1. campbecw's Avatar
    Comes, yet another, Passport review!

    First, a bit about me.
    I've never used a BlackBerry with a hardware keyboard before. I was an Android man through and through until the Z10 came along. I picked that up, more or less out of curiosity and then liked it so much that when the Z30 came out I needed to get that as well.

    So, I used the Z30 at launch until the 24th when I picked up the Passport; marking my first foray into the hardware keyboard world.

    A lot of folks believe that the hardware keyboard is just for BBOS lifers, or for the backward/ignorant. But, being neither a legacy BlackBerry user, nor ignorant (I own the Note 3, iP5s, Z1, Nokia 1020, S5, M8 and many more) I can tell you that this keyboard is not just for keyboard holdouts; it's actually awesome.

    Did it take some getting used to? Of course! But so did the swipe-typing of the Z series' keyboards. Am I totally used to it yet? Not a chance. But this review is sure helping!

    Now, this also marks my first 1x1 aspect ratio. That has been much more interesting to tackle than the keyboard. Is it bad? I'll say tentatively that yes, it is bad, because a lot of apps are not optimized for the screen size, even with the Q10/5 out there. And of course it is kinda crummy for media. But, not being a huge media guy (with the exception of mobile pr0n), it doesn't matter for me.

    And that isn't to say it doesn't matter at all. It just means that this device has a target audience, and no one should ever expect it to have mass appeal. This reviewer is a non-media/game/social media app consuming kinda guy. But for those things that I DO do, this device does it beautifully.

    So, what do I do? I have seven email accounts. Text, and BBM like mad (involved in several groups). I regularly type my thesis on the fly, and spend all day at work using my device (I work for TELUS). So, as you could imagine, this device seems to fit that profile well!

    Things that this device gives me that no other device could:

    1) unmatched battery life. I was already very impressed with the battery life on the Z30. This battery runs circles around that battery.

    2) I'm obviously a huge typer and this keyboard is much better than I would have anticipated. I had only ever used a touch screen keyboard before. So, I was very wary about adopting a hardware device. But, a few days in and I'm already feeling a-okay with it. Which, I think, says a lot about how good it is.

    3) though the HUB is not new to the BB10 world, it has been improved in 10.3, which, for the moment, gives the Passport a Slight edge over even the other BlackBerry devices, and a huge edge over every other OS on the market.

    4) for those typing experiences, the wider screen IS AMAZING. I can't stress it enough. Even typing this review is nicer on this screen as I can adequately judge how much has gone into a paragraph because I can see more than four words to a line. It's gold.

    5) again, it won't be the only device with it forever, but for now BlackBerry Blend is saving my home life. Being able to access files on all my computers, phone, and then my SMS, BBM, channels, email, calendar and contact list from a single, unified desktop is life-altering. Anyone using multiple devices (laptop, tablet, phone, etc) needs BlackBerry Blend in their life.

    I really only have one complaint. Honestly. Just one. And this is an evolution of a complaint I've had about BB10 since launch, and it has to do with the consistency of the features. In BB10 in general, the fact that a swipe down from the top everywhere EXCEPT in the browser and the HUB gets you settings has driven me mad. And now, they've included this amazing touch enabled keyboard for scrolling, but it isn't active everywhere. Some places it works amazingly, some it doesn't.

    Places where it needs to be enabled, but isn't: to use to navigate between the active frames page, app pages, and HUB; in the calendar program, it infuriatingly scrolls just fine in the week view, but doesn't in the day or month view! WTF?!; in BBM you can use it to scroll up and down your subscribed channels list, but strangely, if you open a channel it stops working.

    There are a few more, but you get the idea. Consistency is still lacking in the UI. This is something I hope that Chen's BlackBerry will fix.

    A final note, I can use this device one handed for everything EXCEPT typing. Navigating, browsing, ect., all doable with one hand. The only time I HAVE to pick it up with two hands is to type.

    General message I would leave with everyone? This is a fantastic device for its target audience. It is NOT your everyman device. This isn't the device that'll do it all. It does certain things flawlessly, and depending on your usage those may just be the things that matter the most. If so, don't hesitate to pick one up. The thing is a beautifully crafted powertool.

    I'm sure you have more questions. I'll answer what I can, and hope you've enjoyed my read. Better yet, I hope you found it useful!

    Short Stories and Similar Submissions, a Channel dedicated to creative writing and constructive critique C003CC54C. Daily Old Radio Shows! The only Channel that actually offers you a source for entertainment. C0012487D

    EDIT: even as I wrote this, I checked the BBM Channels scrolling bug, and it didn't work. Then, after submitting this and returning to BBM Channels, I DID work! Inconsistency will kill the market perception of BlackBerry if they don't hammer down these details.
    Last edited by campbecw; 09-28-14 at 08:37 PM.
    09-28-14 05:43 PM
  2. jafobabe's Avatar
    Congrats on your new BB!! And thanks for the review too.
    09-28-14 05:47 PM
  3. Mic_JP's Avatar
    Thank you for that great review! Nice to see as this is an AWESOME device with a sweet OS

    " The sleeping giant is about to wake up " Me
    09-28-14 05:52 PM
  4. jafobabe's Avatar
    Hey OP, you might want to go over to this thread and help out...

    Mic_JP likes this.
    09-28-14 05:54 PM

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