Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Blackberry Priv- day 2 impressions

Following on from my day 1 impressions:

Day 2 impressions pretty much the same as day 1. Love the feel of the device and the keyboard is superb (onscreen and physical). It has more character than a lot of slabs. But the audio experience is a major issue for me.

For editing documents this is unbeatable for a smartphone. The whole screen for editing! A quick double tap and I have cursor control. And press the SYM key on the physical keyboard and you get the symbols onscreen (though it should show the secondary symbol screen with !  £ ?  numbers etc by default,  not the other symbol screen).

Being able to assign short cuts to long presses of the physical keys is great. For example press e to add an event. Press t to add a task...

Also realised that to unlock it you can slide the keyboard down (turns the screen on) and then press the space bar to get to the unlock screen (not sure why couldn't just get to the unlock screen by slidding down).

But audio quality and the positioning of the headphone socket make this a real pain for me. A missed opportunity by not having the headphone socket in the middle of the bottom rather than in the way whilst I'm typing.

It's a brilliant device with great character, but a flaw that impacts my usage. 

(And as if to emphasise the point swiftkey seems even less accurate than usual and I realise how frustrating it is to always correct what's been typed!). 

Blackberry Priv- my first few hours

My first few hours with the Priv. In summary, the keyboard on the Priv is brilliant. The Priv feels lovely to pick up. It has an understated quality, just enough to show it means business. I just wish the audio was better. I’ll try again in the morning!

What I liked most
  • Lovely crisp screen 
  • Using the Priv when the physical keyboard is down. It feels better balanced, and has so much more space without an onscreen keyboard in the way. Plus I can use the physical keyboard to scroll up and down.
  • The physical and onscreen keyboards for typing. Great for longer documents like writing a word document.
  • The curves on the side of the screen make it a pleasure to pick up and to swipe across.
  • The touches that BB have put onto android are minimal but inspired like in the settings, recent apps...
  • It’s great having google now swipe up again (disappeared in marshmallow).

What I liked least:
  • Audio quality on the external speaker and on earphones is poor. (On earphones I needed to use Poweramp rather than Google Music to bear listening to it).
  • The headphone socket is on the bottom right of the keyboard. Any wired earphone I use gets in the way of me typing on the physical keyboard. 
  • The corners dig a bit into my palm. Something I'm sure I'll get used to!

My thoughts across the first few hours of using the Priv

The more smileys the better!

  1. :)) I Love the feel of the Priv out of the box. 
  2. :)) Blackberry pop-up keyboard is great.
  3. :( One less signal bar than on other devices.
  4. :)) Blackberry onscreen keyboard is excellent. I find it a lot more accurate than swiftkey (which I use a lot).
  5. :) Looks pretty much like stock android
  6. :((( Corners are digging into my palm
  7. :))) Feels premium
  8. :))) Side swipe for menu feels good with the curved screen.
  9. :) Has hdmi plug in.
  10. :) Some useful options under settings/advanced interactions eg 'hold to stay awake',  'flip to save power'.
  11. :)) It's great to have the swipe up on the home button to launch Google now! (this feature went on marshmallow). In fact bb have gone better, you can swipe any of the soft keys on the bottom to launch Google now.
  12. :))) I love being able to swipe across the soft keyboard to delete what I've typed.
  13. :) Quick indoor check of the camera,  it seems fine for my needs.
  14. :) On/off button is on the left of the screen. All of 15 seconds to get used to that.
  15. :( The phone seems to be slipping down out of my hand.
  16. :))) Screen looks nice: clear and sharp.
  17. :((( Audio on the external speaker is poor (quality and volume) compared to the devices I've used eg m8, any iPhone, 1520, n6... Maybe it takes a while for the speakers to settle (I've had this on other smartphones).
  18. :(( Video doesn't seem as punchy as some that I've seen.
  19. :(( It feels heavier/denser than I was expecting.
  20. :) When opening the app draw you can scroll from left to right to see apps,  then widgets then shortcuts. And vertically to see options under each of those. This is brilliantly simple. Why can't every other android phone do this!!
  21. :)) Wow!! some great shortcuts like add event, open dial pad (which is a lot faster in bringing up the dial pad than pressing the phone icon on my nexus 6- much faster!
  22. :) Long press on the screen gives the usual wallpaper &  widgets. It also gives the option to get different icon packs. Excellent idea!
  23. :) I'm getting more used to the corners digging into my palm. It's a bit like some lumias.
  24. :( It's a little bit heavy for one handed typing.
  25. Ok,  I'm about to open the physical keyboard!
  26. :) Physical Keyboard is more plasticky than the Passport. But easier to press.
  27. :))) Physical keys are accurate and comfortable if a little bit constrained after my n6. Perhaps could have been slightly wider.
  28. :(( Supporting the phone with my little finger curled underneath felt a bit heavy.
  29. :)) I prefer the feel of the phone with the keyboard down,  even just interacting with the screen without using the physical keyboard.
  30. :((( Just noticed the headphone socket is on the bottom right. That's a shame. If it was on the bottom left my little finger could have curled round it to hold the phone comfortably. Though it's fine if I'm holding the phone in my left hand (I use both hands). With the physical keyboard down it would have been better to have the socket in the middle so it didn't get in the way of typing on the keyboard.
  31. :)) Had a break and came back. Corners starting to feel fine (my palms and way I hold the device are adapting to a new phone).
  32. :) Just pressed the recent apps button- brilliant the way it's displaying mini images for the apps,  with the most recent larger at the bottom. Much,  much prefer this to how this is displayed on my n6!
  33. :) On screen keyboard is nice in landscape. And again swiping right to left deletes a word. Works better than fleksy for me.
  34. :) Turned off the phone and put it in my pocket. Fits nicely despite the square corners.
  35. :) Pulling the keyboard turns on the display. Nice:)
  36. :)) With the physical keyboard down I feel like I'm ready for business, ready to get things done
  37. :)) Supports fast charging 2- same as the nexus 6, z3ct... very handy given I've got the relevant fast charge plugs!
  38. Stuck in an sd card from my Sony and it came up with a message 'exFAT media driver required to use your media card' Downloaded from the Playstore- card works fine.
  39. :)))) Comparing how much screen space I have typing with the Priv and the physical keyboard compared to my n6 with its onscreen keyboard. I've got nearly double the screen estate with the Priv.
  40. :))) Using the physical keyboard to scroll down on an pages is great.
  41. :(((( Audio on earphones is weak,  thin and too sharp using Google music. With poweramp I can correct it, mostly.
  42. :))) It charges quickly on a fast charge plug!