Smartphone Review: BlackBerry Passport


The BlackBerry Passport raised a few eyebrows when it was first revealed to the world, including my own. I really wasn’t sure such a square and, what looked to be, a cumbersome design would work. I have been using the Passport for while now and I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised, read more below.


BlackBerry Passport Design



BlackBerry Passport unboxed


The first thing you will notice when you get your hands on the BlackBerry Passport is the unique look of the phone. BlackBerry has broke from convention and made this handset stand out with a more square look, designed on the looks and form of a passport. The design of the phone has had some real thought applied to it and you certainly get a good looking premium product with this smartphone.


BlackBerry Passport design


The back is rubberised for easy grip and the design has been inspired by modern architecture with exposed steel edges and clean lines. The phone is quite weighty at 196g but overall that wasn’t too difficult to get used to. The large 4.5-inch touchscreen display is square with a resolution of 1440 x 1440 and BlackBerry has gone with a square for better productivity, and it certainly was better to edit spreadsheets or text based documents on this screen.


The BlackBerry Passport keypad is also somewhat of a revelation as I am used to my touchscreen keyboards and didn’t think I could get used to a physical keypad again, but I was wrong. The keypad made typing more accurate as having to physically push the keys made it easier to press the right key. The keypad also acts as a trackpad so you can scroll around web pages without smearing up your screen with fingerprints.


BlackBerry Passport Features


passport features


Under the hood the BlackBerry Passport has a Snapdragon 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 3GB RAM and an internal memory of 32GB. The speakers on the phone transmit sound from the phone base so you can place the phone down without muffling the sound.


If you are an Android or Apple devotee and are not sure if you could move over to a BlackBerry phone the Passport has setup and tutorials on board to get you started. The Setup Hub and Tutorial Hub can be accessed at any time if you need help with a feature of the phone.


The BlackBerry Passport has plenty of features and apps for both work and play so don’t write this phone off as just for business users.


Documents To Go allows you to open and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents while BlackBerry World gives you access to lots of apps made to work perfectly with your BlackBerry Passport. BlackBerry Assistant will complete voice activated tasks such as sending emails or getting directions and Synchronise keeps everything on your phone and PC updated with each other.


For fun on the BlackBerry Passport you can head to the Amazon Appstore for apps like Pinterest and games and Social has all your favourite social network apps pre-loaded. The phone has built in music and video apps so you can enjoy music and GPS is on board for exploring new places.


BlackBerry Passport battery


The battery on board is a 3450mAh power pack and promises to deliver 30 hours of mixed usage. The battery certainly help up well when I tested this phone over a couple of days with high Wi-Fi usage not affecting the battery much. Official figures give you 14 hours of talk time, 11 hours of video playback or 91 hours of audio.


BlackBerry Passport Camera


The camera on board is a 13-megapixel lens with 5x digital zoom, touch and continuous focus and an LED flash. The camera performed well in all conditions and the settings and options were easy to get to grips with. Panorama mode worked really well and Burst Mode captured good images (even of my fast moving chihuahua subject).


BlackBerry Passport camera pictures


The post editing options are varied giving you plenty of options to add filters and effects to your captured photos before sharing them. Video is high quality at 1080p HD and the front facing camera is 2-megapixels so you video calls were clear.


In the beginning I was dubious about the BlackBerry Passport, the design just seemed to out there for me, but overall I have been mightily won over by this smartphone. The screen is fantastic and the square shape works incredibly well when editing documents, viewing web pages or editing images. The ability to scroll by simply sliding your fingers over the keypad made web browsing even better than on a standard phone so if you are tempted by the BlackBerry Passport I would but unsure I would recommend giving it a go – you won’t regret it!

Written by: Carmel Brown

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