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BlackBerry Priv: 5 ways BlackBerry can improve on its Android smartphone

The BlackBerry Priv is finally widely available, and it’s a really great phone. In fact, it’s now my daily driver, and I already offered up a few reasons why I dig the device in my BlackBerry Priv review. It’s not perfect, though, so here’s a list of ways BlackBerry can improve the smartphone. Maybe this is for the Priv 2, or maybe it’s just a BlackBerry Android smartphone of my dreams.

Here’s a look at ways I think BlackBerry can improve the BlackBerry Priv. One suggestion might even be a possible improvement through a software update. Let’s jump in .

A metal body

The BlackBerry Priv feels solid to me. At least, the second unit that I bought does. For some reason the review unit seemed to have a bit more flex, and I’m not sure why. I’d love to see BlackBerry improve on this even further.

An all metal design would certainly increase the price, but it would also drastically improve the aesthetics and the build quality. That’s important, too, at least if you consider that much of BlackBerry’s audience has historically been the corporate type. Maybe we’ll see a Porsche Design BlackBerry Priv that delivers on this?

I can dream, right?

Fingerprint Reader

For a device so focused on security, it seems weird to me that BlackBerry left out a biometric sensor. Fingerprint readers on Android and the iPhone work really, really well these days, so it’s definitely possible to add.

There’s not much room on the front of the phone, so I suspect it would need to exist somewhere below the camera. That layout seems to work just fine on the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X. Or make it really, really cool and do something like Windows Hello on Windows Phone, which scans your iris.

Slightly bigger keyboard

I’m really used to typing on the BlackBerry Priv keyboard at this point, but it could be just a hair bigger. An extra row of keys for dedicated number buttons would be appreciated, though BlackBerry’s on-screen software function does the trick pretty well right now.

I’d like if the keyboard were a bit wider, too, but I’m not sure if I could deal with a screen that’s too much bigger – the phone is large, which I like, already.

Functional Mute Switch

The mute switch is pretty lame on the BlackBerry Priv. It really just silences a call that’s already coming in. I’d love to see support for additional options. Maybe it toggles between silent and ring (it should do this already), or maybe it can be used to launch the camera or another frequently used application.

I’m sure there are ways to hack this to work, but I want a native option.

A real front facing camera

The front-facing camera on the BlackBerry Priv is pretty awful. A 2MP camera isn’t useful for anything, really and the quality is horrendous. I wish BlackBerry added at least a 5-megapixel camera or maybe even an 8-megapixel shooter.

Sure, you could argue that the selfie-generation isn’t really BlackBerry’s target market, but I think that these are the sort of features BlackBerry should add to its Android devices to help them stand out even more against the competition.

You?

What would you add to the BlackBerry Priv? Or do you already think it’s perfect?


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Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...


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