The star of the show is the slide-out “smart” keyboard. A little crammed, but once you get reaccustomed, it’s great having the whole screen for your viewing pleasure. Using the keyboard as a trackpad, as with the Blackberry Passport, is also a bonus for reading mails, texts and articles. Image Credit: Supplied

You know the feeling when you see an old crush after many years and they still look as brilliant as ever? That’s what I felt when looking at the all-new Blackberry Priv. With a sleek body, physical keyboard and some outstanding specs, the Priv might just be what Research In Motion (RIM) needs to stay alive in this brutal, cut-throat world of smartphones and technology.

Let’s start with build. When first looking at the images of the Priv and its corresponding specs online, I thought the phone would be a fatty. But Blackberry curved out the display to the sides and used one of the thinnest bezels in the market to give it the look and feel of being a much thinner phone than it actually is. The phone is 9.4mm thick and a colossal 184mm in height when slid open. It has a 5.43-inch plastic AMOLED display with a 2,560x1,440 resolution and a 540 PPI screen, which should have sufficed but doesn’t offer the crispness of the LG G4 or Samsung Note 5.

The OS is where Blackberry and Android have worked some magic. Android Lollipop 5.1.1 is used as a base and with some BB mods creates the Priv’s user experience. The Priv has a 1.8GHz hexa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chip paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB of built-in storage.

Even in its heyday, nobody ever bought a Blackberry for its camera and though on paper it may seem that the Priv changes all that but it doesn’t. The device comes with an 18-megapixel Schneider Kreuznach-certified imaging sensor that records 4K video at 30 fps. Most disturbing of all is the 2 (yes, you read that right — 2!) megapixel front-facing camera, which is beyond disappointing. Last but not least, the star of the show is the slide-out “smart” keyboard. A little crammed, but once you get reaccustomed, it’s great having the whole screen for your viewing pleasure. Using the keyboard as a trackpad, as with the Blackberry Passport, is also a bonus for reading mails, texts and articles.

Camera aside, this device is phenomenal. We don’t usually expect much from a first-generation product and aren’t saying that Blackberry doesn’t have to improve but yes Blackberry has done a great job with the Priv. The price point is mostly what will push people to look away, but for old time’s sake, #GNTECH hopes it works out for them.