Gadget Review – Why Does BlackBerry Exist in 2017

Why Does BlackBerry Exist in 2017

– Hey guys, this is Austin. It is 2017 and Blackberry
still exists, but why? At one point Blackberry
was pretty much synonymous with the word smartphone, however over the last few years, they made some questionable decisions. First up, we have the Blackberry Passport. Now this is very much
sort of the last hoorah of the Blackberry 10 devices.

As it was still completely
manufactured by Blackberry, it ran their software, and had a very much Blackberry keyboard. So this guy was released back in 2014, however, it's just a little bit different than the old Blackberries back in the day. (Laughs) As a size comparison, this is what the Passport
looks like compared to a Galaxy S7. While it's not that much taller, it is so wide, like this is, that's a crazy crazy phone in the hand.

I've gotta say though, it is unique. There's definitely no
other phone out there with such a big display and an actual physical keyboard. So it's rocking a 4.5 Inch,
1440 by 1440 display. Now it might be a little bit weird to have a modern smartphone
with a square screen, but in this case it actually
does kinda make sense as having the keyboard
on the bottom is sort of a Blackberry trademark.

In fact actually it might
be a Blackberry trademark, like an actual Blackberry trademark. (Laughs) Something kind of cool
about the Passport is that the keyboard is actually a touch pad. So for example, I can use it
to scroll up and down this or maybe swipe left or right,
depending on what it is. I mean of course it has a touch screen, so that kind of negates
a lot of the usefulness of a touch pad, but it is a sort of
useful feature to have.

(Laughs) I like how before it even
lets you get into the phone you have to read about Blackberry and how they're a global leader
in mobile communications. Sure guys. All right, so we are up and running with the Blackberry Passport. Even though this phone is a
couple years older at this point it actually has pretty reasonable specs.

So inside it has a
Snapdragon 801 processor paired with three gigabytes of RAM, and it also has a pretty monstrously sized 3450 milliampere hour battery, putting a lot of phones
even from 2017 to shame. So when it comes to BB10,
it's actually not that bad. So some things that I like about it is just how easy it is to multitask. Everything's very nice and smooth.

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It's pretty responsive
especially considering that this is a three year old phone. When it comes to apps, there are some. So, for example if you
open up the YouTube app, it's just a web app which is the same for a fair few of these, but to be fair stuff like the Twitter app actually works reasonably well and you also do have some
support for Android apps. This is done through the Amazon App Store.

So the way it works is
there's a virtual version of Android running on top of BB10. So if I jump into something like Spotify, (upbeat music) It works pretty much as you'd expect. Some apps don't really take
too kindly to the square screen and generally speaking
performance isn't great, but it does work. Now, beyond that, you
can have some issues.

So for example, a game like Crossy Road, just completely fails
to do anything for me, but considering that
this is an older phone and it's running sort of a
cludgy put together gross version of Android, the app
support is not terrible. Honestly, there's a lot I really do like about this Passport. If it was running an up to
date version of Android, I would actually definitely
give this a shot. Next up we have the Blackberry Priv.

Now this was an interesting
phone for one big reason. It was the first Blackberry
to ship with Android instead of BB OS. Take a look at the box and you'll see they promise
privilege and privacy. That is quite the statement
to put on your phone.

Crack this one open and
you'll see a Blackberry that looks a little bit different. So at first glance it looks
like a traditional smartphone, however if you roll it up, roll it up? It actually does have a full keyboard. While the Passport is a really wide phone, the Priv is incredibly tall. And of course once you
slide the keyboard down it's not that much bigger
than an average phone, and to be fair the hardware
here is pretty nice.

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It does feel a little bit plastic-y, even with the fake
carbon fiber on the back, but it feels pretty
reasonable in the hand, especially considering that you do have that physical keyboard. I think Blackberry did a pretty good job of engineering it into the Priv. So the mechanism feels pretty solid. If you open it up you can
feel just a little bit of flex in the chassis,
but it's not too bad.

But of course, you're getting
a very thin smartphone, not even considering that there
is a full keyboard inside. A physical keyboard is decent. I don't think it really quite matches up to some of the earlier
Blackberries like the Bold. I think it's just a little
bit mushier than I'd like, but again, I've been on some
software keyboards for years.

So if this is something that's
a really big deal to you, I think the Priv might make some sense, but honestly, I would probably use it with the keyboard down all the time. Something that really jumps
out to me is the display. Not only is 1440p, but it's also OLED, and it really shows. The colors are nice, the blacks are dark.

Honestly, I really do like
the hardware of this phone. The Priv was the first
Blackberry Android phone, but it is most certainly not the last. That's where the DTek 50 comes in. So this, while it has the
Blackberry name on it, is very much not a true Blackberry.

While this was a launched
less than a year ago, what you're really getting
here is a little more than a re-badged Alcatel Idol 4. So not only does it not have a way of getting out of the box. (Rustling) So gone are most of the traditional sort of Blackberry things like Blackberry OS. As this guy runs Android, as well as the physical keyboard.

It very much is exactly
what it looks like, a fairly generic $300 smartphone. So here we're getting fairly
close to stock Android, so there are of course
some Blackberry apps including BBM, which of
course is already available on Android and iOS anyway
right now, as well as DTek. So this is all about security. So in theory, this is going to allow you to amplify the security of
a traditional Android device and it kind of works.


So you can see here
that'll give me some sort of warnings as far as I need
to set like a screen lock or turn on data encryption. It also reminds me that I
am using a Blackberry device and therefore device
hardware is a-ok I guess. But generally speaking,
this is not really anything that special compared to other
devices specifically Samsung which has a very similar
style of software. So while these phones aren't
running Android 7 just yet, they are at least fully up to date.

So if you check the Android security patch it's from March 5th which
was just a couple weeks ago from when I'm recording this video and that's nice to see, especially since the Priv is
coming up on two years old. Of course it'll be nice
to have a newer version of Android to go along with it, but at the very least, they
are keeping these up to date, and since it's fairly stock version of Android, hopefully those updates will continue for a little while. So while I don't really
recommend these phones, there's nothing necessarily
wrong with Blackberry. Sure, they're nowhere near
as big as they used to be, but these days, they're
making decent Android phones with solid hardware and some
legitimately cool features such as a physical keyboard.

It might not be for
everyone, but I do believe that there's a place
for Blackberry in 2017. So, would you guys buy a Blackberry? Let me know in the comments below and I will catch you in the next one..

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