1. white shirt only's Avatar
    The hardware
    With the recent BlackBerry devices, we were kind of disappointed : Q10 had a small screen, the Z10 an insufficient battery life. Z30 could have been a contender but the drama around the sale of the company killed it.

    I am glad BB is back to iconic designs that work well. Passport is one of those. Build quality is on par with Apple, the recognized leader in that field, and is even more rugged.

    For the first time BB has put a first-class screen, with great contrast and outstanding outdoor legibility.

    Keyboard is dubbed as a touchpad which works flawlessly. Transforming the Passport in a mini PC. Moving a cursor, scrolling a page, deleting a word, many options doable with the keyboard only. Double tapping to bring the cursor is a brilliant addition.

    You know an interface is well designed if your cognitive reflexes are back when using another interface like Android. I want to swip left to delete a word or swipe up to go back to the home screen or quickly see my new communication. The round edges on the left and the right help a lot.

    The specs reinsures mobile abusers like paratek antenna that does a great job catching networks and the large battery equivalent in size to the one in the Note 4. Mind you.

    Weight is definitely felt after using other devices, and round corners would have been probably a better choice pocket wise. That's the only negative points I can find along with the lack of wireless charging (looks like it's coming to the Classic though). Oh and I notice that the touch capability of the keyboard is not working in the cold weather. Weird.

    The software
    Except some app icons that feel really outdated and uninspiring, apps, menus, settings, hub are well design, choice of white, black and blue colors. Rather minimalist, with more options when the hidden menus appear. I feel really confortable navigating and finding what I want to do. There are even some quotes or little sentences that guides me, something that I've never found on Android or iOS. However I feel that older people or people with lack of computer experiences in general have hard time understanding the swipes and the hidden menus.

    The hub is obviously genious, gathering all communication in a unique, handy spot.

    One thing that trumps the rest of the industry and shows the true roots of BB10 and QNX, which unfortunately many people aren't aware of, is the multitasking ability. You can launch a video in the web browser and still browse the web in other tabs. You can go back to the main screen and open other app or communicate while the video playing in the browser. This is one of the many things that makes Blackberry a joy to use compared to Android or iOS or WP.

    The services
    I'm not an expert here but the few I see was very strong, starting with BlackBerry protect website and options, and BlackBerry Password Keeper that is a truly incredible app that secures, encrypts all your passwords in one place. I can even open in a BlackBerry Password Keeper browser the website that I want and it prepopulates safely the login fields with my credentials. Smart. Fast. Reliable.
    I haven't used Blend yet but it's a tremendous offering for busy people and for those who use multi platforms.

    The company
    Management said few things that can help a potential buyer being more confident:
    - devices will be designed and produced to make sure they are profitable.
    - Blackberry will be back to its iconic design and won't chase everyone, every industry standards.
    - less products to ensure they have a stronger personality, a better support. I never liked when a company is diluting its products in dozens of different versions. It like the ideas of having 3 Blackberries in 2015 with strong identity and support (I believe it's going to be the Passport, the Classic and a full touch screen one, the 3 matching probably 3 price points $450, $550, $650, and that's it).
    - some purchasers matter and that means a lot to me in terms of quality and reliability. Those purchasers are governments, international institutions and businesses. Knowing that Blackberry cares about national security and slightly less about soccer moms is something satisfying. Nothing against soccer mom but there are some groups of the population who have more demanding expectations. I am not sure it's the real reality but that's how I feel about the direction Blackberry is taking.
    - CEO is actively looking for growth and partnerships, Secusmart, Samsung. When Goliath needs David to secure a deal, we all know it's because David is smarter.
    - BB won't trade security for quick market share, said from last trip to China.

    The owner
    Minimalist, long time user of mobile devices. Advocate of freedom in the way we operate with computers. When laptops became pleasant to use thanks to screen, battery, touchpad, i stopped using a desktop computer. When tablets and smartphones started to be nice and powerful, I ditched my laptops. Now that smartphones are smarter then ever, I ditched my tablets (i tried 2 iPads and a Surface RT, great products, I believe Heins was right when he said something like tablets are a transitional product).

    I like all products when they are good. I have used BB6/7, WP, Android, iOS. I was really interested in webOS until its miserable death by corporate greed.

    Disclaimer: I have never been a huge app addict. I use the browser mostly and I am very satisfied with it in BB10.

    The competition
    Being a niche product, the competition doesn't really matter anymore. You buy BB for its unique, iconic design. You choose it thanks to its easy, productive features.

    Still, I wanted to say a word about Android, iOS and WP.

    Google has been doing a superb job around Android 5. Design wise, it's gorgeous and easier to use than ever. However for privacy maniacs like me, Google is still distilling settings everywhere so you never know if you have turned off or not a privacy option. I am tired of always being on the defensive, checking and double checking even if I don't believe Google would be an oppressive company. They are running algorithms more than anything else on their severs after all. One of the things I still hate on Android is how badly apps are coded, even big names. How many apps I had which were running in the background after closing them? This is completely unacceptable.

    The OEM are finally starting to push great designs like Sony and great features like battery life. Android is now beating iOS in that field.

    Apple is more or less living on its former glory. I had huge expectations last year for the redesign of iOS, when I realized that it was more of a lipstick on a pig than a reform of the workflow. Moving around the os is still about the simplistic home button, file management has been a pain since inception. I tried to adopt the philosophy of the apps managing the files for myself but it didn't work out very well.

    Microsoft has been improving WP with little details but overall the design language stays the same, and I don't see it taking off as it's too extreme for the majority of users. Recently Microsoft has focused on entry level products and left the high end ones in the dust. 920 and 1520 are beautiful but show their age. The new colors Microsoft uses in the Lumia line are a shame compared to the finish and style of the Surface Pro 3.

    BlackBerry is well positioned in the crowded market if it can stick with core functionality and unique design. I don't know if i covered everything but that's how I feel at this moment. This device is excellent and on par with the competition.

    Quick glance of the Passport
    Pros
    - sturdy build quality
    - multitasking OS
    - multi use keyboard
    - BB services and BB strategy more focused than ever on core experiences
    - loud speakers, solid sound quality
    - battery life

    Cons
    - squared corners
    - tactile functionality of the keyboard doesn't seem to work in cold temperatures
    - space key has a different shape
    - no wireless charging option built-in
    - the lock screen password is ok, but the picture password is ultra sensitive. Almost unusable.
    - OS has a learning curve for computer illiterate people
    Attached Thumbnails [Passport] review from simple, minimalist person-passportb2b2.jpg   [Passport] review from simple, minimalist person-passportb2b1.jpg   [Passport] review from simple, minimalist person-passportstarbucks1.jpg  
    11-16-14 04:20 PM
  2. BlackberryCodeSource's Avatar
    Thanks for taking the time to write out this review!

    Enjoy your Passport
    11-16-14 04:34 PM
  3. GeoK's Avatar
    Yes thanks for sharing the review.
    11-16-14 04:37 PM
  4. bakron1's Avatar
    Great review and if this was done on your passport without sore thumbs, I am impressed.
    11-16-14 04:58 PM
  5. white shirt only's Avatar
    I typed half of it as disordered memos on my Xperia Z2 in the note app while i was using the Passport and the rest in docs to go on Passport.
    11-16-14 06:26 PM
  6. Mic_JP's Avatar
    Another GREAT review! Thank you for taking the time to write this

    STL100-4 OS10.2.1.2976
    11-16-14 06:33 PM
  7. dbmalloy's Avatar
    Hat off to the OP... great to hear a balanced point of view......
    11-16-14 07:02 PM
  8. m3mb3rsh1p's Avatar
    Thanks for the review. I like that the Passport elicits honest, personal opinions that show both the positives and negatives. It's refreshing compared to majority of iPhone reviews that seem to imply perfection where it doesn't exist.

    I hope to have a red on by year's end. Till then I'll have to live vicariously through new owners' experiences.



    Posted via CB10
    chinmay007 likes this.
    11-16-14 07:11 PM
  9. thecsman's Avatar
    Can anybody else confirm the cold weather issue? I was walking down on a windy street at around zero C temperature and the keyboard went scroll crazy.

    Posted via CB10
    11-16-14 07:13 PM
  10. santhoshmanikandan's Avatar
    Thanks OP for this unbiased review.

    Z10STL100-1/10.3.0.1418
    11-16-14 07:14 PM
  11. lotuslanderz's Avatar
    Can anybody else confirm the cold weather issue? I was walking down on a windy street at around zero C temperature and the keyboard went scroll crazy.

    Posted via CB10
    Is it possible to disable keyboard scrolling under those circumstances?

    Posted via CB10
    11-16-14 09:56 PM
  12. Zedd88's Avatar
    Good review.

    Before anything else, I use my BlackBerry Passport as my main phone and carry a Lumia 1020 as my secondary phone. My previous phones in the past couple of years include the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S4.

    With regards to the comparison of the mobile OS. I do have BB10 as the best OS, WP8.1 is not far behind. People are really missing a lot by choosing the more popular OS. When in fact, it's BlackBerry and WP that are coming up with good OS'es. It's really the ecosystem that these two OS'es suffer.

    Android and IOS are at a toss-up at the bottom. But inversely their ecosystem is what's good about these OS. Since I use my phone mainly for productivity and communication, I never had the need for these millions of apps. I only need the major ones and both BlackBerry and WP can deliver the apps that I do need. WP though has a better app selection which could further improve with their One app program (one code runs in all windows platform - desktop, tablet and phone). That would entice developers to develop more apps since the effort to develop only once and deploy it in three platforms is a good proposition for the developers.

    That is where I fear for BlackBerry. Blackberry took the route of hitchhiking into Android's ecosystem. That would mean lesser developers would now be enticed to develop native BlackBerry apps. This could result in further dwindling of their apps in Blackberry World. Android is letting this pass for now, but how long before Google decides to require all developers to exclusively use Google Services in order for the app to run. That's why some apps run and some don't because some needs Google Services that doesn't have an equivalent in BB10. Of course hacks can be made, but still the native apps would eventually suffer.

    Just my two cents on the OS'es.



    Posted via CB10
    11-17-14 07:36 AM

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