What we know about the upcoming Blackberry Priv

Blackberry is really trying hard to get it right and for their sake, I hope it will give them some leverage.

The Priv features a 5.4″ Quad HD display with curved glass and runs on the Snapdragon 808 chip with dual-core 1.8GHz Cortex-A57 and quad-core 1.44GHz Cortex-A53 CPU plus Adreno 418 GPU.

The main camera of the BlackBerry Priv is an 18MP Sony MX230-S with 4K video recording and a dual-LED flash.

The BlackBerry’s setup also features Schneider-Kreuznach optics.

The Priv will be running on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with some BlackBerry exclusive apps and services. There will be an app to help you transfer content from various devices, including old BlackBerries.


From an accessibility point of view, and probably for the physical qwerty keyboard fans, this is going to be an interesting option as the selection on Android phones with physical qwerty keyboards are really small and I don’t think that there are any devices in South Africa at present.  The old and outdated ones doesn’t count.


Below is the video, introducing the Priv.


I will update this post the moment I learn anything else.

Blackberry Passport

Blackberry Passport.

The Blackberry name was not a very popular name in South Africa amongst the blind and visually impaired users.

It was slow, crashed more than what was acceptable and generally provided a horrible UI that was slower than many things I can think of but, that I won’t mention here for the fear of not having enough server space to store the content thereof.

however, the Blackberry Passport was a refreshing change and Blackberry provided me with a test unit. Thank you.

The device feels very solid in the hand; a very sure 196 g, and comes with a physical qwerty keyboard.

Looking at the specs, one cannot really complain but, as a totally blind user, you would not really like the device.

The screen reader is still very unfinished and I wouldn’t use this phone as my primary phone.

However, the magnification features built-in are definitely of a decent standard thus, if you have some vision left and you can afford this beasty, I’d highly recommend it.

The phone is quite big and not the right size for everyone.

The Body Dimensions are 128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm and as mentioned earlier, it weighs 196 g.

At the rear, toward the top, there’s a pannel that you can remove and there are two slots. One for the Nano-SIM and the other for the micro-sd card with a storage capacity of up to 128GB.

It is running BlackBerry OS 10.3, upgradable to v10.3.2 and sports a Qualcomm MSM8974AA Snapdragon 801 chipset with a Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400 CPU.

The GPU is not as high as I’d expect but, Adreno 330 does the job.

If you love storing a lot of media, you will have little to complain about as the Memory options are decent.

The micro-sd Card slot that we touched on earlier, has a capacity of up to 128 GB and Internally we are looking at 32 GB with 3 GB RAM.

This hardware combination is awesome and I never experienced any sort of lag when switching from one app to another or when running multiple applications at the same time.

The sound on this device is amazing. At the bottom grill, we find the stereo speakers. These performed well on speaker phone and excellent when listening to music.

Talking about speakers, the 3.5mm jack is at the top, just a little away from the left corner.

Blackberry provided a 13 MP camera, with 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, optical image stabilization and LED flash,

The standard geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, and panorama features are found to make up the rest of the camera offering.

Oh, I almost forgot about the video recording. 1080p@60fps, is the best the BB can do.

The front camera is a 2 MP, 720p camera and suffices for video calling and other functions.

I’m not going into all of the specs but, I must say that the Non-removable Li-Ion 3450 mAh battery really comes in handy. The standby time is really good and even if you are a somewhat heavy user, it won’t let you down.

Perfect for the business user and for those who love their qwerty keyboards; really hard to find fault with this phone apart from the lack of action in the screen reader department.

However, as you may have heard, Blackberry is soon coming out with an Android based device with a full physical qwerty keyboard. Looking forward to that one? Just wondering because, I am!

Thanks again to Blackberry South Africa for having made this device available to me.

If you have any comments or suggestions, why not hit us up on Twitter at @AccessZA? Participation is key.

Zello, free Walky Talky application for Android, Blackberry, iOS and the PC.

Zello is a free program that will allow you to talk to people from all over the world, with your voice. It works on Android phones, Blackberry devices, Apple’s iOS devices and computers.

In this podcast, I demonstrate very briefly, what Zello sounds like on the computer and on my Android device.

Visit Zello on the net at www.Zello.com to download Zello for the pc.

If you are using Android, Blackberry or an iOS device, visit the respective market places to download Zello. Remember that it is free.

Blackberry’s 9360 and accessibility

No untainted phones are currently available for the Blackberry 9360.

According to reports, it can be a real hastle to install the Blackberry screenreader.

Even though Blackberry claims that it is real easy to install and activate, most blind people in South Africa found themselves faced with rather confusing and differing results.

According to some reports, you first have to flash the rom of the phone with another rom, install the Blackberry screenreader and then install the original rom of the initial network.

I am trying my very best to obtain a blackberry 9360, to put this to the test however, thus far it has been somewhat of a challenge.

However, as usual, I will post the moment I know anything new.

Until then, stay away from Blackberry…..