Ten reasons why you’ll love the BlackBerry Passport
Nishant Nayyar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Updated: Oct 15, 2014 15:29 IST
Over the past two years, BlackBerry has received a lot of flak for not making innovative products. However, with the newly launched Passport, things are finally looking up for the erstwhile RIM.
We give you 10 reasons why the white collared and many amongst you will totally love this product.
1. Square design One of the biggest upside of this product is the unique squat square design. The 4.5-inch screen is instilled in a square chassis and is a breather from the staple rectangular design. Though at first most would want to disapprove the appearance of this product, but once you’ve got it in your hands we bet you’ll totally love it. Of course, owing to its square design, single hand functioning gets limited. But this is BlackBerry, and they’re more about their QWERTY keyboard than their full touchscreen capabilities. More so, we’re all acquainted with those large phablets that barely fit in the pocket, but are selling like hot cakes. So we think BlackBerry finally has a winner with these design aesthetics.
2. BlackBerry Blend This is the highlight of the software’s prowess. Blend is a platform that enables access to emails, messages, files etc. from your Passport to a PC, Mac or a tablet. You just need a Blend platform for the respective OS - Windows or Mac, and you can easily access it with the help of Mobile network or Wi-Fi. Imagine you accessing files on different devices and editing them at the same time without any security threat, thanks to BlackBerry’s secured networks. Only if JLaw and Kate Upton knew about it!
3. BlackBerry 10.3 This is a refined version of the previous iterations of BlackBerry OS 10. It looks nicer, performs faster and demands a lot of gestures and swiping to use. The center of attraction remains the Hub. Though many people have mocked it out-and-out, to us it makes a lot of sense to have all of our emails, Twitter/Facebook messages, and of course the WhatsApp chats in one place. Isn’t it? The icing on the cake - it features a new virtual assistant.
4. 13MO OIS camera Somehow, BlackBerry has always managed to get their camera just about right, and this is the case with the Passport. The 13MP rear camera is quite a treat to use, and should leave the closet photographer inside you quite intrigued. We were pretty happy with the clicks, especially the ones in low exposure.
In most cases the details of the clicks were sharp and crisp, but only a handful of captures failed to impress us. We also noticed that in some clicks the colour reproduction was a tad bit subdued, but it was sidelined with the overall picture quality. The focus is quite agile, and at various instances the camera prompts you to enable HDR – something that comes in moderately handy. This camera comes with a factory setting to capture photos in 1:1 ratio; while they wouldn’t bother you on the Passport, the default size might not be useful on other phones.
Yes, this is the feat that’ll let you jump in joy. The QWERTY keyboard brings back the ease and the sensation of typing – something that no other physical or virtual keyboard delivers. The keyboard is touch-enabled, that lets you scroll through the webpages, emails, PDFs by just swiping your fingers – something that could be irritating at first, but settles down as the phone starts to grow on you.
6. Super battery life One of the biggest concerns of a data-hungry smartphone user is the device’s battery performance. As compared to other devices in the arcade, the Passport is a clear leader. Moderate-to-heavy usage should let you squeeze the battery life for about two days – you can finally bid adieu to those clinging USB wires and dud-looking battery packs.
7. Super specs Specs are at par, if not the best, with the devices that are making waves in the industry today. A 4.5-inch screen packs in a mammoth 1440X1440 pixel resolution. Under the hood is a 2.2 Ghz Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor coupled with 3GB RAM that makes multitasking a job ‘well done’. The 3450-mAh battery is what keeps your Whatsapp ticking for two days, without a single recharge. If the internal memory of 32GB doesn’t feed your soul, the people at BlackBerry have been kind enough to give you the ease of expanding this memory to 128 GB via a micro SD slot. A 13MP rear snapper and a 2MP front capturer does the trick for most of your video recording, or selfie-clicking shenanigans.
8. Amazon AppStore As noticed, BlackBerry lost out majorly to its competitors with a half-baked App Store that barely kept anyone interested in it. Though the BlackBerry World hosts an array of productivity tools, it’s the Amazon AppStore that serves as a silver lining for this smartphone. As compared to Google Play Store’s gargantuan 1.2 millions apps available, the Amazon AppStore has about 240,000 apps. Though the numbers look disappointing, the latter features a handsome number of Android apps.
9. BlackBerry Enterprise Solution You’d agree with us – this is the fastest, safest, and the least vulnerable system enterprise. BlackBerry was the ‘apple of the eye’ of every CEO, not owing to its bold looks, but because of its secured network encryption. It’s because of the same goodwill that a lot of loyalists are still holding on to the brand. And yes, with the recent bout of iHacks, we reckon your search for a secure OS would end here.
10. Getting Work Done The ideal BlackBerry user doesn’t kill time by playing games, doesn’t Shazam that catchy song on the radio and surely wouldn’t want to find a possible white-collared associate on Tinder either. The ideal user would want the phone for pure business utility and efficiency. This massive 4.5-inch screen phone could very well be seen in the hands of all top-level executives.
On the downside
BlackBerry Assistant This is BlackBerry’s dyslexic version of Siri. It has a horrible voice recognition feature that take its own sweet time to understand the desi accent. More so, it works at the pace of a tortoise so don’t expect lightning fast search results.
Size Though the square design doesn’t irk as much, it’s the sheer wideness of the phone i.e. 3.5 inches that makes it a bit of a hassle to fit in the pockets.