Blackberry Priv – Not a phone for the aam admi in India

PRIV by BlackBerry is the first-ever BlackBerry smartphone powered by Android available in India. The device combines the best of BlackBerry’s productivity, security and privacy features with the massive application portfolio that comes with Google Play. PRIV is an ultra-thin device with a dual-curved touchscreen, somewhat like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and a physical keyboard. The phone boasts of an 18 megapixel camera, long-lasting battery and unique tools that allow users to manage and control their privacy.

PRIV is a well-designed phone that has solid build quality and has good design. The device is remarkably thin for a device with both a touchscreen and a keyboard. The back of the phone has a carbon fibre finish that looks great and makes the device feel premium.

The hardware inside the solid build is also pretty decent, it comes with a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage with the option of expandable storage up to 2TB using a microSD card.

Security is one of the main reasons you buy a Blackberry phone and in that regard the PRIV does pretty well. You get the privacy controls that monitor and report on application access to the microphone, camera, location and personal information. This is great but has now become commonplace and baseline. Other security features you get via the DTEK application that is home for everything security on this Blackberry device include factory reset protection, remote management, data encryption and operating system integrity amongst others.

Security also comes in the form of BlackBerry’s hardware root of trust, a unique manufacturing process, that injects cryptographic keys into the device hardware, providing a secure foundation for the entire platform. Keys have been embedded to verify every layer of the device from hardware to OS to applications in order to make sure they haven’t been tampered with.

Additionally, thousands of modifications were made to harden the Linux kernel with numerous patches and configuration changes to improve security.

In my opinion, BlackBerry’s biggest strength is still its EMM Solution. PRIV can be integrated with our leading EMM solution, BES 12, which offers cross-platform management of PRIV and other devices; providing a full end to end security solution and secure collaboration applications for business users like Secusuite for secure voice and WatchDox for secure file sharing. PRIV comes ready for work. Android for Work support allows for fast, simple and secure integration with the enterprise environment. Seamless integration with Google Play for Work enables easy access to IT-managed apps. While PRIV will provide a choice in operating system to new and existing customers, the company remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, and will continue to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements.

As part of BlackBerry’s cross-platform strategy to provide a greater choice of secure solutions to its customers, users will see a seamless merging of key BB 10 productivity features like the BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Calendar into PRIV.

Blackberry’s commitment to security ensures that users are always up to date with the latest patches. You get the update for Android 6.0 available right away.

In terms of hardware, you get a 5.4-inch dual-curve OLED display with a resolution of 2560×1440 and a pixel density of 540 PPI, 4 times the amount of pixels of a standard HDTV. The PRIV has a 3410 mAh battery with enough power to work through my entire day without running out of power. In terms of a camera you get an 18MP camera, certified by Schneider-Kreuznach. The front camera is terrible on the other hand and a big deterrent when it comes to the average consumer.

The phone comes with 32 GB of on-board storage and support for micro SD cards up to 2TB, also get powerful speakers and a three-microphone system.

Available at an MRP of 62,990, the price tag is the biggest hindrance to the Blackberry PRIV being a mass market success in India. The phone’s specifications although good do not justify the price tag for the average consumer. Enterprises however, will find a lot of value in what Blackberry’s PRIV offers and since more security-specific phones like the Blackphone are not officially available here. Blackberry’s PRIV is the best choice without a doubt.


Processor: 64-bit Qualcomm 8992 Snapdragon 808 Hexa-Core

Operating System: Android6.0 (updated)

Memory: 3GB RAM

Storage: 32GB built-in storage (expandable: Up to 2TB via microSD)

Display: 5.4″ touchscreen with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and 24-bit color depth at 540 ppi

GPU: Adreno 418, 600MHz GPU

Battery: 3410 mAh non-removable Lithium Ion battery

Color: Black

Price: Rs 62,990

Posted by on May 9, 2016. Filed under Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.