Google released its "Android Security: 2016 Year in Review" report last month, and to no one's surprise, included its own flagship phones. However, one surprise on the list was the BlackBerry PRIV, which Google named one of the best Android devices for privacy.
The PRIV was BlackBerry's first phone to run Android, and with little experience on the platform, was seen in Google's eyes as a leader for smartphone privacy.
Several manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, BlackBerry, and OnePlus, regularly deliver security updates to flagship devices on the same day as Google's updates to Nexus and Pixel devices, thereby providing their customers with the most up-to-date security available.
The PRIV comes with full-disk encryption, an always-on VPN for encrypted internet browsing, and secure profiles, to make sure your work and personal information don't mix. BlackBerry succeeded in creating a secure device to run Android and developing the infrastructure to get security updates out quickly.
Google specifies the phones it considers in this category all need to have an update rate of 60–95 percent. The PRIV had an update rate somewhere in this range, though, Google didn't give specifics.
Some of the other non-Nexus and Pixel Android devices that made the list include the Motorola Moto Z Droid, Oppo A33W, OnePlus 3, Samsung Galaxy S7, Asus Zenfone 3, BQ Aquarius M5, Vivo V3Max, LG V20, and the Sony Xperia X Compact.
The report highlighted BlackBerry's commitment to timely updates. Specifically, it mentioned the quick response of the BlackBerry team to the Dirty COW zero-day exploit. And these are only a handful of the features that got the PRIV on our list of the best phones for privacy and security.
BlackBerry's first Android phone is one of the best for those concerned about privacy. Even if BlackBerry has had a difficult time competing in the recent smartphone era, they have always been known for their top-notch privacy.