Joanna Stern’s BlackBerry Priv Review

Joanna Stern, writing for the WSJ, has a more positive take than Bohn:

A few performance issues aside, the Priv is the first BlackBerry in years that I have loved using — and that I can recommend. […]

Typing on real keys with a phablet-sized 5.4-inch screen towering over them is odd at first, but once I found my acrobatic balance, my fingers were scurrying around at up to 60 words per minute. That’s about 20% faster than I type on my iPhone (though still 15% slower than on the BlackBerry Classic’s larger, wider, backlit keyboard).

The sculpted plastic keys were great when I had to write a lengthy email and make edits to a story. The keyboard also doubles as a touch-sensitive trackpad, allowing you to move the cursor. But even I, a former physical keyboard addict, ended up using the on-screen keyboard most of the time. It’s more convenient and easier to use one-handed. Our broad on-screen keyboards with smart predictive text have rendered BlackBerry’s classic keyboard the smartphone equivalent of a Colonial butter churn.

Switching to Android is probably the way to go, since the developer ecosystem for BlackBerry’s own BB10 never got off the ground. I’m not sure hanging their hat on a hardware keyboard is the way to go in 2015, though, even for BlackBerry. Like Joanna says, if they’d come out with this phone four or five years ago, maybe they could have kept their existing users. But today, almost everyone has moved on.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015