The New BlackBerry Passport Review
The BlackBerry Passport is an odd piece of kit that shirks conventional design in a bid to really stand apart from the crowd. It’s also the most powerful handset BlackBerry has ever produced, packing in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and 32GB of internal storage (as well as a further 128GB via its SD-slot). In this respect the Passport matches the best of Android, iOS and Windows Phone. But is it enough?
Possibly. BlackBerry has now confirmed sales of around 200,000 since the handset launched last week. That’s not a huge figure compared to Apple’s 10 million-strong iPhone 6 opening weekend, but it is a very solid figure for a company that many had already written off. I’ve been doing my research on the Passport for a week or so now and so far I’m impressed with whats under its hood but not the design of the device (the display is great, as is the keyboard and battery performance is off the charts). In the meantime, lets have a look and see what everybody else has been saying about the handset.
If you were hoping the BlackBerry Passport would be your next BlackBerry then don’t. Its ghastly design will see this square-screen oddity a write-off for most and its short list of positives won’t be enough to save BlackBerry in today’s fast-moving world where Apple, Samsung, and others, play. It’s not how we wanted to see it end, but the Passport will likely be the company’s latest albatross until someone throws the unsold stock back into the sea. It’s not hip to be square.
So then, the BlackBerry Passport. First up, we have to say, hats off to BlackBerry for trying something different. Right now, the company needs some sort of success in the devices space – but sadly, this isn’t likely to be it.
Even so, no other smartphone developer has tried anything even close to this ambitious, and experimentation is what technology should be all about.
If you are someone who needs to know they can access emails whenever and wherever they are, the battery life alone makes this the handset of choice for you.
If, however, you are considering the Passport as a return to BlackBerry after moving to iPhone or Android, don’t, as the user experience just isn’t there yet.
I currently have an iPhone 5c, an iPhone 5S, a Galaxy S4 and a Q10. I CAN’T WAIT for a retail version of the Passport after having used it. My faith in this BlackBerry has been shaky but I can say now that it’s a strong device that makes you feel important, powerful, productive and ready to take on the world. For those of you you think it’s bulky, when it comes to devices, the Passport is a Brooklyn bouncer in an Armani Suit. It might not appear to be sleek, but it’s sexy, it’s fresh, it’s bigger and badder. It lets you ‘do more’ and just could be the passport to tomorrow’s BlackBerry. No pardoning the pun there either.
I’m sure there are a few people who would love a device like the Passport (perhaps Power Pros that have no interest in YouTube and don’t use any of Google’s services). Those people will put up with its shortcomings just to have a big screen and a hardware keyboard (however flawed it might be). The Passport is a shrine to everything BlackBerry has done over the last 15 years, but none of that is very relevant in today’s world. It’s apparently the best that BlackBerry can do, but that’s not enough.
The Blackberry Passport is an all-round confusing device. On one hand, we suspect that we’re missing something, and during our time with the phone we found ourselves questioning whether Blackberry is onto something with the square shape of the smartphone.
After a few days with it, however, the voices in our head eased, as we became certain that the square device is unlikely to take off. While, as Blackberry promised, the display is great for viewing documents, that’s pretty much all it is good for.