BlackBerry's latest handset has landed, the Priv. It makes a huge change for the company, moving to a new platform, looking, in the words of CEO John Chen, to deal with the problem of apps.
The Priv arrives wanting to retain what BlackBerry is known for, to appeal to fans of BlackBerry, while also appeal to those fans of Android. It's a collision of two cultures, a fusion of two worlds.
So how does the BlackBerry Priv stack up against BlackBerry's recent releases? We're running the stats gauntlet alongside the BlackBerry Passport, Classic and Leap, to see where this new handset sits.
BlackBerry Priv vs BlackBerry Passport, Classic, Leap: Design
The BlackBerry Priv offers a slider format which dominates the design, bringing you a fusion of what's offered across the keyboards of the Passport and Classic, and the large-screen touch experience of the Leap.
The Priv measures 147 x 77.2 x 9.4mm, but extends to 184mm when opened. It's the tallest of the BlackBerry family, although the Passport is wider (work wide!) at 90.3mm. The Priv, Passport and Leap are all similar thicknesses, the Classic being the fattest of the bunch at 10.2mm.
The Priv is pretty weighty, but its 192g is out-chunked by the 196g Passport; the Classic and Leap both come in lighter at 178g and 170g respectively.
The Priv has a metal-framed display with a rubberised carbon weave back cover. The Passport and Classic have a related combination of metal frames with plastic backs, while the more affordable Leap is a little more ordinary when it comes to the plastic body work.
BlackBerry Priv vs BlackBerry Passport, Classic, Leap: Display
The Priv naturally hits big on the display, with a 5.4-inch AMOLED display with a super-sharp 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, 543ppi.
This is, naturally, a 16:9 display and the only device that offers the same sort of format is the Leap, although this is smaller at 5 inches, and lower resolution at 1280 x 720 pixels, for 294ppi, so much softer.
The Passport and the Classic both have square displays due to their touch+type formats. The Passport is 1440 x 1440 pixels, for 453ppi, and 4.5-inches on the diagonal, which is a high resolution and pretty big.
The Classic is 720 x 720 pixels on a 3.5-inch display, giving you 294ppi again. It's the smallest display, but has the same sort of sharpness as the Leap. If you're after a big display, the Priv is the natural choice, combining size and resolution.
BlackBerry Priv vs BlackBerry Passport, Classic, Leap: Hardware
The Priv is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core chipset with 3GB of RAM. There's 32GB of internal storage and the option to expand this via microSD card.
This is a newer generation of hardware than the quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset that's in the Passport and the Classic, and should offer better performance and efficiency. The Passport has a similar 3GB of RAM, whereas the Classic and Leap both have 2GB.
The Leap is a different class of processor, with an aging Snapdragon S4 Plus. Both the Classic and the Leap drop down to 16GB of internal storage, but all offer microSD card expansion.
When it comes to battery, the Priv has a large 3410mAh battery, close to the massive 3450mAh of the Passport, which betters it in terms of stamina. The Classic sits at 2515mAh, the smallest capacity, with the Leap having a 2800mAh cell.
BlackBerry Priv vs BlackBerry Passport, Classic, Leap: Cameras
The BlackBerry Priv has a respectable 18-megapixel camera on the rear, which is a good performer as we found in our review. It has a Schneider-Kreuznach lens and dual LED flash, offering 4K/30p video capture.
It's not only about megapixels, however, although the Priv has more than all the others, with 13MP on the Passport, and 8MP on the Classic and Leap. The apps are different, so the Priv is unique, not offering some of the quirky features of the others, like Time Shift. It's worth reading our reviews for a fuller picture however, as we think the Priv is the best of the bunch.
All the BlackBerry models have a 2-megapixel front facing camera, capable of 720p capture.
BlackBerry Priv vs BlackBerry Passport, Classic, Leap: Software
This is the big one. The BlackBerry Priv launches on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, rolling in a number of useful innovations from BlackBerry on the top of Google's mobile OS, offering the full selection of Android features, apps and support.
The BlackBerry Passport, Classic and Leap all offer BB 10, the evolution of BlackBerry's OS up until the launch of Priv. BB 10 offers a range of highlight features that are distinctly BlackBerry and the experience across the Passport, Classic and Leap is close, although the Passport is the snappier device, and the Leap relies on the touch keyboard.
The Priv extracts one of the biggest elements of BB 10, the BlackBerry Hub. On Android this performs most of the same functions in the same way, giving you a universal inbox view so you can manage most of your messages and calendars in the same place. It isn't as fully integrated as it is on BB 10 (there's no system messages for example), but it's a good hook into BlackBerry and a benefit to Android.
Of course one of the main aims in of the Priv is to expand BlackBerry's horizons and benefit from Android's big ecosystem. You have a full Google experience and access to some of the best apps around, which BB 10 doesn't natively offer. You'll also have wider support with other devices, such as wearables and connected smarthome gadgets.
We think Android is the better platform, but we're really impressed that the Priv offers those BlackBerry elements - like keyboard shortcuts - that we love about BB 10 devices.
BlackBerry Priv vs BlackBerry Passport, Classic, Leap: Price
The BlackBerry Priv is a flagship spec handset and priced at £559, that's obvious enough, as it's the most expensive of the bunch.
The Passport, Classic and Leap have all been available for some time, and are much more affordable. The Passport is £399, the Classic is £349 and the Leap is £175.
BlackBerry Priv vs BlackBerry Passport, Classic, Leap: Conclusions
The BlackBerry Priv is hefty change of direction for BlackBerry, making a break from the BB 10 platform that has lead the company up to this point. The Priv brings that keyboard with it, although we don't find it as good to use as the Passport or the Classic especially. However, Android gives you the flexibility to really easily switch out the on-screen keyboard for a range of others, bettering the Leap's performance and a keyboard like SwiftKey is ultrafast.
Although the BlackBerry Hub on Android isn't quite as glorious as it is on BB 10 - not feeling as core to the device on Android - it's a strong platform for messaging and we really like it. There's power, performance, all the advantages of Android and great camera performance.
For us this is an easy call. The BlackBerry Priv might be expensive, but it offers so much in so many areas, it's our pick of the BlackBerry bunch.