T-Mobile says that it’s ‘definitely talking with BlackBerry’ about carrying the Priv

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Earlier this month, T-Mobile confirmed that the BlackBerry Priv is fully compatible with T-Mo’s network, including band 12 LTE and Wi-Fi calling. The bad news for T-Mobile customers is that the Priv isn’t actually being sold by Magenta, so you have to get a full-price unit from BlackBerry. That may change soon, though.

T-Mobile tells CNET it’s “definitely talking with BlackBerry” about carrying the Priv, adding that it “may have something to report soon.” That’s no guarantee that the BlackBerry Priv will hit T-Mobile’s shelves, but it is a glimmer of hope for folks that want to get a Priv through JUMP! On Demand or an equipment installment plan.

John Legere also chimed in on BlackBerry, saying that he believes that the company is “on a comeback.”

It’s kind of strange that T-Mobile isn’t already carrying the Priv. Not only did BlackBerry and T-Mo bury the hatchet earlier this year with the launch of the BB Classic on T-Mobile, but BlackBerry CEO John Chen previously said that he was working with all major carriers on the launch of the device. When AT&T announced plans to carry the Priv, it touted the fact that it’d be the first US carrier to sell the device, so perhaps AT&T and BlackBerry worked out a deal that’d give AT&T a short exclusive on the device. So far Verizon is the only other US carrier that’s said that it will sell the Priv, but it’s only revealed that the device is “coming soon.”

Would you buy the BlackBerry Priv if it were sold by T-Mobile?

Source: CNET

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  • SurvivingSunnyvale

    I’m sure the twelve BlackBerry customers on T-Mobile are thrilled.

    • eanfoso

      Lol I ended up going to at&t on the meantime haha

  • Brian Bloom

    I am really really intrigued by this phone. The entirely selling point for me is the mechanical keyboard which I dearly miss from my old BB Curve days. If I can just get my hands on one to try out, it will determine if I move forward with the Priv or not. (I have no interest in going back to the Blackberry OS, but have long been hoping that they’d release an android device using their tried and tested hardware heritage)

    • Acdc1a

      The technology press hasn’t been kind to the phone, even those that have traditionally been Blackberry friendly. I’m also intrigued, but I’m not plopping down that kind of money for a phone, especially one with mixed reviews at best.

    • I’ve been test driving the phone for a week and have been really happy with it. There are a few things that have bothered me, but overall, it’s one of my favorite phones right now. I’m coming over from a Note Edge and, before that, an LG G3.

      Problems:

      1. Overheating and battery life – Weirdly enough, this one went away after about 5 days of use. I also started using a Qualcomm-certified quick charger, which may or may not have had anything to do with it. Not sure why BlackBerry didn’t ship it with one out of the box. I now average about 5-6 hours of screen time per charge, which is decent.

      2. Google Services / phone(dot)android(dot)com crashing – This seems related to the software update to Messenger. Not sure why there’s a bug there, but the solution is to uninstall the updates.

      3. WiFi calling popup notifications – Could be a Lollipop thing, but this drives me so crazy that I turn off WiFi calling. A popup comes up for WiFi calling way too frequently, even when I’m not on a phone call. Unfortunately, at every reboot, Android turns it back on.

      4. Hub has undead / unread email issues – With one of my three Gmail accounts and with a Yahoo account, I have a recurring message that will not stay marked as read no matter what I do.

      5. Physical Keyboard struggles with double letters – It will often register just a single letter when tapped consecutively.

      In spite of these issues, however, I love it. DTek is really cool, the physical keyboard is great with longer messages, predictive text on the virtual keyboard is one of the best I’ve seen, the Hub is a great all-in-one location for those who juggle multiple accounts, the color rendering on the screen is vibrant, and it’s performance is pretty fast. Aesthetically, it’s a home run. I’m looking forward to the updates that will fix some of the issues above, but regardless, it’s as fun a time as the LG G2 was when it was released.

      • physicist

        You should try Blackberry 10! Way better than Android and IOs

      • Great review! Thanks! The double key press thing better get fixed quickly. I had a Samsung Epic with that issue and it rendered the physical keyboard worthless. I think they figure if you hit it twice too quickly that it’s an accident, but that’s really never the case with how phone keyboard keys work unless you’re fumbling and practically dropping the phone. They should at least make that “correction” an optional one that you can toggle off. Hopefully they resolve battery drain with a patch right away too. That cripples a phone and will tank sales of the bat if left unresolved. And yeah, exclusive launches have been so overdone since the original iPhone days and don’t help phone manufacturers in the least. It’s an archaic business model that needs to away 5 years ago. Fix it Jesus.

        • Thanks! I guess maybe I should add a little update since I’ve been using it a little longer now.

          Some of the problems with the Priv (mentioned above) are actually kind of strange. When people start to have them, they immediately think that they received a bad copy of the phone and return it for a new one, falsely believing that will fix the problem. The only thing a phone return will fix in most cases are *hardware* / *manufacturing* defects (i.e. loose screens, loose keyboards, dust under screens, buttons falling off, etc.). If there’s a *software* problem, all of the phones have the same software, and so returning it doesn’t make sense as a solution. Realizing this, in spite of any software-related issues I had, I decided to hold on to the phone and wait out updates that fix it.

          This is where things get weird. So the Google Play Services error (item #2 above) was not fixed by uninstalling Messenger updates. It had gone away for a few days and then it came back. When it came back again, I went to my App Manager, looked at all of my apps, and systematically cleared the data and force stopped every single Google-related app that I could find and every single social media app I could find. Why did I do this? This isn’t a problem unique to the Priv. Judging by threads on other forums of other Android phones, it seems to be a Lollipop issue (and Blackberry has already announced an update to Android M in first quarter 2016) and it specifically seems to be a sync issue. I don’t want to speak prematurely, but it has been almost 5 days now since I’ve had the issue again. At best, I fixed it, and at worst, it’s something that just comes and goes.

          As far as battery life goes, I haven’t given it a good test in over a week, accepting that the battery life is what it is. When I look at it relative to other Android phones with Snapdragon 808 processors, it’s on par with what other users are experiencing, which is 3-5 hours of screen on time (depending on the size of their batteries). The Priv manages 4-6 to be specific. I have managed to watch an entire football game on the Priv without charging, which I considered to be quite good. This, however, is also where things get weird again. Another Priv user that I know (family member) had the same battery life that I did (and many others), but recently, they started getting 7-8 hours of screen on time. They’re not sure what changed. Mine *might* be around there, but like I said, I just haven’t paid attention any more. Whenever I travel, it’s a habit to throw it on the car charger, and it usually carries enough of a charge that I seldom need a wall charger until I go to bed at night.

          There *is* a Blackberry Services bug that can cause significant battery drain (i.e. drain in less than 2 hours), but this is easily fixed. I didn’t experience this myself until about 3 days ago. The solution that I found was to go to the App Manager -> All Apps, find every Blackberry Services process (there are about four of them), and Force Stop. This actually fixed the problem without even needing to perform a phone restart.

          I’m still enjoying the phone quite a bit. It was provided to me as a gift, and so buyer’s remorse is not something that is affecting my evaluation of it. I had every opportunity to return it without any consequence. I just enjoy using it too much. I’m kind of glad to see Blackberry enter the Android market, and this phone signals to me that they’re serious about competing in it. I hope that they continue to refine their Android products because we can all greatly benefit from another competitor not named Samsung. My Note Edge has been sitting in the corner of my room since I’ve purchased the Priv, and there isn’t a moment that has gone by where I’ve felt like turning it back on and using it again.

          What impresses me most, though, is Blackberry’s dedication to getting this right. There are some Blackberry developers that read the Blackberry Support forums and the Crackberry forums. In the case of the latter, I’ve had a developer reach out to me and ask me to e-mail him a bug report along with a description of the issues. I wasn’t even complaining about my problem; they simply took the initiative. They’re clearly committed to making improvements and are aware of the more common issues. I was told that a Hub update is right around the corner.

        • Dedication to fixing issues is HUGE! I’ve had some crazy battery drain issues with my phone over the past few weeks and hadn’t tracked down the exact root cause yet, but I received an update last night and I’m really hoping it fixes it. Earlier this week, I dropped about 30% battery in 45 minutes or so while my phone was idle with the screen off. Not good! The thing is, it seems to randomly occur with any phone/manufacturer out there at one point or another with Android. And, it doesn’t necessarily pop up after installing any new programs. My HTC One had an issue where cell standby out of the blue just starting chewing up battery. I really wish it wasn’t required to root a phone to get as much in the way of intelligent battery/process/wakelock stats like it does though. =/

        • FWIW, they just released a software update a few days ago, and among the fixes is that they keyboard now registers double letters without any problems. Thought you’d want to know!

        • Great Odin’s raven! Thanks for the update. I definitely want one now! I had always wondered if the issue was “by design” or flaw with the Samsung Epic I had. I personally don’t “accidentally” double push keys on a physical phone keyboard, so it wouldn’t seem like a feature people would want…or at least certainly not by default. I’m so glad they fixed it though. I remember how frustrating that was with the Epic. You never realize how many words have two letters in a row that are identical, until you have a keyboard that omits 1 every single time!

    • eanfoso

      Go to an at&t store, that way you’ll try it out and piss off at&t reps for not buying anything.

  • Ordeith

    Even the Lumia 950 will sell better than that bastardized Blackberry. T-Mobile has some strange priorities.

    • jonathan3579

      I highly doubt that.

  • Alex L.

    John Chen confirmed in a recent interview with CNBC that att has the exclusive for “most of this calendar year” stupid move to limit who can get the phone. iphone aside, an att exclusive is usually the kiss of death (htc cha cha anyone?)

    • Acdc1a

      Exclusives are outdated.

      • Alex L.

        agreed.

    • I agree. It was a terrible decision.

    • logical

      Should have been available on all four carriers on the same day with a huge marketing blitz. Chen needs to be fired

    • geminiman7

      Yeah, very stupid decision. You can’t expect people to drop a carrier they’ve been with for years just to get a phone made by a manufacturer that has 2% market share (I love BB BTW). I highly doubt T-Mobile and Verizon customers have left for ATT for this “exclusive”.

      BB should have allowed all carriers to sell this device. I’m still waiting…but not moving!

  • steveb944

    I’m still slightly interested, especially with JOD or installments.

  • Deihmos

    This phone will be such a huge flop.

    • logical

      And it will be 100% John chens fault if it does

    • AS118

      If they lower the price, it might not be. That said, they should have made it with a 1080p screen and designed it to be cheaper from the get-go. In the world of Moto G’s and Alcatel Idols, there is no room for more premium phones from companies that need to expand marketshare fast.

      • jelp2

        How many of Moto G’s and Idols have physical keyboards??

        • Deihmos

          Problem is not too many care about physical keyboards. they ache the fingertips and make the photo fatter and heavier. I can type a lot faster on a software kb than physical keyboards on phones.

        • jelp2

          Remember though that the many people that left BlackBerry le due to the old OS and the lack of apps. Priv is going to be marketed towards those who left but miss the one and only BlackBerry keyboard.Not too long ago Ryan Seacrest was trying to emulate a BlackBerry keyboard add on for the iPhone. So there must be a market for it.

  • Cheri Taylor

    I hear many saying they would not pay the hefty price for the Blackberry Priv. My question is this: How is this any different than getting any android theses days from the carriers. It seems that the average phone is around $800 no matter how you acquire it.

    • g2a5b0e

      The average phone is around $800? Besides the higher capacity iPhones, flagship Galaxies, & Notes, what other phones even come close $800? The average phone is no where near that. Look at phone prices on carrier or manufacturer websites & try again.

    • geminiman7

      If you buy unlocked, yes. But if you buy through carrier as the majority do, the price is typically 1/2 of that

  • HibikiRush

    Hopefully this will give them an opportunity to fix all the software kinks I’ve read about.

    • I’m pretty impressed with BlackBerry so far. They’ve already released an update that fixes a lot of issues, and they’ve promised a forthcoming one that will help improve battery life. They’re very aggressive and proactive with this device, trying really hard to get it right.

  • geminiman7

    T-Mobile needs to hurry up and get the Priv so they can take my $$$

  • Cheri Taylor

    So whats the latest on the Priv?