You know that BlackBerry is no longer the industry giant it used to be and this because they missed the trend of touchscreen smartphones. However, there are quite a few people interested in a phone with its own QWERTY keyboard and business facilities.
Android, iOS and Windows Phone are not safe enough for this category of customers, and the BlackBerry software seems to be an alternative for them.
On the other hand, BlackBerry wants to differ from competition and adopt a truly original approach. BlackBerry Passport is very wide, pretty square, QWERTY based keyboard and a touch screen. It is a phone that you can use it only in landscape mode. Enough talk, let go into its detailed specifications.
Design and Connectivity
Passport BlackBerry design that stands out at first glance by phone width and boxy appearance. It’s wider than any other smartphone or phablet and only 7-inch tablets exceed it at this chapter. Plus it’s also one of the haeaviest phones having a 4.5 inch display it has 196 gr.
It is large in size, but surprisingly is very ergonomic and not at all uncomfortable. Under the 4.5 inch touchscreen display there is the QWERTY keyboard, arranged in 3 rows. The keys are ergonomically placed, easily accessible and you’ll learn those pretty quickly.
I was worried of the ease to use them, especially since in the media images they seemed crowded, but in reality the situation was different.
BB Passport’s keyboard turns into an ad hoc trackpad and you can scroll web pages, etc. No access is provided to the 3450 mAh battery and on top, a cover protects small SIM and micro SD slots (up to 128 GB). The device’s back is matte, has a texture that contributes to the pleasant grip, a metal frame on the side of the phone, making it rigid.
At the top you get a the 3.5 mm jack and near there opens the lid which allows access to nano SIM and micro SD slots, plus the power button, in the right side are the volume controls, at its base, you will find some micro USB port used for connection to PC or in transferring files.
It’s an IPS about 4.5 inches with an atypical resolution of 1440 × 1440 pixels, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Not impressed about its brightness, but the pixel density is brilliant for a device having this diagonal, respond quickly to controls, the colors are displayed correctly without being oversaturated. It does not reflect the ambient space in a way that bothers the user.
This model uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor 801 quad-core processor at 2.26 GHz, a Adreno 330 graphics accelerator and 3GB of RAM, about 32 GB of storage of which only 25 GB are actually available, a micro SD slot for up to 128 GB to supplement the 25 GB storage space.
BB Passport runs on BlackBerry 10.3 and I’m sure it would not need such processing power, but you know that there are plenty of people who are not impressed unless they see a top phone with many GB of RAM and a top processor.
The operating system designed by Canadian company has not changed from when we tested the BlackBerry Z10. The graphic interface is based on swipe and rather simple, easy to learn, it resembles MeeGo OS the one on Nokia N9.
With a gesture swipe from top to bottom you get the notifications panel + quick settings. Your home screen consists of three windows: BlackBerry Hub – that takes mail notifications, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc., the second window having the applications running in the background, applications you can close anytime, third window, having the applications preinstalled on Passport BB.
Second window may be absent if no application has been minimized. You can install 1Mobile Market and have access to hundreds of thousands of Android applications.
The phone has preinstalled Amazon App Store, also for those interested to download this type of content. You can also find BlackBerry World, but cannot comparable in diversity with Google Play. The shape of the display and the fact that you use the phone in portrait mode makes BB Passport not recommendable for those interested in games that function more in landscape mode or using it to play movies in high quality. It is designed for browsing, office, long e-mails and for its native business capacities.
Connectivity and other features
Does not miss anything: 4G speeds up to 150 Mbps in download, free Wi-Fi ac, dual-band, etc.
I emphasize the quality of voice calls, it is downright excellent. It impressed in this feature and I would say that the BlackBerry tradition is shown in full.
Camera and video
The main camera has 13 megapixels, LED flash, a minimalist application and I will leave you with some photos taken with BlackBerry Passport. The front camera is 2 megapixels and records at 720p. They get convincing quality photos, makes its focus quickly and colors are rendered very well.
The 3450 mAh battery is suitable for this model and can get a lifetime of up to 1.5 – 2 days. It is helpful having 4.5 inch display, compact if we refer to the screens on top Android phones which are way bigger and the atypical resolution of 1440 × 1440 pixels plus relatively high capacity battery placed by BlackBerry on its high end model.
BlackBerry Passport can become an effective business tool in the hands of an expert. It is not a wide range phone but a smartphone addressed to a well-defined business segment.
We like about BB Passport:
– Original design, atypical shape, physical QWERTY keyboard;
– Top hardware;
– Operating system with a swipe based interface + maximum simplicity, compatibility with Android applications;
– Support for BlackBerry services, valued in the corporate environment;
– Great autonomy.