BlackBerry Priv is faring worse than expected

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by maflynn, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    As stated by the cnet article: BlackBerry Priv is faring worse than expected

    I can't say that I'm overly surprised at the dour news,
    I also figured, that BB loyalists and not typical shoppers were also the ones that would buy them
    Pricing was the other factor that doomed the phone, and this is one aspect that is really a head scratcher, why in the world did they price it over the iPhone?

    I suspect any new phones coming from BB will take the Priv failure lessons to heart and offer a less expensive model that pehaps doesn't have a physical keyboard. Consumers have largely moved away from wanting physical keyboards and there's no way BlackBerry can recapture that magic.
  2. MRU, Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016

    MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    It was a device that I bought as it peeked my interest, but the build quality, and for me the heat the 808 generated inside it made it a device I just could not ironically 'warm' to.

    Whilst the phone definitely felt grippy, it also felt 'sticky' which for me was unpleasant. The keyboard which should have been the best thing about a BB device, just wasn't the best. Indeed the on-screen keyboard performed a lot better.

    Battery life for me was only ok, but the Priv is one of the few devices that felt physically too warm to hold. It even got warm in the pocket.

    I liked the Hub, I liked the software generally. The camera was OK. But ultimately the phone felt a bit 'mid range' in its choice of specs and general build quality which was frankly not where it should be - especially given the premium Blackberry were and still are charging for the Priv compared to other handsets on the market.

    There wasn't enough blackberry exclusive 'good' stuff to make the priv a better choice than any other android handset frankly.

    A nice device, over priced and under supported - especially as its their 'only' android handset - the updates were still painfully protracted affairs.

    It doesn't surprise me that it failed somewhat in a considerably challenging android market. Not sure I can see them bounce back after it.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Yeah, BlackBerry seem to definitely be doomed. Stretching outside their comfort zone with manufacturing an Android phone was a bad move IMO. The BB loyalists wouldn't want an Android phone, and the Android loyalists wouldn't want to pay that extra for a BB when they could get more value and familiarity from a Samsung/HTC.

    From what I understand, BB OS 10 was really quite smooth and functional as well.

    The only hope is that BB have a lot of useful patents. Possibly if they just concentrated on services, they might have a hope to survive. I can't see them taking back anything close to a modest hardware share.
  4. epicrayban macrumors 604


    Nov 7, 2014
    I've stopped considering BlackBerry devices long time ago.

    One single handset wasn't going to bring them back to anywhere near competitive. It would require years of undoing their stigma for me to seriously consider them again.
  5. Casfin macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2016
    It seemed to be a half baked device from the get go.
  6. Aneres11 macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2011
    Well from someone who actually has one and has used one since January full time, I find the news disheartening but not surprising.

    It's no secret that the Priv was completely overpriced and still is overpriced.

    The biggest problem is the build quality of the device. Its form factor isn't really an excuse as the material on the back of the phone is just a little too cheap, which has caused lots of creaky devices (3 for myself in total!)

    I am a BB loyalist, and I loved BB10, but this mix of BB software with Android is absolutely perfect for me.
    I also think that they nailed the design of the phone. I haven't met anyone yet who has seen my Priv and not liked the look of it. Which is something that I can't say for the current crop of Android smart phones. Particularly the HTC10 and Nexus 6p which everyone on here seems to think are the greatest phones going, (I'm sure they perform wonderfully) but for me they look like the phone version of watching paint dry.

    BB's support of the device is also very welcome and they are listening to what people are saying.
    The biggest early complaint was the slow camera, which has been sped up with updates. Same with the hub. Whilst still not as good as BB10, it now supports WhatsApp, Instagram, and is getting closer to where it was.

    People used the phone for like 3 days and decided the keypad wasn't very good. Takes a bit longer than that to adjust to using a physical keypad in this world filled with slab full touch devices. It's also smaller than BB's past keypads, so it's not going to be instant.

    The leaked Hamburg and Rome devices look very interesting to me, particularly the Rome. I think that device is more like what the current crop of BB10 users are going to want.
    I for one have my eye very closely on it, and hope it gets a release from BlackBerry at some point this year.

    Regardless of their 'stigma', whatever that actually is to most people, they still make great devices and all of their BB10 phones were good phones in their own right.
    And as for the Priv, at least they kept it virtually stock Android with sprinklings of BB rather than whacking a terrible skin onto it. That would have just given people even more to pick on, and seems like there is enough to go at already! ;)
  7. Lloydbm41 Suspended


    Oct 17, 2013
    Central California
    Blackberry died 2 years ago. John Chen and co have just been using strings to make the corpse twitch every so often to fool investors and consumers.

    By the end of 2016, BB will cut their mobile division off, fire all those employees and stop updating all phones. Any consumer that buys a BB device should be warned of this and not complain when it happens. You have to be a blind fool at this point to give that company any of your money.
  8. Aneres11 macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2011
    Wow thanks so much for this advice.
    Thank God you're here with this kind of info! Best sell my Priv and buy something else to avoid the heartbreak at the end of 2016 when they cut their division off.
  9. JamieLannister macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2016
    There are only two players in this game of phones. Android and iOS. Everyone else is like 3rd fiddle. Blackberry is doomed. The movements you see are just rigor. Once that stops there's nothing to salvage. They bring in these CEO's to try to revive the brand when everyone and your grandmother faintly remembers that name "blackberry".

    Sell the patents while it's still worth something.
  10. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005

    But the Priv Is an android handset ...
  11. Aneres11 macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2011
    Whilst I admit BlackBerry have been terrible in promoting and advertising their Priv (and pretty much all of their handsets in the last 4-5 years...) comments like the one you quoted just make me :rolleyes:.

    It's a worry.
  12. IFRIT macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2012
    There was and is not enough BB loyalists around for them to stick with BB OS if there were do you really think they would be in the position they are now? they had to try and reach new markets.
  13. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    That's a shame, I actually liked BB10, it felt rough around the edges but had some really cool concepts. I really liked the version they had on the playbook, very reminiscent of webos which I loved. I wish they had kept developing it, I understand why they moved to android, but I don't think it was the best choice, not with Samsung and HTC making some of the best phones out running android.

    I looked at the priv, but the price seemed high for the type of camera and performance your getting, and the keyboard while novel I just wasn't feeling anymore, not after getting used to touchscreen keyboards. I hope they don't go under, but it's not looking to good at the moment.
  14. MRU, Jun 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016

    MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    The annoying thing is that something like the Passport Silver running android would have likely been better received all-round compared the Priv. The build quality between the two alone is a mile apart.

    I like bb10 too, but the lack of apps even with the slow android emulation baked into it made it a platform i could never use fully.

    Android with blackberry sounds on paper to offer a better solution, but the Priv hardware was average especially given the premium, updates have been much too slow to the OS and there generally was too much repeated functionality in their implementation of android launcher that made things like the BB hub slower and more restricted than the bb 10 implementation.

    As a first go there are lots of positives though too, but by releasing this one only device in 2015 at a retail price nearly double the Moto X Pure which offered near identical specs (albeit without the physical keyboard, but a bettered build quality). Then BB owed those Priv customers much better build quality than what was released and definitely far better OS support.

    I don't know if anything they will do going forward will change things. But I'm not adverse to giving them another go, but only if hardware quality, software and more importantly price are finally comparative to others android hardware.
  15. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    A friend of a friend is selling for $200. You think it is worth it, I have been told there are no issues with it except it being very warm while using which I already knew and I could get my money back if I do not want it. It is an unlocked black variant.

    I do not think off the top of my head I can get a device with these specs and display resolution for this price.
  16. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    And remember that BB is really good regarding the security patches.
  17. Aneres11 macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2011
    You definitely cannot for that price.
    And it still performs well. The SD processor in there is not the greatest, the phone does get toasty but most Android devices can heat up when in use. Hopefully that will become a thing of the past soon.

    The screen is great, really good for media I thought.

    Even if you don't like the PKB, BlackBerry's virtual one is one of the best I've used. You would have to give it a good trial and see what works for you, but for that price it's a no brainer I would say!
  18. Tsepz macrumors 68020


    Jan 24, 2013
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Give it a go and see how you feel about it.

    I hope it's not one of the early units, as though had bad build quality apparently.
  19. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    Well I pulled the trigger and I will not ask for my money back. :)

    The software was all up to date and for the price I have nothing to complain about especially since it is in excellent condition. It really does not even get hot, warm at times but not hot.
  20. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    Well, the Z30 and the Leap are now around $160 new.
  21. Aneres11 macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2011
    excellent to hear! :)

    if its excellent condition too them you got an absolute steal.
    how are you finding the PKB? its the one thing people either loved or hated. I got used to how small it was bit it took me some time. Was horrible going back to touch typing after that!
  22. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    I tried it and it is small so how much I will use it remains to be seen. Even so it will not change my feelings about the PRIV, some would say might as well buy something else. But at my cost the PRIV turns out to be a steal for me with its specs and the way it is running.

    Lol, I have to figure out how to choose the recommendations it is making for words I type. I am clueless, I can choose it on the bottom but the recs come beforehand at the top and middle of the keyboard with even minimal letters I type.
  23. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    The real surprise is the headphone output, instrument detail and soundstage on well recorded music is outstanding and it can even drive my dt770 80ohm headphones. I am tempted to try a pair of Senn HD600 which no smartphones I brought with me for audition back when could drive that.

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