BlackBerry Priv voted Best Smartphone of 2015

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Our readers have named the BlackBerry Priv as the Best Smartphone of 2015. For three weeks, readers have been voting their best smartphone of 2015 and we tallied over 38,000 votes.

Winning was no easy task as there were some amazing phones that users had to choose from. Samsung finally ditched their plastic in favour of a beautiful all-metal design for both the Galaxy S6 edge and S6 edge+. Microsoft launched the first ever smartphones running Windows 10 mobile, and of course Apple released their latest iPhones.

It would be fair to say that all the major players produced great smartphones with a variety of new and innovative features in 2015.

It was the BlackBerry Priv, BlackBerry’s first ever smartphone running the Android operating system, that won the accolades though.

Way back in September of last year, two months before the Priv was publicly available, our very own Rapid John wrote that the BlackBerry Priv was the most innovative device set to hit the Android World in years.

PRIV was designed with security at its core, building on BlackBerry’s legacy of security and keeping private its customersdata.

Security highlights include:

  • Advanced Privacy Controls: The exclusive DTEK by BlackBerry app for Android monitors and reports on application access to the microphone, camera, location and personal information, enabling users to be confident that their personal data is being kept private. Users can know at a glance when their privacy could be at risk so they can take action to improve it.
  • Secure Hardware: BlackBerry’s hardware root of trust, a unique manufacturing process, injects cryptographic keys into the device hardware, providing a secure foundation for the entire platform.
  • Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain: Keys have been embedded to verify every layer of the device from hardware to OS to applications in order to make sure they haven’t been tampered with. Additionally, thousands of modifications were made to harden the Linux kernel with numerous patches and configuration changes to improve security.
  • Fully supported on BlackBerry’ EMM Solution: PRIV can be integrated with our leading EMM solution, BES 12, which offers cross-platform management of PRIV and other devices; providing a full end to end security solution and secure collaboration applications for business users like Secusuite for secure voice and WatchDox for secure file sharing.

As part of BlackBerry’s cross-platform strategy to provide a greater choice of secure solutions to its customers, users will see a seamless merging of key BlackBerry 10 productivity features like the BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Calendar into PRIV.

Additional key features include:

  • Full Android App and Ecosystem Experience – PRIV brings incredible new features to the Android platform and gives users full access to over one million applications: whether it’s Instagram, Spotify, Uber or BBM, you’ll find it on Google Play.
  • Best of Both Keyboards – offers the freedom to choose between a virtual keyboard or a physical keyboard for speed and accuracy.
  • Tough and Beautiful Screen – A stunning 5.4-inch immersive dual-curve OLED display offers plenty of room to work or play with rich colors, deep black levels and less power consumption. At a resolution of 2560×1440, it sports an incredible pixel density of 540 PPI – 4x the amount of pixels of a standard HDTV. Along the screen’s curved edge is the Productivity Tab that provides an “at a glance” view of the most pertinent info from BlackBerry Hub, Calendar, Task, and Contacts.
  • Full-day Battery Life  PRIV has a 3410 mAh battery with enough power to work up to 22.5 straight hours of mixed usage.
  • State-of-the-Art Camera – Engineered to deliver professional looking photos with minimal effort, an 18MP camera, certified by Schneider-Kreuznach, integrates technologies commonly found in DSLR cameras.
  • Powerful Performance and Expandable Storage – PRIV is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, a premium-tier chipset designed to offer consumers a superior and compelling user experience along with peace of mind with Qualcomm SecureMSM technology and Qualcomm Snapdragon StudioAccess content protection. Plus, with 32 GB of onboard storage and support for micro SD cards up to 2TB, the new PRIV gives users the flexibility to add affordable and hot-swappable storage to download, install, capture and share as their needs evolve.
  • BlackBerry Natural Sound – PRIV comes with powerful speakers and a three-microphone system that delivers a high-quality listening experience. BlackBerry Natural Sound Technology is built in to adapt Wi-Fi and cellular call sound depending upon phone position and background noise, automatically adjusting volume so users don’t have to.
  • Android for Work –  PRIV comes ready for work. Android for Work support allows for fast, simple and secure integration with the enterprise environment. Seamless integration with Google Play for Work enables easy access to IT-managed apps.

BlackBerry 10 devices have won numerous design awards and the Priv is sure to be added to that list in 2016.

Interestingly, the top three smartphones were all running the Android operating system.

Full results

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