BlackBerry Priv review

BlackBerry's first-ever Android phone is excellent – it's just too late

Blackberry Priv

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge / S6 Edge+

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

One of the closest competitors of the BlackBerry Priv is the Galaxy S6 Edge (and larger S6 Edge+), which in itself is good news for the Canadian firm – it's been years since its handsets could be seriously considered worthy rivals to the Korean giant's high-end offerings.

The Galaxy S6 Edge also has a luscious dual-curve QHD display, which looks simply fabulous, and Samsung has wrapped it in a beautiful metal and glass body. The overall effect is a handset which looks like it's travelled back from the future - which, if you've seen the similar Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, it kind of has.

The Priv can't match the S6 Edge in terms of premium look and feel, nor can it match the Samsung's performance, which is consistently slick. Then consider that you can pick up the S6 Edge for less than the Priv SIM-free and it's tricky to recommend BlackBerry's latest smartphone over it.

One thing the S6 Edge doesn't have, though, is a physical keyboard – and you don't get that retro-cool slider mechanism either.

BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry Passport

The Priv isn't BlackBerry's only smartphone – in fact there are two other top-level devices currently in the firm's stable. And for those looking for a big screen, and a more traditional BlackBerry-esque experience, the oddly proportioned Passport could be up your street.

It's the only square smartphone on the market, and for many it's just too crazy – and the presence of the BlackBerry 10 OS keeps this phone out of the mainstream market.

Yet, those who love the BlackBerry keyboard do love the Passport, and the extra screen real estate is perfect for lengthy emails, packed calendars and some serious web browsing.



A very similar-size screen (5.5 inches vs 5.4 inches), the same screen resolution, the same power and the same operating system – the LG G4 and BlackBerry Priv have a number of similarities.

And both phones sport slightly unusual designs, with the G4 featuring a banana-esque curve and (if you opt for it) a leather back.

The LG G4 has witnessed one of the most impressive price drops among flagship devices since launch, and can now be picked up for the same price as some mid-tier handsets.

Battery life isn't the greatest on the G4, and build – as with the Priv – leaves a little to be desired. It's easier to accept these shortcomings in the G4 though, thanks to the lower price – as the Priv isn't quite the same level of bargain despite its own price drop.

BlackBerry Classic

BlackBerry Classic

Is the Priv the perfect smartphone for loyal BlackBerry fans? Probably not. For those of you who live and die by the physical keyboard, the BlackBerry Classic is likely to be far more up your street.

As the name suggests, the Classic takes its cues from BlackBerry handsets of old, with the iconic design, keyboard layout and square screen all present to delight the BB faithful.

If you're looking for a portable email machine the Classic is still the best option out there; but these days many of us want our smartphones to do a lot more than just email, and it's in meeting these additional demands where the Classic falls down and the Priv steps up.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.