Following up the teaser photo I posted of my new Porsche Design P'9981 Smartphone from BlackBerry, I responded to the requests of CrackBerry Nation and followed it up today with an official unboxing of this expensive and exclusive BlackBerry. And since this is a BlackBerry that's going to set back would be purchasers ~ $2k, I extended the unboxing video to also include a walk through of the device and some of my initial review impressions.
I'll follow up soon with my full review, but honestly, this isn't a phone that really requires a review. Seriously. With a price tag this high, buying the P'9981 isn't about features or specs or how it stacks up in value against other devices on the market. This phone is about emotion. It's about desire. And of course, it's about showing the world you can afford to spend $2,000 on a phone.
People who want this phone and can afford it won't really care what others think about it. This isn't a phone for hipsters. We've seen lots of people say they think it's hot. Others have said it's not. I was on the fence initially, but the more I use it the more I like it. I did take my P'9981 out on the town Friday and Saturday night and both nights I had strangers come up to me and ask if that was the new Porsche BlackBerry. When I said yes I received looks of awe - obviously they recognized and respected what the phone represented in terms of cash (and possibly they thought I was nuts to have one).
From a hardware perspective, the phone is essentially a BlackBerry Bold 9900 in a different body with a different theme. That means the pros and cons of these two devices are one and the same. Like the Bold 9900, the P'9981 is an amazing communication tool (even though the keyboard isn't quite as good as the 9900's, it's still really great). And like the 9900, the app/content experience isn't as good as it is on the PlayBook OS/BlackBerry 10 or the competition from iOS and Android. But what the P'9981 is lacking compared to the competition doesn't matter, as if you're seriously looking to buy this phone you probably already also own an iPad or PlayBook or Android tablet or iPod touch or several of each. You're buying this because you value the BlackBerry communication experience and want to embrace it in the most exclusive way possible. Which also means it's the most expensive way.