Even though they have fallen on hard times, BlackBerry is still a pride and joy for Canada. Excitement grew when John Chen took over as CEO of BlackBerry, but it took them a couple of years to finally produce an Android-based smartphone – the BlackBerry PRIV. Except for its high price tag, it has received favorable reviews and sales were brisk…all things considered. Today is another good day for BlackBerry PRIV owners, because just as it was reported two days ago, PRIVs sold via the carriers are now receiving their Marshmallow upgrade. According to reports, Wind Mobile, Bell, TELUS, and Rogers have all started to roll out the upgrade, which weighs in at a hefty 1.1GB, so you might want to make sure you are hooked on to WiFi to speed up your download.
A couple of days ago when it was reported the update was coming on May 3, we went into detail about the added security and features that Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow would bring to the BlackBerry PRIV. Our full review goes into more detail, but suffice it to say, the PRIV offers some hope for BlackBerry, but needs some improvements if it hopes to compete with the likes of Samsung, HTC, or LG in the smartphone arena – especially when it carries a price tag of $720. It sports a 5.4-inch OHD Super AMOLED display that is curved on both edges – they go around the edges over the slide-out physical keyboard – and is packing 540 pixels-per-inch (PPI). It uses a 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.8 GHz and a quad-core clocked at 1.44 GHz. The PRIV packs 3GB of DDR3 RAM and 32GB of internal memory with a microSD slot to expand up to 200GB. BlackBerry – never known for their cameras – made an effort with an 18MP sensor with Schneider-Kreuznach optics, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), OIS, dual-tone flash, and a f/2.2 aperture. The front-facing camera (FFC) comes in at 2MP for selfies and video chatting. A 3,410 mAh non-removable battery with rapid charge provides power. It comes only in Black and is made of plastic.
There are rumors that two more Android-driven BlackBerrys will be released this year - one with the physical keyboard (BlackBerry Rome) and one without (BlackBerry Hamburg). Hopefully, BlackBerry will take what they learned with the PRIV and apply it to the new models.