Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by AT&T but all opinions expressed within are my own. Since I travel the world for a living, it’s important that I have the right tools with me. When I travel, I’m not on vacation. I’m working constantly, no matter where I am. And since a smartphone is probably my number one travel essential (besides my laptop!), I need something that’s easy to use and offers a ton of features. I need something that I can communicate on easily – both with my colleagues and my family back home, takes great photos and has lots of apps.
I was a die-hard Blackberry user for years. Maybe longer than most people. When others had long since switched to new smartphones on the market, I still clung to my Blackberry. I just really liked it. I liked how compact it was and I loved the actual keyboard.
Eventually, I decided to give the other phones a try and have used, at one time or another, at least five different smartphones. But I was pretty excited to learn that Blackberry is back with a new device that combines the best of what I loved about Blackberry back in the day and new features and functions that make it a legit competitor in today’s market.
The new device is called Blackberry Priv. Priv stands for ‘privacy’ and ‘privilege’ and it runs Google’s Android operating system 5.1.1 Lollipop.
Here’s what I like best about the Blackberry Priv:
1. The look and feel
It’s just slick looking and feels great in my hands. It’s got curved edges and the size is perfect. Sort of a mid-range size as far as smartphones go these days. Not too big, not too small. Just right!
2. The screen
The screen is big, bright and bold. It’s a 5.4-inch curved 2560×1440 touchscreen. It’s got an AMOLED display – and while the actual technology of what that means and how it works is a little over my head, what I can tell you is that it means the screen is brighter, the colours are brighter and the blacks are darker, making for a more vivid visual experience overall. The screen is also coated with Corning Gorilla Glass 4, which should really protect it from nasty bumps and bruises and falls.
3. The keyboard
An actual physical keyboard was a big reason I’d stayed with my Blackberry for so long and now … it’s back! As a full-time writer, blogger and digital media guy, I’m constantly on my phone, writing, tweeting and texting on the go. I co-host the #TravelSkills Twitter chat every Friday afternoon and sometimes I have to do it on the fly – from an airport, on the plane, in the back of an Uber … so having a physical keyboard makes typing easier and quicker, which is obviously important to me. Fewer typos, too! Of course, there’s a touchscreen keyboard if you prefer that, but it’s nice to have the option to slide out the physical backlit QWERTY keyboard. It tucks neatly into the back of the phone when you’re done. You might not even realize it’s there.
4. The camera
Turn on the camera and you’re sure to notice the crispness and clarity of what you’re seeing. With an 18MP rear-facing camera (and a 2MP front-facing camera), the Blackberry Priv is offering users an exceptional tool for taking photos. I’m constantly snapping photos for my blog and for social sharing and these days, everyone is upping their photo game. Snapping high-quality photos on the go is increasingly more important and it’s great that I can do this with the camera that’s in my pocket and not always having to haul out my big Nikon. The best camera feature for me is that it performs really well in low light.
5. Android operating system
Blackberry Priv is Android-powered, which means that users will have access to the Google Play Store and all the apps you can find there. This is HUGE since in the past, the dearth of apps available on Blackberry was a big drawback. That’s access to 1.6 million apps (according to an estimate from July 2015) and since apps are what really turn a phone into a smartphone, this is a huge advancement.
Overall, I’m loving the new Blackberry Priv. It’s got everything you’d expect from a smartphone as well as its own unique features like the slide-out keyboard and several integrated security features that are said to make Blackberry Priv one of the most secure devices on the Android network. Form really does meet function in this new phone!
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.