but except for its upward wave not bigger than the Privs so even with my large hands I type faster than on a Passport. My only question would be, BlackBerry didn't tell you to swipe down on the physical keyboard to get the symbols and numbers on your screen? Once down - symbols, twice down - numbers and more . Once more down and it's gone. use the physical keys or tap on screen key to type symbol or number. Double tap to move cursor around is there too.
    Matt J and FF22 like this.
    07-30-16 07:04 PM
  6. IamLadyK's Avatar
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Priv. My experience is very similar to what you described. The biggest adjustments for me have been setting the notifications to my liking (vibrate and the blinking light), the texting app (switched to Textra), and the phone settings.

    Please share what you did to change your phone settings and how your wife and daughter are adapting to their new phones.

    Posted via CB10 on BlackBerry Z30
    FF22 likes this.
    07-30-16 11:02 PM
  7. LyoobaBerry's Avatar
    I'm about the bite the bullet and buy the PRIV for the sake of not becoming a dinosaur.
    I will, however, keep my Passport SE by my side for one and one thing alone: the Link

    I need access to many shares, placed on servers across the globe and being able to access those without a VPN, whenever I need a file or be sent a link to a file on some of the network shares, is very, very important to me.

    I also hope we will see the Blend on Android by BlackBerry in the future, as that is also one of the things I absolutely need and use dally

    SE is for premium, unless you're that other fruit user
    FF22 likes this.
    07-31-16 05:31 AM
  8. TheBirdDog's Avatar
    I'm about the bite the bullet and buy the PRIV for the sake of not becoming a dinosaur.
    I will, however, keep my Passport SE by my side for one and one thing alone: the Link

    I need access to many shares, placed on servers across the globe and being able to access those without a VPN, whenever I need a file or be sent a link to a file on some of the network shares, is very, very important to me.

    I also hope we will see the Blend on Android by BlackBerry in the future, as that is also one of the things I absolutely need and use dally

    SE is for premium, unless you're that other fruit user
    The 'Link' is a huge portion of what makes BB10 devices such useful tools, no doubt! I am really hoping that BlackBerry does bring this functionality over to Android too. I also really see it as a security issue. I don't need to use a cloud to access files on my laptop from my mobile device and vice versa. As a phone touted as 'the world's most secure' this would be a big piece to carry over from BB10 that would reinforce that claim even more!
    FF22 and LyoobaBerry like this.
    07-31-16 06:28 AM
  9. JeBe4's Avatar
    As a wife, I'm glad you don't interrupt our shopping

    Posted via the CrackBerry App for Android
    anon(3641385) and TheGraduate like this.
    07-31-16 07:48 AM
  10. CharlieV's Avatar
    Very nice post. Mirrors my experience, too, but I have put my Passport in a drawer after dual carrying a short time.

    And I am glad that I am not the only one who thought the Passport keyboard was too wide. When I have mentioned that criticism (that it takes two hands to do anything in a Passport) I get incredible flak here.

    I liked my Passport but when I pick it up now, after having become comfortable with the Priv, it seems slow and cumbersome.

    Posted via the CrackBerry App for Android (Priv)
    andy957, jacla and jfalkingham like this.
    07-31-16 08:33 AM
  11. BigAl_BB9900's Avatar
    Thank you. A really informative write-up.
    08-01-16 08:13 AM
  12. medic22003's Avatar
    Good, honest write up. Did you know that if you swipe down on the pkb you can bring up different vkb that show characters/ punctuation and or numbers without using the alt key? You can do the same with the vkb. As soon as you choose what you want off the vkb, when you hit space on the pkb you are right back to typing letters. I'm only mentioning that because if you weren't aware of it it makes adding numbers when using the pkb much easier. I didn't ever have a passport but moved back to android from a z30. I like my priv a lot

    Posted with my shiny new Priv
    andy957, crackbb10 and FF22 like this.
    08-01-16 08:45 AM
  13. samtronswt's Avatar
    How's the speed difference between the passport and the priv, in regards to browsing and using apps you used on both? I'm using the passport now and thinking of picking up the priv or the new pkb whenever it releases. Problem is I'm so use to the passport keyboard, that the priv keyboard seems to cramped.

    Posted via BlackBerry Passport.
    08-01-16 02:27 PM
  14. jojetski's Avatar
    I'm about the bite the bullet and buy the PRIV for the sake of not becoming a dinosaur.
    I will, however, keep my Passport SE by my side for one and one thing alone: the Link

    I need access to many shares, placed on servers across the globe and being able to access those without a VPN, whenever I need a file or be sent a link to a file on some of the network shares, is very, very important to me.

    I also hope we will see the Blend on Android by BlackBerry in the future, as that is also one of the things I absolutely need and use dally

    SE is for premium, unless you're that other fruit user
    I agree that Blend would lend a lot more functionality and reason to pay extra for a android secured by blackberry. I used blend for a while with my Passport and to be honest it annoyed me. When I am at my computer I have outlook always open. With blend open (at least in the beginning) I would get double notifications and there was no way to shut blend off for e-mail notifications. I didn't want to reply to e-mails in blend because outlook is way more functional and I have been using it since 97. I did like to be able to text from my computer screen so I do think blend is cool, but personally I unloaded it because it was more annoying than useful but I can see a real business case why it would help some people.

    Since I am not a road warrior and work out of two offices that are linked with VPN's and I can vpn in from home I don't have the same need you do to get to file shares but again I can see a strong business case why you would want to do that and NOT store things in the cloud that you don't ultimately control. The only thing I keep in the cloud is e-mail because managing an exchange server for two employee's is not worth my time. However I have fully encrypted, and replicated my file servers with all of my clients data and I don't keep it in the cloud I keep it on my file servers in both locations for data resilience.
    LyoobaBerry likes this.
    08-01-16 03:11 PM
  15. jojetski's Avatar
    After a few months you will not miss OS10 at all. The original Bold 9000 was an absolutely fantastic phone and that was the best BlackBerry keyboard ever. The 9900 also was a great keyboard but except for its upward wave not bigger than the Privs so even with my large hands I type faster than on a Passport. My only question would be, BlackBerry didn't tell you to swipe down on the physical keyboard to get the symbols and numbers on your screen? Once down - symbols, twice down - numbers and more . Once more down and it's gone. use the physical keys or tap on screen key to type symbol or number. Double tap to move cursor around is there too.
    No the guy at blackberry didn't. Thanks for that tip, I usually read the manual of any phone I get to "find" things but I haven't had time to read the priv manual. I will give it a try. That also speaks to how quickly I was able to adapt to android without reading the manual.
    08-01-16 03:24 PM
  16. jojetski's Avatar
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Priv. My experience is very similar to what you described. The biggest adjustments for me have been setting the notifications to my liking (vibrate and the blinking light), the texting app (switched to Textra), and the phone settings.

    Please share what you did to change your phone settings and how your wife and daughter are adapting to their new phones.

    Posted via CB10 on BlackBerry Z30
    I use the native LED notifications for E-mail and Calendar and I use Light Manager to do the color I want for texting. I only use Light Manager for Texting as I try and use native whenever I can.

    I haven't been as successful with the vibration and I ran out of time when I was setting up the phone and never got back to it. Right now text's vibrate and corporate e-mails vibrate and I think I have the text where it vibrates twice.

    My wife and daughter are really liking their phones. My wife came from a Torch 9810 to a Passport to a Priv. She has not complained about the keyboard at all. She is a heavy texter as she uses it for her business to communicate with clients to setup appointments and when they are running late etc. I migrated her old texts from her passport to her new phone. It had a limit of I think 3,500 or 5000 she had more than that on her phone but she was okay with the 3500 most recent.

    My daughter came from a Z10 to the Priv and I think the mainly uses the onscreen because she got really good at the Z10.

    Both like the app possibilities, but both mainly use their phones for communication and browsing.

    When migrating I took the SD Card out of my wife's and my passports respectively and put them in our priv's and all our music and pictures that were on our SD Card's just show up in the native google music and photo apps without having to do anything. I just used a USB copy to get photo's off the internal memory.
    08-01-16 03:31 PM
  17. jojetski's Avatar
    As a wife, I'm glad you don't interrupt our shopping

    Posted via the CrackBerry App for Android
    I have sat many a night in Target or Ross playing candy crush near the dressing room. Target is fine....Ross doesn't have chairs any more...quite annoying.
    anon(3641385) and FF22 like this.
    08-01-16 03:32 PM
  18. jojetski's Avatar
    How's the speed difference between the passport and the priv, in regards to browsing and using apps you used on both? I'm using the passport now and thinking of picking up the priv or the new pkb whenever it releases. Problem is I'm so use to the passport keyboard, that the priv keyboard seems to cramped.

    Posted via BlackBerry Passport.
    The keyboard is cramped compared to the passport there is no doubt about it. I had a Torch 9810 which was cramped also however on that phone it had a side bezel next to the edges of the keyboard which kept my larger fingers from working too well on the side edges of the keyboard. At least this time they got it right and there is no side bezel and your finger can hang over the right and left edge of the keyboard so it is an improvement over the Torch 9180 which is very close in size but it is no passport that is for sure.

    My apps run great (native) and the 10 or so android apps I used on OS 10 they work fine. The only exception is a Movie Theater app for the Maya Cinema chain. It is weird but it worked fine on my Passport using the ART but on my priv when I scroll down the movie list it will pop back to the top of the list without me doing anything. I bet (but cannot confirm) it is some bad coding that has been exposed by running it on Marshmallow but I could be wrong. But it is funny that blackberry ran the android app better than android. That is the only app the rest of my apps work great and now I get VUDU and Flixster (one of them did not work on blackberry) so I can watch my ultraviolet collection if I like. My wife browses more than I do on the phone and she is happy with it. I use a Fire tablet or my pc.


    Bottom line the speed to me is the same, I get no lag switch to the hub and from the hub to apps. In OS 10 when you swiped left from the hub you would be put to either your icon screen or if you had apps running you would see them as tiles. On the priv in any screen you press the Square icon at the bottom and that puts you in a screen where you can see (and select) any of your running apps. Being that is one gesture to swipe on OS 10 or one gesture to press the square it is equal in amount of time to accomplish the same thing.
    andy957 likes this.
    08-01-16 03:45 PM
  19. fanisk's Avatar
    Thanks for the fair review.
    I am coming also from the Passport and my experience is quite similar with yours apart of the battery life that I find about 20- 25% less in the Priv and for the physical keyboard that I find absolutely good .

    Posted via my BlackBerry Priv
    08-02-16 06:37 PM
  20. Charlie Brown10's Avatar
    Good review however it seals the deal for me that Blackberry Phones are not fully fleshed out. For example he thinks this keyboard not great, there in blend on the Priv, so what you get is the Hub and security? Will take a pass when you can buy a Nexus Android that gets updates fast, no bloatware and you can use text apps like might sm text, pushbullet etc, looking forward to trying out my Nexus 5x next week. If I can deal with the glass keyboard I am pretty sure I will be saying good bye to the uncertain future of Blackberry 10 and my best ever Classic/ or may continue to use classic till it does not function. Will write about it after Nexus Test Drive All bets are off on Android though if office 365 exchange does not sync well with Android native email, calendar and contacts, or if Outook app works flawlessy
    08-12-16 02:24 PM
  21. Cong Tuan Nguyen's Avatar
    Just a heads up but you can swipe down from the pkb, then swipe down again to go to the second symbol screen

    Posted via the CrackBerry App for Android
    08-12-16 03:14 PM
  22. SaltGuy's Avatar
    Wow... Thanks for the detailed review! I am considering taking the leap. Just saw BlackBerry dropped the price buying direct from them to $499 in US. Until end of August.
    08-12-16 03:56 PM
  23. bberrist's Avatar
    Thanks Jojetski! Really a good and interesting read - enjoy your new phones!

    Posted via CB10
    08-13-16 12:23 PM
  24. jacla's Avatar
    @Nguyen. Nice tip!!

    Posted via the CrackBerry App for Android
    08-13-16 12:34 PM
  25. Harcourt's Avatar
    Very informative and unbiased commentary

    Posted via the CrackBerry App for Android
    08-14-16 10:57 AM
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