Don’t call it a comeback. Don’t call it a rebirth. Maybe it could be called the next step, or the next generation, but to me, it’s just a flat out new, overpriced Android device. It’s a pretty neat looking Android phone, but the 5.4” sliding keyboard BlackBerry Priv is anything but a BlackBerry, no matter how they brand it. Sure, the specs are impressive, and at a cost of over $700, they should be, but this monster BB is missing something that nobody has been talking much about, and to me, it was what made RIM and BlackBerry the best devices of their time.
You see, when BlackBerry ruled the world, they had the Curve, the Pearl and even the Bold. They were sleek communications devices that had more security than you could imagine and Apps that would blow away anything around it – except maybe a Symbian device, but that’s another story for another time. The ecosystem was amazing, and so was one deadly feature. When everyone had unlimited data plans, the carriers loved it. When overages began to come into play, the carriers ran away as fast as they could. The feature was BlackBerry Internet Services or BIS for the average user. Enterprise customers had their own little version called BES, but it did virtually the same thing as BIS.
BIS was a ‘front’ of sorts for your device. It took the internet page you were visiting, compressed it down and rendered it for your BlackBerry browser. It made graphics faster to load and formatted text so it was easier to read. It compressed videos, sounds and anything else it could to make pages load faster and use less data. It’s much like the same mission that browsers like UC and Chrome have today, to use less bandwidth. You see, nobody with a Berry every worried about a data cap since everything they did was so streamlined.
Sure, the Priv may be one of the most secure phones ever released. It might also let you know if you are being tracked, traced or spied on. That’s not the problem that most consumers are faced with any more. Paranoia may sell a few Priv’s at the price that it is at, but without having that amazing back end compression, the Priv just looks to be a very high priced Android device with a slide-out keyboard. Hopefully it is a good device for BlackBerry as the world still needs them, but if they are planning on the Priv saving the day, we don’t have much hope for them going forward.