The PRIV is just the perfect phone after which Blackberry can die
Last year I wrote about how I’d (at least temporarily) abandoned my smartphone for something a lot more basic.
There were plenty of reasons, but the main one was to help with my parallel decision to quit Twitter.
There’s a lot great about smartphones, but also a lot horrible. You already know the worst of it: The urge to constantly photograph one’s food, the inability to hold eye contact for more that 30 seconds during a conversation, not to mention whatever the hell constant access to information is doing to our memories and our ability to read long texts.
Still, earlier this month, having successfully weaned myself off Twitter, I decided that the time was right to start looking again for a "real" phone, albeit one without the toxic bird app.
But only if I could find the perfect one. I’ve had iPhones and Androids but truth is I’m one one those elderly people who misses my old Blackberry keyboard. I’ve tried the new generation Q10s and Classics (my desk drawer owns both) but the OS is so appalling and the lack of apps so infuriating that, in the words of Buzzfeed writers, I just can’t even.
And then I saw it. The Blackberry PRIV. The worst named cellphone since the Motorola Razr but also potentially the answer to my prayers. I was overdue an upgrade so, reader, I bought one.
You know that scene in the Richard Pryor remake of Brewster’s Millions where finally the interior designer produces his perfect apartment, just in time to send it all back? That’s what Blackberry has produced with the PRIV. The perfect hybrid of Android smartphone -- great OS, every app I could possible want (and all the others I don’t) -- plus the security of Blackberry and -- joy! -- a retractable Blackberry keyboard.
Of course, extending the keyboard makes the phone roughly the size of an ironing board and, of course, this being Blackberry they couldn’t help themselves and had to include the weird email/social combined inbox thing from the Q10 and Classic. But the battery life is great, the camera delightful, the speed excellent and THE KEYBOARD!
The PRIV is the perfect Blackberry. It also marks the death of the brand. RIM is longer an OS developer, or even really a handset designer, they’re a keyboard manufacturer. A damn good keyboard, but a keyboard nonetheless.
And the worst of it: Having the choice of a great keyboard and a neat-oh touchscreen, I've found myself using the keyboard less. It’s great for long emails and drafting articles like this one. But for everything else, the touchscreen is just fine. By slapping their keyboard on a beautiful Android phone, Blackberry is slowly weening me, and probably countless other Blackberry-or-bust fans, off our addiction.
If you love the Blackberry keyboard as much as I do, but are pragmatic enough to know you need Apple or Android to function in the real world, you absolutely should buy a PRIV. It’s everything they promise, and more.
Marilyn, this is the phone I could die in.
Ok, fellas, take it all back.