Earlier today, BlackBerry CEO John Chen tweeted a picture of T-Mobile CEO John Legere posing With the BlackBerry Priv. In our internal BBM group, it created a lot of discussion and hope that T-Mobile may finally be coming on board.
Since it’s release in early November the Priv has generated a lot of discussion in the tech blogs and Android forums, including the Android Authority. It has had favourable reviews from the unlikeliest of places, including the Verge and TechnoBuffalo which traditionally caries negative articles where BlackBerry is concerned.
Even though there is no official confirmation from either BlackBerry or T-Mobile, I am hoping that this is an indication that the Priv will be in T-Mobile stores sooner, rather than later. Since its launch, AT&T is the only US carrier with the BlackBerry Priv in its stores.
It is available online through the Shop BlackBerry website, but a large percentage of US customers still obtain their phones from carrier stores. This is why it is critical for BlackBerry to get the major US carriers on board in order to maximize sales.
In the last couple of weeks, I have visited a few Canadian carrier stores in the Toronto area and played around with the Priv on display. This morning at a very well known Canadian carrier store, I played around with one to get a fresh perspective.
My opinion is that the BlackBerry Priv is a very well built device with a nice finish that fits perfectly in my hand. I tested the keyboard by typing a paragraph and I was able to do it very quickly with the precision that I am accustomed to on a BlackBerry device. It does have the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop operating system, but I noticed that they tried as much as possible to include some of the traditional BlackBerry user interface features such as the HUB.
In a few stores I spoke to the sales staff and they had nothing but good things to say about the phone. Although this is a very small usecase, others such as UTB Brad mentioned having the same experience in the AT&T store in his blog post.
Will I get this device? I definitely will in the next couple of weeks as a backup to my Passport and Classic. When it does arrive, my intention is to test it as my daily driver and I do plan on writing about my experience so stay tuned!