Blackberry has announced that the Blackberry PRIV, the first Android based device the company released two years ago, will no longer be seeing regular updates. The news isn’t shocking and fits with what most manufactures, including Google, do when it comes to software updates. Most only go out 24 months from release of the device.
For their part, Blackberry is doing their best to spin the news, indicating that they made the PRIV more secure out-of-the-box and it needed less patching anyway. They also indicated that they will be providing updates should a critical security flaw be discovered and that warranty support is still provided.
It is news that Blackberry Priv owners likely knew was coming down the pike: There will be no Android Oreo update for the last Blackberry-build device.
The news came via the company’s general manager of Mobility, Alex Thurber. He was recently on the UTB Blogcast and confirmed that the phone will not be updated to Oreo. It is disappointing of course but not surprising. Blackberry’s new parent company, TCL, has been focusing on restoring the brand’s name and their own first built device, the KEYone. The KEYone has been confirmed to receive an update to Oreo.
Today’s Deal is on the solid performing BlackBerry Priv. Right now you can pick up the 2015 flagship for $319 on Amazon. The Priv is a unique phone in that it has a slide-down physical QWERTY keyboard, the hallmark of BlackBerry devices in the past. It is a solid performing phone with good specifications, especially for a late 2015 device. It has a 5.43″ curved QHD display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor. That hexa-core processor runs at 1.8GHz and is coupled with 3GB of RAM.
Storage wise, the Priv comes with 32GB onboard but that can be expanded up to and additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD card. It has a 3410 mAh battery to keep you going throughout the day and it supports Quick Charge 2.0 technology to get recharged quickly. Camera wise, the BlackBerry Priv has an 18MP rear shooter with OIS and dual-tone flash while the front camera is 2MP
One thing to keep in mind is that BlackBerry has given no clear indication if the Priv will receive the Android Nougat update. That may be a big deal for some readers so bear that in mind if you consider this phone. Overall though, for what it offers along with the security that the company has built into this device, it is a solid option at this price.
Today is a good day Blackberry Priv owners on T-Mobile. The carrier has just updated their support page for the device and the OTA update to Android Marshmallow is starting to roll out to devices today. The update you are looking for is build AAF153 and users will be prompted to update to this build between now and Friday, June 17th. Once the update is available to you, you will need to make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi to download the 1.3GB update and you can expect the install time to take 20-30 minutes including a reboot in the process.
It wasn’t long ago that Blackberry as a company was on their deathbed. Blackberry 10 was dying a death and the company switched gears to Android, making the secure and eagerly anticipated Blackberry Priv. The device got reasonable but not glowing reviews and the price tag of $700 was laughable at best. Still, the Priv did okay at first and both AT&T and T-Mobile picked up the device. Now, nearly a year later, T-Mobile has dropped the Priv from their site and AT&T admits that the device is struggling with them.
What went wrong?
There are a lot of things that led to the situation Blackberry find themselves in at this point. The question is, will we be on death watch once again for a company that just a handful of years ago ruled the enterprise mobile device market?
For owners of the Blackberry Priv, today is a good day. Starting today, the Android Marshmallow update for the device is rolling out with all of the goodness of the release itself along with improvements to Priv specific features and apps. The update is just now rolling out so it will take some time to reach everyone. For those who are on carrier locked devices like those on T-Mobile and AT&T, the roll out starts next Tuesday, May 3rd.
If you have the AT&T locked version of the Blackberry Priv, you should start seeing the March security update coming to your device starting today. The update comes 2 weeks-and-a-day after it was released by Google themselves so all-in-all, that is not a bad time frame for a carrier locked device. Further, the update makes AT&T the first carrier here in the US to get the update to the Priv on their network with T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint all having the device but none of them have pushed out this update. For a point of reference, the update came out the same week as Google released it on the unlocked version of the Priv.