5 annoying BlackBerry Priv problems, and what to do about them

blackberry priv problems review featured
If you’re after a great physical keyboard on an Android phone, then the BlackBerry Priv is the obvious choice. There’s plenty to recommend it, but it’s not without its faults. We’ve been digging around in the forums to unearth the most commonly reported BlackBerry Priv problems, and then we’ve been digging deeper to try and get at the roots and find good ways to fix them, or, failing that, work around them.

Problem: Rapid battery drain and overheating

A lot of BlackBerry Priv owners have been complaining about the battery life. The phone has a whopping 3,410mAh battery in it, so it really should be capable of making it through even the busiest of days. Sadly, there are reports of rapid battery drain and overheating, which are likely to be symptoms of the same problem.

Workarounds:

  • You might find that the problem is temporarily alleviated with a simple restart. Hold down the Power button and select Restart.
  • Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers and make sure Battery saver is on. It will reduce performance and background data when power is low to extend the battery a little.
  • You could also go to Settings > Display and reduce the brightness under Brightness level and the screen time out under Sleep.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure that your OS and apps are fully up to date. Go to Settings > About phone > System updates and tap Check for update. Open the Play Store and tap Menu — represented by three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner — then My apps & games > Installed and Update all.
  • There’s a good chance that an app or game is causing the issue. If you notice issues specifically with a certain app, then go to Settings > Apps > All and find the app in question, then tap Force stop and Clear cache. If that doesn’t help, then try uninstalling and reinstalling it.
  • Some people have found that tweaking their cellular or mobile network settings helped. Go to Settings and choose More under Wireless & networks and then Cellular network > Preferred network type. Try changing the settings to see if it makes a difference. Some carriers lock these settings down, in which case you might not have the option to make any changes.
  • You can check if a third-party app is to blame by booting into safe mode. Press and hold the Power button and then tap and hold on Power off, then tap OK to reboot to safe mode. If you find the problem is resolved when in safe mode, then you can uninstall apps one-by-one until you find the culprit, or go straight for a factory reset and install selectively, testing to see if the problem returns after each app is installed.
  • Your final option is a factory reset. Make sure you backup everything precious and then go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone.

Issue: Wi-Fi won’t connect, disconnects, or slow

A few people have had trouble with the BlackBerry Priv connecting to Wi-Fi networks. Some people have found that it frequently disconnects, or the connection slows down inexplicably. This is a common issue for smartphones and there are lots of things you can try.

Potential fixes:

  • Turn your BlackBerry Priv and your router off, and then turn them on again. This often works, but it’s rarely a permanent fix.
  • Go to Settings > Wi-Fi, long press on your troublesome router, then tap Forget network, and try setting it up from scratch.
  • If you’re connecting to 5GHz and there’s a 2.4GHz option, or vice versa, try switching to see if it makes a difference.
  • Use a free app like Wifi Analyzer to make sure that your channels aren’t too crowded. If you find that you’re using a busy channel, then try switching to a different one.
  • Check that the MAC filter on your router is off, or add your BlackBerry Priv MAC address. You should find it listed in Settings > Wi-Fi > More > Advanced.
  • Make sure that Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep is set to Always. You’ll find it in Settings > Wi-Fi > More > Advanced.
  • Make sure that your router firmware is up to date. Check with your ISP or manufacturer about updates.

Glitch: No SIM card error

There have been some reports of BlackBerry Priv owners getting error messages about the SIM card not being detected. This error seems to pop up intermittently, with no obvious reason, and it may disappear again just as randomly.

Potential solutions:

  • Check that the problem isn’t related to a case or something else pressing against the SIM card tray.
  • Make sure that your Priv is up to date via Settings > About phone > System updates > Check for update.
  • Hold down the Power button and tap Power off. Remove the SIM card tray using the SIM card tool or a paper clip. Make sure that there’s no dust or dirt in the port and check the metallic contacts on the SIM card. You can use a pencil eraser to gently clean your SIM card. Make sure it’s clean before you put it back in.
  • Ask your carrier for a new SIM card. It’s often free, but you should confirm this before you order one.
  • If you find the problem persists with a new SIM card, then you may have to ask for a replacement handset.

Bug: SMS or MMS not working

If you’ve been having problems with sending or receiving SMS or MMS messages, you’re not the only one. A few people have reported recurring issues with text messages not sending properly or arriving late on the BlackBerry Priv.

Potential fixes:

  • Make sure that your OS and apps are fully up to date. Go to Settings > About phone > System updates and tap Check for update. Open the Play Store and tap Menu — represented by three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner — then My apps & games > Installed and Update all.
  • Check with your carrier about your APN settings and other details of your network. Take a look under Settings > Wireless & networks > More > Cellular network to confirm they’re correct.
  • Some people report success after a factory reset, but the problem may return. If you want to try it, then back up everything precious and go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone.

Problem: Battery edge indicator not working

The battery edge indicator is a strip of color on the right edge of the screen that’s supposed to show charging progress. It goes from red to yellow to green as the Priv charges up. Some people have found that it isn’t working properly for them.

Potential solutions:

  • Take a look in Settings > Display and make sure Battery Edge is turned on.
  • Go to Settings > Display and make sure that Ambient display is on.
  • Keep in mind that it’s designed to turn off when the room is dark, so as to avoid disturbing your sleep. Try putting it in a bright environment or shine a flashlight on it, just to test if that’s the problem.
Mobile

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.
Movies & TV

Best new podcasts: Personal Best, Man Up, and White Lies

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series, we’ll help you pick out the best of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include The White List, Man Up, and Personal Best.
Deals

Turn your Apple tablet into a laptop with one of these iPad keyboard cases

A keyboard case serves to both protect your iPad and give you a set of laptop keys. You don’t have to shell out tons of cash for a good one, either; if you’re looking for a way to turn your iPad into a 2-in-1 laptop, check these deals…
Deals

REI backpack deals: Save up to 35% on Osprey and Patagonia daypacks

If you’re in the market for a way to carry your gear without spending more than a Benjamin, then these REI deals on Osprey and Patagonia backpacks are just the ticket for your next overnight or weekend adventure.
Mobile

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to get your Android phone into recovery mode.
Gaming

Get ready to slay spiders and skeletons in real life with Minecraft Earth

Minecraft Earth is the new augmented reality mobile game that uses the Minecraft engine. We have everything you need to know including the release date, features, price, phone compatibility, and more.
Mobile

The Realme X is so cheap and so good that it defies the rules of economics

The Realme X has a 48-megapixel camera, an in-display fingerprint sensor, an AMOLED screen, and a Snapdragon 710 processor, yet it costs from $220. We've tried out the phone to see if it's too good to be true.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Mobile

Grab it as soon as it pops up: The OnePlus 7 Pro is now available for sale

The OnePlus 7 Pro has been revealed, and it's a monster of a phone with a stunning redesign, a pop-up selfie camera, powerful flagship specs, and a price that's hundreds of dollars less than the competition.
Mobile

Mad U.K. retailer slashes 99% off Google Pixel 3a price for a few lucky buyers

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Home Theater

Why you can’t buy Car Thing, Spotify’s first hardware device

Spotify created a voice-activated, in-car device that lets you listen to music and podcasts. But Car Thing, as it is known, is not for sale. Instead, it will be used to gather data from a limited set of customers.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Mobile

Can Apple or Samsung steal the OnePlus 7 Pro's flagship killer title?

OnePlus has long been the go-to for flagship specs under a flagship price. But now Apple and Samsung have challengers in the arena, and they want the Flagship Killer crown for themselves. Who wins? We found out.
Mobile

Google Pixel 4 will reportedly ditch physical buttons and display notch

The Google Pixel 4 will reportedly feature massive design changes, including the removal of clickable power and volume keys in favor of capacitive touch areas. The smartphone is also said to be dropping the display notch.