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PRIV: the Good – the Bad – the Ugly

02.10.16 / Jim Opfer

41A little over a year ago I wrote this ‘”tongue in cheek” article … 11 Things Wrong with the BlackBerry Passport. I basically called the Passport the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I have played a little with Android phones over the years, but I always concluded that BlackBerry devices are better, especially BB10 OS.

(This post is republished from LinkedIn Pulse with the author’s permission. Check out the original post as well as the discussion on CrackBerry.)

For the last 14 months my Passport has been my trusted phone and to this day I absolutely love it, but a funny thing happened on my way to the future. When BlackBerry announced their move to Android a few months ago I thought they were nuts. But at the same time reality was starting to set in on my Passport. Things like…

  • I could not ever find a way to use Snapchat without getting blacklisted by Snapchat. My kids were sending me snaps and I never saw them.
  • I love my Pebble Time watch, but getting it to work reliably with BB10 was a constant triage, almost daily. Plus I had to pay for the BB10 Pebble apps which ate up both the Pebble and the Passport battery.
  • I then also needed other Android apps, some worked fine and others were worthless because of their tight integration with the Android Play Store.
  • And on and on…

I started doing extensive research on the PRIV, watching the forums and the many articles.

I am a T-Mobile customer, so last week I walked into a T-Mobile store. played with the PRIV and I was impressed. So I asked the rep what it would cost me to walk out of the store with a PRIV. His answer, “not a cent out of your pocket now, starting in March you pay $27/month on your bill until the phone is paid off.”

Given that I had 14 days to return the phone, I thought what the heck. Ten minutes later I walked out of the store with a Priv in my hands.

Now the journey began…

Since both the PRIV and the Passport use the Nano SIM card, I didn’t need another SIM card, a great advantage for my testing.

Opfer-PRIV1I booted up the PRIV and decided to just use it over WiFi for a few days while still using my Passsport as my main device.

  • The first thing I did was load the Content Transfer app onto my Passport. It was amazingly easy to transfer all my Passport content to the PRIV just using my SD memory card.
  • Second, I went to the Play Store and installed updates for all BlackBerry PRIV apps. See screen shot at right…
  • Third, whenever I had time I used it to get smart on Android, the gestures, etc. Yes, at times this was frustrating until I realized that I was thinking too complexly, as Android really is easy and simple to use.
  • Fourth, and my big surprise – LESS than two days later I took the SD card and SIM card out of my Passport and went fully operational on my new PRIV. And less than three days after getting the PRIV I haven’t gone back since!

The Good


The PRIV is a very elegantly designed device. I thought that the Passport was great, but the PRIV is AWESOME!


Ok, here is where I initially had my doubts. It took me little time to realize that the PRIV software experience is the best of any BlackBerry I’ve ever owned.

The Bad

  • No Blackberry Blend for the PRIV … yet! (Learn about BlackBerry Blend – The power of BlackBerry now on your computer and tablet.)
  • I absolutely love Blackberry Blend and used it all the time on my PC. I have no reason NOT to believe that BlackBerry will soon launch Blend for the PRIV as they already have it for Android tablets. In the meantime I’ve chosen to live without it.

priv mirrorThe Ugly – Absolutely nothing!

Summary: BlackBerry brilliantly chose to move to Android for their new devices. I just hope that it’s not too late!

(The PRIV is now available in 16 countries! Click here to stay up to date on the PRIV’s launch dates. In the meantime you can also check out the PRIV’s official product page, how to/demo videos, and see what other publications are saying about the PRIV.)

About Jim Opfer