08-14-2017 07:42 PM
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  1. libra89's Avatar
    I just broke out the 5c for the next few days while my 5X gets here. (I gave in because battery life, Nougat, and that I suspect my DT-900 is on its last legs)

    So more on that to come!
    Ooh yay! I am also curious about your 5x impressions. It's a nice phone.
    10-01-2016 03:22 PM
  2. xandros9's Avatar
    Alrighty I've been rolling in work for a while and now just got around to writing stuff up again. I've been using the 5X for something around three weeks now but I've got to touch on iOS 10 on my 5C first.

    iOS 10 is, well, the latest major iteration of iOS and it's changed up a lot.

    Here's my critique:

    iOS 10 is the fourth major release the 2013 iPhone 5c has received and the fifth major release it's hardware (on par with the 2012 iPhone 5) has seen. Major kudos to Apple for getting that down. When just about literally all other mobile players both can't and won't go the distance, Apple does it.
    Also impressive is that performance is still good. I won't say excellent yet but it doesn't leave me wanting most of the time which probably makes it adequate for most people. Where previous iPhone's would start bogging down significantly as the updates roll out like the iPhone 4 and 4S, this hasn't quite happened here. Battery life hasn't suffered either as far as I can tell.

    The new "press home to unlock" is something I have mixed feelings for. I generally don't like it since without the Raise-to-Wake functionality the 6s and above sees, it increases the required button presses 100%. (not counting AssistiveTouch use)

    I like the new Camera gesture on the lock screen though. It's easier than trying to drag that small camera "target".

    Control Center.
    Since it's been split into two pages, I'm not sure what to think. I don't mind the bubble design over the glass pane design as I mention below but eh, two pages are kinda a bit much.

    Notification Center has lost the option to switch between sorting by app and sorting by recent/time. I miss that since I prefer having it sorted by app, but Apple has taken that option away.
    I don't mind the "bubble-esque" design, I like it in fact. The search bar on top is a nice touch too, although admittedly I haven't used it much.

    Music's revamp is something I like, the unlimited Up Next list is a major perk for me. Marvis has fell to the wayside for now.

    Clock's got a dark theme now and a bedtime alert feature. I like the dark theme and wouldn't mind it. And now its 2:30 AM and I lost my train of thought after being derailed by Grey's Anatomy. Hmm...

    Oh right, iMessage! iMessage's new bells and whistles are cool but not something I need. The rest of the OS isn't worth it the perks of iMessage and considering Facebook Messenger got some of its own.

    And I'll add on more as I find time. Gotta get to the 5X too.
    10-22-2016 02:41 AM
  3. libra89's Avatar
    Alrighty I've been rolling in work for a while and now just got around to writing stuff up again. I've been using the 5X for something around three weeks now but I've got to touch on iOS 10 on my 5C first.

    iOS 10 is, well, the latest major iteration of iOS and it's changed up a lot.

    Here's my critique:

    iOS 10 is the fourth major release the 2013 iPhone 5c has received and the fifth major release it's hardware (on par with the 2012 iPhone 5) has seen. Major kudos to Apple for getting that down. When just about literally all other mobile players both can't and won't go the distance, Apple does it.
    Also impressive is that performance is still good. I won't say excellent yet but it doesn't leave me wanting most of the time which probably makes it adequate for most people. Where previous iPhone's would start bogging down significantly as the updates roll out like the iPhone 4 and 4S, this hasn't quite happened here. Battery life hasn't suffered either as far as I can tell.

    The new "press home to unlock" is something I have mixed feelings for. I generally don't like it since without the Raise-to-Wake functionality the 6s and above sees, it increases the required button presses 100%. (not counting AssistiveTouch use)

    I like the new Camera gesture on the lock screen though. It's easier than trying to drag that small camera "target".

    Control Center.
    Since it's been split into two pages, I'm not sure what to think. I don't mind the bubble design over the glass pane design as I mention below but eh, two pages are kinda a bit much.

    Notification Center has lost the option to switch between sorting by app and sorting by recent/time. I miss that since I prefer having it sorted by app, but Apple has taken that option away.
    I don't mind the "bubble-esque" design, I like it in fact. The search bar on top is a nice touch too, although admittedly I haven't used it much.

    Music's revamp is something I like, the unlimited Up Next list is a major perk for me. Marvis has fell to the wayside for now.

    Clock's got a dark theme now and a bedtime alert feature. I like the dark theme and wouldn't mind it. And now its 2:30 AM and I lost my train of thought after being derailed by Grey's Anatomy. Hmm...

    Oh right, iMessage! iMessage's new bells and whistles are cool but not something I need. The rest of the OS isn't worth it the perks of iMessage and considering Facebook Messenger got some of its own.

    And I'll add on more as I find time. Gotta get to the 5X too.
    Yay thanks for updating! Interesting that you say that about iMessage because I feel similarly. I'm guessing that you'll keep iOS 10 then, since it seems like you have more positives over negatives and neutral points. Looking forward to your other thoughts about iOS 10 and the 5x and how that size has been for you.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-22-2016 09:00 PM
  4. xandros9's Avatar
    Really quick update, the 5X and 640's button layout is inverted and it's messing with me.
    Laura Knotek, libra89 and aximtreo like this.
    10-23-2016 03:07 AM
  5. libra89's Avatar
    Really quick update, the 5X and 640's button layout is inverted and it's messing with me.
    Xandros, how's the size of the 5X been for you? Heard that you retired the 640.
    11-14-2016 12:49 PM
  6. xandros9's Avatar
    Xandros, how's the size of the 5X been for you? Heard that you retired the 640.
    Whoops I forgot to write up stuff on the 5X! I'll have to get to it next week or sometime...

    The size of the 5.2" 5X isn't all that different than the 640, which itself is kinda big for a 5" phone. The 5X is about the same size except its noticeably taller. The size is okay. I can use it kinda one-handed but it's not ideal. But I'm okay with it. It's size becomes unwieldly if I'm wearing pants with particularly shallow pockets or if I'm lying down.

    I have to be okay with it though since its the Android phone that ticks the most boxes for me. (okay battery, LCD, modern internals, relative ROM friendliness, cost, reasonably good camera...)

    My dad uses the 640 now, an upgrade over his 635. He enjoys the increased screen size but I haven't gotten his opinion on Windows 10 Mobile after being on 8.1 Update 2 for the past while.

    The 5c went to my mother, it'll be replacing her 4S in the coming weeks.
    libra89, Laura Knotek and aximtreo like this.
    11-14-2016 01:06 PM
  7. libra89's Avatar
    Whoops I forgot to write up stuff on the 5X! I'll have to get to it next week or sometime...

    The size of the 5.2" 5X isn't all that different than the 640, which itself is kinda big for a 5" phone. The 5X is about the same size except its noticeably taller. The size is okay. I can use it kinda one-handed but it's not ideal. But I'm okay with it. It's size becomes unwieldly if I'm wearing pants with particularly shallow pockets or if I'm lying down.

    I have to be okay with it though since its the Android phone that ticks the most boxes for me. (okay battery, LCD, modern internals, relative ROM friendliness, cost, reasonably good camera...)

    My dad uses the 640 now, an upgrade over his 635. He enjoys the increased screen size but I haven't gotten his opinion on Windows 10 Mobile after being on 8.1 Update 2 for the past while.

    The 5c went to my mother, it'll be replacing her 4S in the coming weeks.
    It's fine, this is awesome in the interim.

    Oh okay, I see about the size. I agree about the tallness of it. Good to hear that it checks your boxes pretty well. I think it's hard to find a phone that does that without a major flaw. At least in my never ending experience lol.

    Aw, you are such a kind son to upgrade your parents phones. Very cool that your dad likes the 640 and that your mom will have a nice upgrade to the 5c.
    11-14-2016 02:04 PM
  8. xandros9's Avatar
    LG Nexus 5X:

    Here are some assorted thoughts on the 5X's hardware.

    - Battery life is better than the 5
    - Camera is quite good, no OIS though, the laser auto-focus is really cool. It's the best camera I've used since my 830.
    - I get my official Android updates, and they're speedier than on Windows. (the update process I mean)
    - The display is a bit big for my taste but it... works. (and poor me, I just ordered something new to replace it with a 5.4" display but more on that in a couple weeks...)
    - The fingerprint sensor is great, I like the placement as well. Like the 5s it has spoiled me.
    - Adjusting to USB-C is a little awkward. I bought four microUSB - USB C adapters and they've eased the transition.
    - Apps are the same story here as with the 5. They are excellent.
    - Ambient display works properly and I like it.
    - As I mentioned, its size can be awkward when I'm cycling. I'm afraid sometimes I bend or snap the phone if i try to hard when biking in slimmer pants.
    - The front-facing speaker is a great design choice.
    - Performance is quite good, although I wouldn't mind more RAM. Heat hasn't been an issue.
    - The lack of Qi wireless charging is a negative.

    As for Android 7.0 Nougat...

    This is a solid operating system.
    Yup, in a nutshell that's what I'll say.

    I think I've lost my flair for detail this time around but eh. If more come to mind I'll add it.

    The notification area now has a row of quick toggles easily accessible with an option to expand it, not unlike W10M.
    Notifications are tweaked a bit in design but it doesn't make too much of a difference. We got some new tweaks but its somewhat hard to gauge since I came from CyanogenMod 13 and that had a lot of aftermarket customization and added features.

    It doesn't feel much different than 6.0.1 Marshmallow was on the Nexus 5. I used Action Launcher 3 on both and it generally feels the same. Not that it's bad, Marshmallow was solid and Nougat is solid as well. No odd quirks, no odd bugs, app crashes generally are rare. Windows 10 Mobile take note. (and I'd say webOS take note, but there's noone to take note of it...)

    Official split-screen is new here and I never use it. When it works its great, but not all apps support it. I find it a little bit awkward to get started but it's probably as good as it gets.

    The "double-tap the multitasking button to instantly switch to the last app" doesn't sound like much but it is a great feature. CM13 has it done similarly (except it was tap-and-hold), but this is good too.

    I feel a lot of my "not a lot of obvious changes" thing comes from much of 7.0's changes being under-the-hood. Being able to use Full disk encryption without needing to put in the PIN mid-boot is terrific, albeit not as important now that I don't worry about random reboots. Still great.

    More stuff as I think of it...
    11-26-2016 12:33 PM
  9. anon(9057135)'s Avatar
    Great Thread xandros9's! I enjoyed reading it
    11-27-2016 09:14 PM
  10. xandros9's Avatar
    As I may have mentioned in passing, the Nexus 5X is no more, having been sold to another loving home.

    To replace it, I got a Blackberry Priv during their Black Friday sale. And it is awesome. Definitely underrated. And for $320 USD total, not a bad deal at all!

    Save for the large 5.4" display and OLED screen it ticks just about all the boxes I could want in a phone and then some nice bonuses on top. And what can I say, I'm a sucker for a portrait slider.

    Stay tuned!
    libra89 and Laura Knotek like this.
    12-05-2016 05:57 PM
  11. libra89's Avatar
    Ooh nice deal, looking forward to hearing about it!
    xandros9 and Laura Knotek like this.
    12-05-2016 06:17 PM
  12. libra89's Avatar
    Great Thread xandros9's! I enjoyed reading it
    Make sure to subscribe for the updated goodness :)
    12-06-2016 04:53 PM
  13. Nate W's Avatar
    I can relate xandros9. I currently own a iPhone 6, a Lumia 830, Ativ SE, and my daily driver X3. Still somewhat partial to android devices, but I will not invest in another yet. Not until maybe next year if there is something really ground breaking that i have to try and affordable. I enjoyed reading your posts here thanks.
    libra89, Laura Knotek and xandros9 like this.
    12-14-2016 02:33 PM
  14. xandros9's Avatar
    The Blackberry Priv.

    I thought this phone deserved an entire write-up frankly. Within days of its arrival I felt it could very well be one of the most underrated handsets of the past couple years.
    Just about every phone I choose to buy, I enjoy. But the Priv is special. It has almost immediately earned its place as one of my favorite handsets - right up there, next to the Lumia 920 and Pre 2. And heres a long-winded post as to why.
    I've split it into two parts because I wanted to get something out sooner rather than later.

    Part I: Hardware

    NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE

    The Privs hardware turns heads. The attention it sees is not unlike the attention my cyan Lumia 920 garnered a couple years ago. But unlike the colorful exuberance of the 920 and other Lumias of that era, the Priv has a muted professionalism to it. It IS a Blackberry of course.

    But its still a star performer design-wise, hardly a fleet vehicle like the DTEK50 was supposed to be. Like how the 920 broke up the monotony of the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III with its angular, colorful presence, the Priv stands out amongst the crowd of iPhone 6ss and Galaxy S 6s with its own stoic flair.
    The Priv is a lot like getting to know a cool person during work hours. They may look great in a suit and give off a strictly business air but then you find out that they can discuss English literature, carry an entire team in League and make a mean beef stew. Not just strictly business.
    I'm frankly over the moon with this whole package so bear with me.

    THE EXTERIOR
    The Privs main body is made of a soft-touch plastic with a carbon fiber design that is quite grippy. If you have handled a Q10 before, youll recognize this finish. It may look textured but it is in fact not. Also on the back is an inset Blackberry logo and the camera as well as a two-tone LED flash setup. The back does have a very minute amount of give though.

    Sorry but no photos this time, GSMArena's review has an excellent 360-degree view of the phone.

    The right and left sides have four buttons. The left side has one lone power button. The right side has three buttons. The standard volume up/down controls with a smaller button sandwiched in the middle, not unlike the 950 XL's power button. That is the mute button. What it does is mute any audio playing as well as the microphone in calls. (I THINK. I MAY BE WRONG) But it doesn't so much else, its possible to remap this key with an Accessibility workaround though.

    On the bottom is a standard trapezoid microUSB port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack pushed to the far right side.

    On the top is a microphone, which I suspect is for noise-cancellation and two trays for the nano-SIM and microSD card.

    The face of the device is dominated by a large sheet of curved glass surrounded with grey metal trim. The glass is curved only on the left and right sides and it is gorgeous. (although it makes finding a screen protector so much harder than for other phones. and don't get me started on how expensive replacement panels are...) This glass covers the display, the standard set of sensors, a front-facing camera and a multicolored notification LED. You'll find the whole Blackberry logo here up top.

    Below that large expanse of curved glass is a 4 x ~60 grid of dots that houses the speakerphone and likely the microphone. Think Elite X3, but less fancy.
    The speaker is actually fairly loud which is great.

    The Priv is also a portrait slider, a very rare form-factor these days. Think Palm Pre or Dell Venue Pro. This form-factor holds a special place in my heart frankly. The glass panel of the Priv slides up and away from the speaker grille to reveal a four-row physical keyboard. This is probably the Priv's claim-to-fame, being the rare modern smartphone with a physical keyboard.

    And I'm a bit disappointed and also impressed at the same time. The keys aren't nowhere near as clicky as I was expecting. (they are mushier than I thought they would be) But to be fair, I was mentally comparing it to the Palm Pixi and Blackberry Q10, both are phones that don't slide. The feedback actually reminds me of my Palm Pre 2, which I typed a bit on to compare. The Pre's rubbery keycaps are of course different than the flat plastic of the Priv's. Using your fingernails is almost necessary on the Pre but it feels odd on the flat, hard plastic keys of the Priv and Q10. Adjustment was necessary for this user. But over time I found the problem to be more of a problem with my expectations rather than the keyboard itself. Reviews knock the keyboard for being cramped but honestly I think it's more than big enough. Of course, I've daily-ed the Palm Pre and almost the Pixi so I guess this is all about standards.

    What impressed me though was that the keyboard is touch-sensitive. I only heard a little bit about it from people talking about the Passport but this is really one of those subtle/simple-yet-really-cool/useful features. It really helps one-handed use too.

    • Sliding your finger across the surface of the keyboard can scroll a webpage or the launcher.
    • Swiping down while typing brings up a menu of symbols and stuff onscreen.
    • Swiping up under one of three suggested words selects that word. (same idea as on BB's virtual keyboard)
    • Double-tapping the keyboard (think like you're activating iOS's Reachability mode) lets you move the cursor precisely.
    • You can in-fact enable Swype-esque typing on this keyboard but I haven't tried it yet.
    • Swiping left deletes the last word typed.

    Regarding other experiences...

    • Typing on the homescreen starts a search (choice of Google or BB's Device Search - Device Search has a some way to go before it competes properly with webOS 2's Just Type. Google search just isn't up to the task. Worth noting that updated versions of Device Search introduced some lag and missed characters and that needs fixing. I don't update it for now.)
    • On Blackberry launcher you can set certain keys to open certain apps.
    • Typing on the physical keyboard is slower but it's more pleasant.


    Also as an afterthought, when slid-open, the area behind the display that's normally hidden reveals some regulatory symbols. And that the handset was made in Mexico. Sorry Pre fans, there's no mirror here.

    THE INTERIOR
    I may have mentioned that the Priv just about ticks all the boxes I have for a smartphone, as of late theyve been flexible as I liked to joke my ideal phone doesnt exist, but it seems this is as close as we can get. Here is the (flexible) list of things I would like in a phone. (beyond the usual can it make phone calls and will it blend?)

    • Reasonably capable hardware
      • Snapdragon 808 + Adreno 418 + 3 GB of RAM. MHz counters may not care but the Priv delivers otherwise.
      • A lot of the inconsistencies noted in earlier reviews is gone I feel.

    • Decent battery life
      • The Priv rivals my Lumia 640 and blows away previous phones I had.
      • Although most phones Ive picked up may not have had battery life as a strong suit.

    • Good camera
      • It doesnt have the best camera on the market but the 18 MP snapper on the back is still a force to be reckoned with. It is equipped with OIS and manual control is optional. Its great, especially when past offerings by Blackberry are compared. Coming from a Lumia 920 and Nexus 5X, I am happy.
      • Also has a front-facing camera that isnt bad too, but Im not an avid selfie taker.

    • Qi charging
      • The Priv (as least this model STV100-1) has Qi and PMA wireless charging.

    • SD card support
      • It supports microSD cards and can even adopt them.

    • Reasonable internal storage
      • 32 GB yo!

    • OTG support
      • Yes.

    • Smaller size/display 5 or smaller
      • Nope, this phone is sizable with it's 5.4 display. One-handed and in-bed use is mediocre at best but more on that later.

    • IPS LCD display
      • The Priv has an OLED panel, which is beautiful but I worry about burn-in.
      • It also has a diamond Pentile subpixel arrangement, and I couldnt tell. Which is terrific.

    • Removable battery
      • No.

    • Easy to repair?
      • Debatable.
      • Ive read that the display is rather easy to replace, but the part itself is hard-to-source and prohibitively expensive.

    • Not too expensive
      • Blackberrys Black Friday sale fixed this. Worth noting that expense was this phone's biggest complaint back then.

    • And I cant believe I must note this but 3.5 mm headphone jack?
      • Yes.

    • Fingerprint scanner?
      • Nope, which is unfortunate.

    • Multicolor notification LED/Glance or Glance alternative?
      • Yes, to both. More in Software.


    And then the Priv has a set of features that, like Apples TouchID, have spoiled me, but they fall more under Software.
    Last edited by xandros9; 12-17-2016 at 11:10 PM.
    Laura Knotek and libra89 like this.
    12-17-2016 10:55 PM
  15. libra89's Avatar
    OMG I squealed (internally, because I was on a call) when I got the notification that there was a new post!

    I read your hardware post about the Priv kind of like a sweet melody. Really curious about your software bit to come! Seems like this phone fits decently for you. I can kind of understand how you feel about the size. It's hard to find that ground, even though I'm still trying to find it, lol. I kind of like how different the Priv looks, which is kind of why that rumored Mercury phone is fascinating to me.

    Has the Priv run warm for you at all? Any comments from people from you for using a Priv?
    Laura Knotek and aximtreo like this.
    12-18-2016 12:13 AM
  16. xandros9's Avatar
    Love you too libra!

    Hardware Addendum

    As far as heat goes, the Priv has indeed gotten warm when working but I don't consider it abnormally so. My 920 ran hotter than this when web browsing.

    I also wanted to note that the power button's placement on the upper-half of the left side is great since I use my phone left-handed usually, BUT it's also great for accidentally pressing in landscape since it's where my pinky tends to land when holding horizontally. I think I would've preferred a more "classic Lumia" layout on one side since when taking photos and setting on a surface to steady, it's not hard to accidentally press a button.

    UPDATE: I also realized that the curved display meant I was sometimes touching the edge of the screen unintentionally. Not too great when typing in bed or trying to do stuff one-handed.

    Part II: Software

    BlackBerry Jam

    On the surface, BlackBerry has not done too much to Android. (Sweet!) It seems fairly stock but there are certainly some extra goodies present. Unlike Samsung's "kitchen-sink" approach in recent years, their customizations are largely a collection of small features that add up to what I find is a very compelling package.

    The Suite

    Blackberry Hub and the related suite of applications are great at what they do. If you're coming from BB10 it's not as great but still compelling. But otherwise, you're looking at a competent suite to manage all your correspondence in one list, contacts, calendar, etc. There's even capable Tasks and Notes applications, not unlike how iOS includes Reminders and Notes.
    It's also available on other Lollipop+ Android devices either ad-supported or for a $1/monthly subscription fee, which I find is worth every penny.

    Worth noting that the Hub's support for Messenger (Facebook), Slack and some others is limited to retaining notifications, it doesn't actually go in and show messages live like on BB10 unfortunately.

    The DTEK app is basically just a meter that lets you know about the overall security state of your phone. If you're a user familiar with the basic's, DTEK won't do anything new for you. Except, it can notify you whenever a given app uses a permission like Location.

    Bestest Search in the World?

    Device Search is mostly good, but I have to avoid upgrading it for now since the most up-to-date version introduces some awkward typing lag when I start typing from the homescreen a la Just Type from webOS. So I just have to keep ignoring the update when it pops up. Hopefully it'll be fixed soon.

    Speaking of webOS, Device Search does not hold a candle to Just Type. You can "Just Type" from the launcher to open Device Search and begin searching, which is most of the battle, but it's not as easy to do tasks. You can type "text mary" to get a quick link to open Messenger (SMS, not Facebook) text Mary but what I really miss is typing the message or post first, then selecting what to do with it after.
    webOS 2.0+ would let you type whatever you wanted in first and then decide to post it to Facebook, send it as SMS, make it a calendar event, etc. after.
    Also a minor annoyance, but to search the Internet (a la Google) you have to scroll to the end of the list which I think should be quicker to default. It's an issue kind of the opposite of Cortana on Windows 10 Mobile where it defaults to a Bing search too much, even for questions.

    It's certainly much better than nothing though, or just Google search.

    Launch


    Blackberry Launcher, the default launcher is a fine launcher. It won't blow away something like Action Launcher or Nova in customization and such, but it has some tricks up it's sleeve. It knows about the Priv's keyboard and has some features for it. You can set the keyboard to either default to a search when you start (your choice of Google or Device Search) or you can also set apps to open depending on which key you hold down.

    Icon packs are supported as well as "pop-up widgets" which if you used Action Launcher like me, are the same things as "shutters". They're very nifty but I don't really use them now that I have the Productivity Tab, but more on that later.

    Also included with the launcher are a bunch of shortcut widgets. Behaving like any other app shortcut on the homescreen, they do various tasks like "Add task" which opens up Tasks directly to the new Task page or "Compose text message" which opens up Messenger directly to the new message screen. They aren't earth-shattering but it's somewhat of a theme of Blackberry's Android take. A lot of small tweaks that add up to something great.

    Other shortcuts include...
    Text contact
    Add Event
    Call Voicemail
    Record video
    Flashlight
    Turn Wi-Fi (or Bluetooth) on/off
    Ring volume (it's a toggle)
    New alarm
    ...and much more. Depending on you, it may be worth sideloading just for these even if you don't own a Blackberry.

    The Virtual Keyboard

    It's a good keyboard.

    More Bells and Whistles

    Okay I was joking a bit there, but the keyboard is actually pretty good, even with the default setting of the swiping-feature being off. Suggestions can appear right on the keyboard above certain keys and selecting them is a matter of just swiping up on them. Definitely a feature worth trying.

    Anyways!

    Blackberry's modifications appear to also extend beyond adding more apps, which I appreciate the most.

    Features and mods under Settings that I have found on the Priv that I believe are worth noting...

    "Screen wakes to..." - it sets whether you want the phone to default to unlock or show notifications when you wake it up.

    "Recents" - This is terrific. You can change the multitasking view between one of three views.
    This AndroidCentral article covers them: http://www.androidcentral.com/how-ch...lackberry-priv

    I personally prefer Tiles. I hate trying to precisely scroll through the Rolodex and I don't like the unpredictability of the Masonry view.

    "Color adjust" - Basically Lumia Color Profile. You can adjust color temperature and saturation, nothing huge here.

    "Life to wake" - I don't use it but it's a nice to have.

    "Ambient display" - Glance users take notice! I did a write-up on this before, but it's good to see it's here. Use Daydream for a clock while charging though.

    Also worth noting that I use Light Manager Pro to manage my LED and it's terrific. Not as good as a built-in option like with CyanogenMod but it's something! The LED for at-a-glance information from afar, Ambient Display for detailed info when I'm right there. A great combo.

    "Battery edge" - This is a new feature I haven't seen before. Basically in a (not-dark) room when charging, the Priv will show a green bar on the right edge indicating how much power it has, the percentage as well as an estimated time countdown to 100%.

    "Productivity Tab" - I like this one too. Basically there's a small grey tab on the edge of the screen. It's adjustable in size and position and when swiped on, it brings up your agenda, unread messages, tasks and favorite contacts wherever you are. It's really nifty.
    It also lets you create new items right then and there.

    "Tap to wake" - Double-tap to wake is here too. Lumia fans rejoice.

    Swipe Shortcuts - swiping up from the navigation bar and either left, up or right lets you get instant access to whatever you want.
    Think PIE controls meets the webOS wave launcher. Or more simply, it's easy one-gesture access to up-to three apps or functions of your choosing.

    "Show icons above notifications" - I don't use this, basically it takes the app icons of whatever you have in the notification tray and puts them in their own little tray at the top.

    You can indeed adopt microSD storage if you need to in this phone.

    There's also an "Advanced interactions" setting section and if you're a BB10 veteran, you know what it is.
    It has three options. "Flip to mute", "flip to save power" and "hold to stay awake". They're fairly self-explanatory. Flip to save power just turns off the screen if you place the phone facedown, so nothing fancy there. It doesn't instantly Doze or anything.

    Otherwise the rest of the settings are fairly standard Marshmallow fare. I was worried that I would be left wanting for features since I don't have custom ROM access on this, but the 5X on stock Nougat convinced me otherwise and the Priv only offers more.

    Under-the-Hood

    Despite the downgrade to 6.0 Marshmallow from a 5X with 7.0 Nougat I actually don't mind the change. I miss split-screen but ironically I never used it on the 5X. I did use Nougat's new notification setup a lot but I can live fine without it. Definitely worth it.

    At it's core is Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, except with some additional security work and hardening done by Blackberry.
    I don't know much of the details but Blackberry bills it as the most secure Android smartphone.
    Or the most secure smartphone, or just Blackberry Secure Smartphone depending.

    I don't know the nitty-gritty details off the top of my head, nor do I have to expertise to compare it to say, Copperhead OS which also is a formidable force in Android security. I just know it's had quite some work done. And that the bootloader is locked with no unlock in sight (intentionally) which can potentially become a liability within months if updates cease.
    Blackberry is extremely prompt with the monthly security updates though, potentially rivaling Google.

    There are rumblings of Nougat on the horizon for this phone however, but it'll be a while, hardening a new version of the OS takes a lot more work depending - I imagine than making sure your skin and features work right. Blackberry doesn't have much of an update track record here, especially since the late-2015 Priv is it's first Android foray. Marshmallow took several months after initial availability to appear and for what it's worth, they're still updating the Blackberry 10-powered Z10, which launched right at the beginning of 2013.
    If they can maintain that track record with Android, even with just security updates, that would put them right up there, or even at the top.

    (which isn't all that impressive though considering Apple's impressive track record and Google's relatively poor update policy despite being the benchmark for Android smartphones.) Time will tell however. I'm cautiously optimistic.
    Last edited by xandros9; 12-23-2016 at 06:41 PM.
    Laura Knotek and libra89 like this.
    12-22-2016 03:16 PM
  17. xandros9's Avatar
    Bluetooth Addendum

    Oh boy I've found what I consider the Priv's first major flaw. (not counting launch price, size, etc.)

    I went on some driving and was in a car equipped with Bluetooth. (5th-generation/2010-2015 Hyundai Elantra) Naturally I connected it and had it navigating and playing music. This is the same vehicle that most other recent phones saw service in.

    The Priv stutters, a lot. It's not a rare problem it seems judging by attention on Crackberry forums.
    The issue isn't consistent, but it never performed perfectly thus far.

    Examples: (these may not have occurred all a
    t once)

    - Music (and the voice directions) would become unintelligible with stuttering whenever the phone was waken up (whether looking at Maps or notifications) Eventually it will smooth out but still be poor if the phone remained awake. More quickly if the display was put to sleep. (Ambient display did not affect it.)
    - Music may have been played at a slightly higher pitch/speed than normal, but I'm having trouble knowing for sure.
    - Music would stutter or pause for a fraction of a second every several seconds regardless of state. (reboot appears to have solved this)
    - Phone would connect but media would not immediately appear or be registered by the phone/vehicle. I saw this issue with the Nexus 5 previously.

    Others have reported toggling Airplane mode or Bluetooth to be beneficial but it seems to vary for me.

    To be tested...eventually.
    - Use with HERE Maps instead of Google Maps for navigation
    - Use without navigation ISSUES IMPROVE BUT STILL PERSIST
    - Use with non-car Bluetooth speaker/system NO ISSUES WITH JBL BLUETOOTH SPEAKER, EVEN WITH NAVIGATION. (although I was just sitting at my desk)
    - Alternative music player
    - Music on internal memory instead of SD card (unlikely to be tried)
    Last edited by xandros9; 12-30-2016 at 01:16 PM.
    libra89 and Laura Knotek like this.
    12-29-2016 12:14 PM
  18. libra89's Avatar
    Bluetooth Addendum

    Oh boy I've found what I consider the Priv's first major flaw. (not counting launch price, size, etc.)

    I went on some driving and was in a car equipped with Bluetooth. (5th-generation/2010-2015 Hyundai Elantra) Naturally I connected it and had it navigating and playing music. This is the same vehicle that most other recent phones saw service in.

    The Priv stutters, a lot. It's not a rare problem it seems judging by attention on Crackberry forums.
    The issue isn't consistent, but it never performed perfectly thus far.

    Examples: (these may not have occurred all a
    t once)

    - Music (and the voice directions) would become unintelligible with stuttering whenever the phone was waken up (whether looking at Maps or notifications) Eventually it will smooth out but still be poor if the phone remained awake. More quickly if the display was put to sleep. (Ambient display did not affect it.)
    - Music may have been played at a slightly higher pitch/speed than normal, but I'm having trouble knowing for sure.
    - Music would stutter or pause for a fraction of a second every several seconds regardless of state. (reboot appears to have solved this)
    - Phone would connect but media would not immediately appear or be registered by the phone/vehicle. I saw this issue with the Nexus 5 previously.

    Others have reported toggling Airplane mode or Bluetooth to be beneficial but it seems to vary for me.

    To be tested...eventually.
    - Use with HERE Maps instead of Google Maps for navigation
    - Use without navigation
    - Use with non-car Bluetooth speaker/system
    - Alternative music player
    - Music on internal memory instead of SD card (unlikely to be tried)
    Wow, that's a bummer :/

    Do you think this is something that could eventually annoy you or is it just something worth dealing with because of the other pros of this phone?
    12-29-2016 12:21 PM
  19. xandros9's Avatar
    Wow, that's a bummer :/

    Do you think this is something that could eventually annoy you or is it just something worth dealing with because of the other pros of this phone?
    Oh it's an annoyance no doubt about it, but it's less of a problem for me than it would be for some.

    I actually may end up using a vehicle that predates the widespread use of Bluetooth more often + use an FM transmitter so it may become a nonissue, especially since I don't drive too often as of now. I can see it definitely being a dealbreaker for some, but I firmly believe this is a software issue. Hopefully it is fixed sometime.

    However, it remains to be seen whether the issue will carry over to Bluetooth speakers.
    libra89 likes this.
    12-29-2016 12:31 PM
  20. xandros9's Avatar
    A small update, it has been working well.

    It seems impossible to find a decent screen protector of the quality I'm used to on other devices with flatter displays. I've tried three and the first one was plastic, the second was a poor fit and the third was the best (And priciest) but the fit failed due to some odd curvature in the protector itself. The first and last have since been returned/refunded.

    Anyways, a couple times it was left at 90% or so after being on the wireless charger overnight but it doesn't seem too uncommon as far as Qi goes and it happens rarely for me so...

    A problem I have though is that there is this faint buzz or soft static that often comes through the wired headphones when music is playing and the display is off. Sometimes toggling bluetooth helps but I need to do some experimentation here. It only occurs moments after the display is turned off so something is up here...

    Otherwise it's been working well. I've set it up with Syncthing to replace other cloud storage solutions and it has worked beautifully.
    libra89 and Laura Knotek like this.
    01-23-2017 02:35 PM
  21. libra89's Avatar
    A small update, it has been working well.

    It seems impossible to find a decent screen protector of the quality I'm used to on other devices with flatter displays. I've tried three and the first one was plastic, the second was a poor fit and the third was the best (And priciest) but the fit failed due to some odd curvature in the protector itself. The first and last have since been returned/refunded.

    Anyways, a couple times it was left at 90% or so after being on the wireless charger overnight but it doesn't seem too uncommon as far as Qi goes and it happens rarely for me so...

    A problem I have though is that there is this faint buzz or soft static that often comes through the wired headphones when music is playing and the display is off. Sometimes toggling bluetooth helps but I need to do some experimentation here. It only occurs moments after the display is turned off so something is up here...

    Otherwise it's been working well. I've set it up with Syncthing to replace other cloud storage solutions and it has worked beautifully.
    Still here by the way, haha. Thanks for updating! I'm glad to hear that it's been working well for you. It sounds like you have arrived (for now).
    Laura Knotek and xandros9 like this.
    01-24-2017 04:53 PM
  22. libra89's Avatar
    @xandros9 : Question for you.

    The BlackBerry KEYone was just announced. The former code name was Mercury. Any thoughts?
    Laura Knotek and xandros9 like this.
    02-25-2017 05:51 PM
  23. TgeekB's Avatar
    @xandros9 : Question for you.

    The BlackBerry KEYone was just announced. The former code name was Mercury. Any thoughts?
    For me its a much better form factor than the Priv. I hate sliders.

    Sent from my Alcatel Idol 4S
    libra89 and Laura Knotek like this.
    02-25-2017 09:08 PM
  24. xandros9's Avatar
    @xandros9 : Question for you.

    The BlackBerry KEYone was just announced. The former code name was Mercury. Any thoughts?
    Ah hello! It's been a while since our last post here and not much has happened.

    Random events are that I got a couple Palm Pixi Pluses, an iCloud-locked iPhone 4s but that's on me. A random Samsung feature phone too.

    But anyways lets get back on-topic! It's very interesting. I don't like the name, but it certainly beats DTEK70. I can't help but feel it's something either to cash-in late on the One trend, (HTC One, Xbox One, Alcatel OneTouch, OnePlus One, One-Punch Man...joking!) and it doesn't sound great to me at all. I would have preferred something more in line with classic BlackBerry names. I really liked the Bold, Pearl, Passport, names. (and to a lesser extent, Leap, Z10, Priv) Heck, maybe something like the BlackBerry Italic to go with it's relationship to Bold while I feel it fits the device's two-tone nature. Or the BlackBerry Tale, as in story or legend.

    It's also in a form-factor that I'm a sucker for, after portrait sliders. I like that it's narrower than the Priv but I'd like to see it in person or go look at a size comparison before thinking any more about it's feel. I just like that it's not bigger.

    Things I already don't like are the lack of wireless charging (I believe AC confirmed it back when it was first unveiled without a name) and the $549 USD pricetag. Also worth noting the apparent lack of OIS.

    For Qi, I can't be too surprised, especially since not all Priv's got wireless charging and it's a feature often cut across the board. USB-C on the phone is something I don't care for personally but it's nice. I don't have USB-C cables or tech so it's just a mild inconvenience for me. That Boost feature (turns on powersave mode while charging) + QC 3.0 make for a compelling alternative, but then again I don't use Qi for the speed.

    I was hoping Blackberry learned from the Priv's pricing debacle but it seems like they either haven't learned, can't go lower without incurring losses because of the phone's constructional uniqueness, the whole package compensates for the midrange chipset, or they think that it's midrange pricing when compared to $800+ iPhone's and Pixels's or that it's just worth that much. I'm inclined to believe it's the latter especially since KeyOne made it on top as the official name and it seems they're trying to position it like a flagship, not unlike the 830's oxymoronic used "affordable flagship" billing. (and that launched at somewhere around $449) I can probably call BB's the best Android phones to buy after some time passes.

    I don't know what tech is behind the display so far so I can't judge that but I can say I don't mind the physically-printed soft keys.

    The keyboard seems to be typical BB fare and I'm okay with that. Sticking in the fingerprint reader in the spacebar was a genius move in my eyes.

    I hope the camera delivers and if it beats or competes with my previous Nexus 5X which also had no OIS, I'll be happy.

    Still good to see that Blackberry is still on top of security updates. I got the February 5th, 2017 patch late on the 4th for my Priv, so they got it down. I want Nougat on my Priv though.

    It's worth noting that I appreciate the SD625 being used especially when coupled with the sizable battery. I don't mind lower-end hardware if it performs well and delivers in efficiency. (e.g. me and the SD400.)

    TL;DR - I like the form-factor but it's too pricey for me to consider (I got the Priv new for $320 and can't trade if I wanted to) and has some compromises I won't consider making at that price. I like the flexibility and features of the Priv anyway for now.

    Chief things to tempt me would be the form-factor/size and battery life.
    Chief things to dissuade me are the price, inflexibility of the keyboard - being physical and all, and loss of some flagship features.
    libra89 and Laura Knotek like this.
    02-26-2017 01:35 AM
  25. TgeekB's Avatar
    Ah hello! It's been a while since our last post here and not much has happened.

    Random events are that I got a couple Palm Pixi Pluses, an iCloud-locked iPhone 4s but that's on me. A random Samsung feature phone too.

    But anyways lets get back on-topic! It's very interesting. I don't like the name, but it certainly beats DTEK70. I can't help but feel it's something either to cash-in late on the One trend, (HTC One, Xbox One, Alcatel OneTouch, OnePlus One, One-Punch Man...joking!) and it doesn't sound great to me at all. I would have preferred something more in line with classic BlackBerry names. I really liked the Bold, Pearl, Passport, names. (and to a lesser extent, Leap, Z10, Priv) Heck, maybe something like the BlackBerry Italic to go with it's relationship to Bold while I feel it fits the device's two-tone nature. Or the BlackBerry Tale, as in story or legend.

    It's also in a form-factor that I'm a sucker for, after portrait sliders. I like that it's narrower than the Priv but I'd like to see it in person or go look at a size comparison before thinking any more about it's feel. I just like that it's not bigger.

    Things I already don't like are the lack of wireless charging (I believe AC confirmed it back when it was first unveiled without a name) and the $549 USD pricetag. Also worth noting the apparent lack of OIS.

    For Qi, I can't be too surprised, especially since not all Priv's got wireless charging and it's a feature often cut across the board. USB-C on the phone is something I don't care for personally but it's nice. I don't have USB-C cables or tech so it's just a mild inconvenience for me. That Boost feature (turns on powersave mode while charging) + QC 3.0 make for a compelling alternative, but then again I don't use Qi for the speed.

    I was hoping Blackberry learned from the Priv's pricing debacle but it seems like they either haven't learned, can't go lower without incurring losses because of the phone's constructional uniqueness, the whole package compensates for the midrange chipset, or they think that it's midrange pricing when compared to $800+ iPhone's and Pixels's or that it's just worth that much. I'm inclined to believe it's the latter especially since KeyOne made it on top as the official name and it seems they're trying to position it like a flagship, not unlike the 830's oxymoronic used "affordable flagship" billing. (and that launched at somewhere around $449) I can probably call BB's the best Android phones to buy after some time passes.

    I don't know what tech is behind the display so far so I can't judge that but I can say I don't mind the physically-printed soft keys.

    The keyboard seems to be typical BB fare and I'm okay with that. Sticking in the fingerprint reader in the spacebar was a genius move in my eyes.

    I hope the camera delivers and if it beats or competes with my previous Nexus 5X which also had no OIS, I'll be happy.

    Still good to see that Blackberry is still on top of security updates. I got the February 5th, 2017 patch late on the 4th for my Priv, so they got it down. I want Nougat on my Priv though.

    It's worth noting that I appreciate the SD625 being used especially when coupled with the sizable battery. I don't mind lower-end hardware if it performs well and delivers in efficiency. (e.g. me and the SD400.)

    TL;DR - I like the form-factor but it's too pricey for me to consider (I got the Priv new for $320 and can't trade if I wanted to) and has some compromises I won't consider making at that price. I like the flexibility and features of the Priv anyway for now.

    Chief things to tempt me would be the form-factor/size and battery life.
    Chief things to dissuade me are the price, inflexibility of the keyboard - being physical and all, and loss of some flagship features.
    It may appeal to a small niche, mostly business users who can afford it and want a PKB, but I don't see it going beyond that. That's OK if it makes a profit. I just don't see the average Android fan buying one.

    Sent from my Alcatel Idol 4S
    libra89, Laura Knotek and xandros9 like this.
    02-26-2017 09:49 AM
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