Finally another BlackBerry release day yesterday… and as usual I caved and went and picked it up: the BlackBerry Priv. I had already somewhat pre-decided that I wanted to get one but both outright pricing (carriers were rumoured to sell for $799.99 CAD, some how Telus went with $890 CAD, go figure) and missing wireless charging on the carrier models had me a little reluctant. As stupid as it may sound, as soon as I walked in to the store and slid up/down that keyboard I knew I wanted it for sure. The build quality looked and felt great in hand, especially the smoothness of that slide. I ended up jumping on another 2 year contract with Telus for $310 ($410-$100 promo) and keeping my 6gb plan as is, which was crucial to me, so that I’m good with. A bit more about the hardware:
- Keyboard is obviously smaller than Passport and even the Q10 (never had a Classic), but is not too cramped for me and is becoming easier to use as I go
- Lock button being on the side is a bit weird for me but makes sense
- I don’t use wired headphones usually but jack has moved to bottom as well
- Cameras: haven’t used too much yet, but random shots and my selfies look fine lol
Jumping into the software side of things, I had already had limited experience in Android previously with a Samsung Galaxy S4 and a few other tabs here and there, so there wasn’t much issue there. The layout is very much the Android I recall. I will preface this with some of these might just be Android features that I’ve never seen on the devices I’ve used, but a few things I like so far are:
- Keyboard shortcuts: You can open app, add speed dial, send message, and a variety of others. There are also short and long press options available
- Home button: Hold and drag to circle of choice, default choices are Device Search, Google and BlackBerry Hub
- Vertical scrolling on the app screen
- Search bar atop the app screen
- App screen sorting – Default, Alphabetical, Newest, Most Used
- Battery percentage and time to charge when charging
Coming from BlackBerry 10? Here are some some suggestions for getting your new BlackBerry Priv set up right out of the gate.
- BlackBerry Apps: After running through the initial setup, make sure to open up the Play Store and search for BlackBerry Limited. You will see many of the BlackBerry apps come up on the list, click into each app on its own and tap the Update button. Not sure if you were to open the app if it would show them as updates. This should be a one time deal though and in future they will just show up as regular updates.
- Google Apps: I also noticed there was quite the list of the pre-installed Google apps that required updates as well. I just opened the Google folder on the home screen and then went to the Play Store and they all showed up.
- BlackBerry Hub: Make sure to download the respective apps to add accounts to the hub, specifically Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I didn’t know this initially so was looking for how to add these accounts unsuccessfully.
- Gaming: If you’re a Google Play gamer, don’t forget to download Play Games from the store as well.
- File Managers: There isn’t one off the hop either, many people recommend ES File Explorer. I know I will miss the native Remote File Access of the BB10, hopefully there is something to replicate this in the store already or in future.
- Always look for the settings button on each screen, there is a fair bit of customizability to make the experience similar to BlackBerry 10 (example: in BlackBerry Hub settings, you can change the swipe gestures)
In closing, I am relatively impressed with the phone and am enjoying the learning curve that comes with it. I know I didn’t touch on everything, but I’ll add more as I learn them myself. Hopefully this will help get some started.
TLDR: Went to Telus, bought the phone, like it with some minor issues.
Sooooo… Las Vegas… let me tell you. Awesome time with some awesome people. Things didn’t start off so hot though, as I arrived late Wednesday thanks to some stupid delays and an unnecessary de-planing. After that I had an extended layover in Newark, New Jersey as I just missed my flight. Walked around that airport so many times til I finally met some cool people at the bar from my previous flight that got shafted too and ended up either: a) staying a night in NJ or b) flying from NJ to SF then to LV (and arriving 12 hours later!). I lucked out and was automatically re-booked on one of the next flights right from NJ to LV. Got there and 2 of our crew were already asleep, waiting for me and my buddy. We went down and scoped out the hotel, awesome as it was. Never got a chance to check out any circus acts or the Adventuredome in the hotel though… come on, it’s Vegas, there’s just too much fun to be had. Rounded off the night with some drinks and a walk down the strip which was really nice at night. Made some really great friends in the hotel that we jammed with through out the whole weekend. Already making plans for the next festivals too.
Headed out early to do some souvenir shopping Thursday. Ended up getting roped in by a tour sales guy (Bob!) who sold us on a Grand Canyon South Rim tour and a “party bus” tour. “Party bus tour with 3 free drinks and an open bar” (his exact words) … ended up being a shared limo ride around Vegas to the major sights with a bottle of wine and some champagne. At first we were kinda annoyed as it arrived late and totally was not what we were told. After the first stop at the Vegas sign, the driver was nice enough to stop off at the liquor store so we could get our drinking situation straightened out. Rest of the night is a big awesome blur. Beer, jagermeister and the beautiful sights of Vegas.
First night of EDC itself started off amazing. That Circuit Grounds stage and that beautiful skyline as you walk in had us all in awe. Caught a few sets here (rockin’ the Drake mask lol) and then realized I lost my phone and ID pretty quickly (just like at Coachella, what else is new…) and things went down hill from there. To top that off our whole group got split up too. Feeling pretty defeated, I just caught the shuttle back by myself (and pretty much waited no time at all). Kinda glad I did because apparently the shuttle organization was the worst on day 1. Even though they were separated, everyone came strolling back in around 8AM. Got back to the hotel and after being let back in to my room by security (lost my room key… again what else is new) and had a message from my mom: someone had found my phone and ID/cards! Big shout out to you bro, you totally saved my weekend.
Second night we came back with a vengeance (and I totally left my phone at hotel for safe keeping :p). Joined by our hotel neighbour friends, this was arguably the best night as we were all able to stick together this time. We missed half the sets we wanted to see but tonight was about the people and the atmosphere. We met some nice people chillin’ in the quiet zone and signed their flag. Got my first Kandi bracelet trade here. Quite the cool concept. I had never heard of it before but after being introduced to it this day I was right into it.
We ended up deciding to cancel our Grand Canyon South Rim Tour as we all wanted to stay right until the end on day 3. Surprise guests were coming and we didn’t wanna miss that! The surprise guests ended up being: Dillon Francis, Dirty Phonics, and another one that I’m not so sure of at another stage. Everyone got seperated again but we all had at least one friend with us (buddy system ftw!) Got back around 8:30 again after a totally ridiculous wait for the shuttles, which ended up being an old transit bus instead of the coaches that we paid good money to ride. Shuttles was definitely the worst aspect of the festival for sure, but now we know what to expect.
[edits to be made]
It’s that season and I AM PUMPED.
So much to look forward to this year and it’s just getting started.
Here’s the list of fun for this year, so far:
May 22- Hot Air Balloon Ride – Sun Dance Balloons
May 23- Rock The River Cruise – Capital Cruises
May 30/31 – Ever After Music Festival
June 2 – Drake & Future – Jungle Tour
June 12/13 – Bestival
June 17-23 – First time in Vegas and EDC
June 27/28 – Escapade Music Festival
July 31-Aug 3 – Cottage with the Toronto fam
Somewhere in between and in no particular order:
– Flyboarding session – http://www.groupon.com/deals/flyboard-xtreme-6
– White Water Rafting and camping – http://www.groupon.com/deals/rafting-nouveau-monde
– Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum – http://www.groupon.com/deals/diefenbunker-cold-war-museum-1
– Whiprsnapr Brewing Company tour – http://www.groupon.com/deals/whiprsnapr-brewing-company
– Helicopter Tours over Niagara Falls
Can’t wait to get it started tomorrow with the Hot Air Balloon Ride, just hoping the weather stays nice!
Catch ya’ll at some of these hopefully!
All working as of Thursday, January 29, 2015, 2:41:56 PM
Potential working links for SW 10.3.1.841
Operating System Version: 10.3.1.1298
Radio Version: 10.3.1.1299 – (Assumed as OS + 1)
NOTE: Only the folder holding the potential files has been confirmed live, therefore live links for ALL devices is only assumed.
IMPORTANT: Only Debrick and Radio files needed to create an autoloader.
Blackberry Passport (QC8974)
Core OS: http://cdn.fs.sl.blackberry.com/fs/qnx/production/29421f2adae3c7128f0ddd4b473f1d8132c6bcdf/qc8960.factory_sfi_hybrid_qc8974-10.3.1.1298-nto+armle-v7+signed.bar
Radio : http://cdn.fs.sl.blackberry.com/fs/qnx/production/29421f2adae3c7128f0ddd4b473f1d8132c6bcdf/qc8974.wtr2-10.3.1.1299-nto+armle-v7+signed.bar
Blackberry Z10 (STL 100-1)
Core OS: http://cdn.fs.sl.blackberry.com/fs/qnx/production/29421f2adae3c7128f0ddd4b473f1d8132c6bcdf/winchester.factory_sfi-10.3.1.1298-nto+armle-v7+signed.bar
Radio : http://cdn.fs.sl.blackberry.com/fs/qnx/production/29421f2adae3c7128f0ddd4b473f1d8132c6bcdf/m5730-10.3.1.1299-nto+armle-v7+signed.bar
Blackberry Z3 Z10 Z30 Q5 Q10 (QC8960)
Core OS: http://cdn.fs.sl.blackberry.com/fs/qnx/production/29421f2adae3c7128f0ddd4b473f1d8132c6bcdf/qc8960.factory_sfi-10.3.1.1298-nto+armle-v7+signed.bar
Radios for Z3 Z10 Z30 Q5 Q10
Z3 (Jakarta) + Cafe Radio
Z10 (STL 100-2/3/4) and Porsche P9982 Radio
Z30 + Classic Radio
Q5 + Q10 + Khan Radio
Having used my Z10 for a few weeks now, I am really enjoying it. Coming from a Bold 9900 and a Torch 9810 previous to that, I was worried about how much trouble I was going to have with the onscreen keyboard. Needless to say, as I type this from my Z10, I have come to really like using it. That along side the peek functionality, which I use quite frequently, have really made the switch over a delight. Despite that, there are a few things I would love to see in future updates. Below is a wishlist I have made.
– On screen notifications of a message: currently when you receive a message of any kind it will only alert you via led/sound/vibration, depending on how you have it set. I think something like a toast message that shows a preview and can be tapped to take you directly to the message or swiped away to dismiss would be most effective.
– Increase maximum number of active frames: currently the limit is only 8. I think an increase to 10/12 might be possible considering the internal hardware, but that might not be the only issue. Perhaps even
once you opened beyond the max, the oldest could be minimized to some sort of app tray or even continue to run, but be accessible by app icon instead of active frame. On the other hand this would probably require some sort of task manager as well, which I don’t think would hurt to have anyway.
– Better BlackBerry Protect integration: currently only provides location of device, which is great in certain scenarios, but is quite limited in comparison to the BBOS version. I think this would have helped me a lot with the issue I was having restoring my data from my Bold using the first release of BlackBerry Link.
– Better BlackBerry Bridge functionality: right now you’re quite limited in what you can do when bridging to your PlayBook. You can share your data with it and that’s about as far as it goes. Again I’d just like to see the same as on BBOS here.
– Allow more than one page of icons in a folder
Right now those seem to be my biggest gripes that come to mind. If any are incorrect or have workarounds or something I missed, comment away as I’m still learning things about this daily.
A few other minor gripes I think are worth mentioning are:
– WhatsApp currently has to be sideloaded and is an Android port. Because it is a port, it does not integrate properly with contacts so you can’t start a conversation or invite a contact to a group. Notifications in the hub are also not the best, but do work. I use this app daily so that’s frustrating. Definitely can’t wait to see the native version!
– I seem to accidental dial a lot when phone calls are in the hub as it’s just one tap to dial. This could be what some people want, but a setting to add confirmation before dialing would be nice to see.
That’s all I can really think of for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with an update on daily usage.
In the meantime, any questions you have about the Z10 I’ll gladly answer.
After going around to 5 different carriers to find one off contract, I finally got the BlackBerry Z10 yesterday. I ended up having to use my anytime upgrade with Telus but it worked out well. After spending an hour there (and showing the reps how to use BlackBerry 10 lol) I left with phone in hand, screen protector installed and the dual stand case.
My first night of usage was amusing (to me, at least). Being the type that has to have the latest and greatest (even software), I attempted to update to a newer OS using a leaked DevAlpha loader. The result: a bricked Z10, 6 hours after purchase – “Incompatible Radio Image Loaded on Device”. After trying every BlackBerry 10 loader I had, I was still bricked. I tried to restore my OS using BlackBerry Link but was unsuccessful, as was a quick Google search. At this point I switched over to my DevAlpha to use for the time being. Further searching the BlackBerry forum I was able to find a post by a user that had interrupted a security wipe and was in the same situation. Luckily, someone posted a response with a support article Found Here. I was then able to download and restore my OS using Internet Explorer.
Enjoying it so far today as I’m getting much better with the keyboard (this post was typed on it). A few other issues I had include contacts not restoring and default
alarm sound not going off. Despite those, I’m definitely glad I picked this up.