Ermias “Amiaz” Habtu’s career as a TV host is going swimmingly well these days. He’s well known in Germany as a rapper and a TV presenter on several different popular shows. His breakthrough TV role, on Höhle der Löwen – the German version of the reality television series Shark Tank – earned him a nomination for Germany’s most prestigious television award, The Grimme-Preis (like the U.S.’s Emmy Awards or the U.K.’s BAFTA).
Like other celebrities, Amiaz leads a busy life and relies on his smartphone to keep him organized. He’s tried many different phones, including Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy Edge, and recently started using the Android-powered PRIV by BlackBerry. We talked with him recently about the PRIV and how it compares to the other phones he’s used.
Amiaz is one of many people we’ve talked with recently about how they’re using PRIV, including this bestselling author and pastor, this teenaged tech CEO, this TV chef, this Irish tech blogger and entrepreneur, this international sales executive, this aerospace engineer, this entrepreneurial lawyer, this sports editor, these twin fashion moguls, this consulting firm CEO, and this insurance manager. We’ve also heard from two groups of lifestyle bloggers (see this and this to see what they think), and a lot of everyday users.
BlackBerry: How do you keep your life organized with all that’s on your agenda?
Amiaz: As I present several shows, it’s crucial that I structure my day well.
My smartphone plays a central role here. It helps me organize and keep an eye on all my appointments, while my messages keep me up to speed with what’s going on. I can’t imagine getting through the day without my smartphone.
That’s why it’s with me throughout the day. I get up with it and go to sleep with it. It really is part of my life. In general, life is going pretty well for me at the moment. I get to present a variety of exciting shows and to meet lots of interesting people. I want things to continue this way. To make sure that happens, it’s essential for me to be reliable and to keep all the appointments I’ve planned – in front of the camera as a presenter, but also the interviews I do, of course. Needless to say, my fans come first for me. I keep in touch with them via my social media channels and enjoy letting them into my life a little.
Amiaz: For me, the BlackBerry brand stands first and foremost for security. In addition, BlackBerry has always created very good business smartphones. But I’m very pleased that it has launched the BlackBerry PRIV, an Android smartphone. I used to have an iPhone 4, but it really bothered me that it’s very difficult to get out of the “Apple world.” That’s why I changed to Android. When I heard that a BlackBerry with Android is now available, I knew I had to try it out. I find the PRIV truly excellent and easy to use. I didn’t find changing from my old smartphone to the BlackBerry remotely difficult, as using it is so intuitive.
BlackBerry: You mentioned security – what do you do to protect your privacy?
Amiaz: It’s important to me to be able to decide myself what personal data and pictures I share with others. Certain things are private and should remain so. My career is going very well at the moment, so I’m a pretty public figure. I’m grateful for this, but it also means that protecting my data is extremely important. But there are a few pitfalls that we’re not really aware of. For example, when you install an app, you usually just click “accept,” thereby releasing a lot of information about yourself.
What I find great about BlackBerry is that I can choose myself what data I want to share with the app provider. This unique feature is one of the reasons why for me, BlackBerry stands for security. Everyone knows that you have to install anti-spyware and a firewall on your laptop and PC. But along with a lot of other people, I wasn’t aware at first that you also need such protective functions for your cellphone. We’re always online on our cellphones and are therefore always vulnerable, though luckily I haven’t been hacked yet.
Since I became aware of these risks, whenever I get a new smartphone, I run programs that help me to protect the phone and to find it if I lose it. So I’m especially excited about the DTEK app on the PRIV. It’s pre-installed on the cellphone; I don’t have to do anything. What’s more, using it is easy. The colors and “tachometer” make it easy to identify areas where there are security risks. BlackBerry has taken a huge step forward with its DTEK app. They’ve managed to create a good security program that is user-friendly and easy to understand.
Amiaz: On a typical day, I reach for my BlackBerry and put on some music as soon as I get up. Music is very important to me: If I listen to music in the morning and evening, it’s all good. So it’s crucial that my smartphone’s acoustics are good and that the loudspeakers work very well. The BlackBerry PRIV excels in this regard: It has a really rich, impressive sound!
The BlackBerry Hub helps me to keep track of everything by bringing together messages from all channels. I can then prioritize and answer these messages quickly. I present several different shows at the moment, so being well-organized is critical. The PRIV lets me see all my important info, such as calendar entries and messages, at a glance. This helps me better coordinate my appointments on days when I’m filming. My PRIV practically replaces my office.
Fortunately, the PRIV’s battery lasts a long time, which means the phone keeps going all day.
BlackBerry: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about PRIV?
Amiaz: I’m also a fan of the PRIV’s camera. The quality of the camera is generally a very important criterion for me. The PRIV’s camera is absolutely amazing. In fact, the camera was the first thing I noticed. I enjoy taking photos morning, noon and night. I don’t want to just experience beautiful moments; I also want to record them. Not long ago, I was out one night with friends in Düsseldorf. I showed them how you don’t need a filter to take high-quality pictures; you just need a good camera. Then we compared the photo quality of an iPhone, a Samsung smartphone and my BlackBerry PRIV. We simply held the cellphones beside each other and took photos of the same object. The photo on my PRIV was impressively bright. It really struck me how good the camera is – much better than the one in my last smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Edge.
Want to learn more about the PRIV? Have a look at what major Android reviewers have to say about the phone, or read about how it’s been listed it as an incredible enterprise productivity tool. Ready to get your own? Take a look at the PRIV’s official product page or visit our availability blog to see where you can buy it in your country. Many carriers such as AT&T in the U.S. and Rogers and Bell in Canada are also offering PRIV at new, lower prices (as low as $299.99 on two-year contract in Canada or $21.34/month with zero down at AT&T).