When being asked to show your passport at an airport, taking out and flaunting, before the security staff, your BLACKBERRY PASSPORT would not be the coolest of ideas. But, you will be released from their captivity soon when they will realize that you still own a BlackBerry and that this company is still around making and selling phones.
BlackBerry used to be the undisputed champion and obvious choice for users when it came to buying a new smartphone before Android phones blew them away to conquer the market.
BlackBerry was always considered as a business phone rather than an all-rounder. They lost a large number of its loyal and regular users as soon as people started finding missing answers to their questions in Android phones. But they are back with a bang with a new product in their lineup, BLACKBERRY PASSPORT, which gives the company one more chance to compete with high end, awkward phablets which are quite popular these days.
LOOKS AND DESIGN
A disappointment for those who are expert at using their smartphone single handedly because with its quirky design and keyboard placement, you wouldn’t want your phone to give Hi–Fives to the floor each time you took it out for use.
With 128×90.1×9.3 mm dimensions, it can easily be confused with a square coaster. Weighing 196g or 6.91 Oz, it feels sturdy and premium when in hands. It has round edges and stainless steel frame which looks durable.It has volume rockers on the right side along with a small button to activate voice command feature between them. Power button is on the top making it quite awkward and unusual to access.
A 3.5 mm headphone jack at the top and a SlimPort compliant Micro–USB port on the bottom. Nano SIM and Micro SD card slots can be found underneath the upper rear removable panel.
Just like we all have resolutions of our own, BB Passport too have one. And that is 1440×1440 pixels with approximately 453 ppi pixels density. YES! Imagine the kind of clarity and sharpness it has to offer with a 4.5 IPS LCD touchscreen protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
With 1:1 aspect ratio, it is a giant square and it easily distinguishes itself with phones having 16:9 aspect ratio, which is pretty common in phablets nowadays. Well, you have to figure out how to use the feature of multi-touch of up to 10 fingers. *Wink*.
Unlike the traditional and standard Qwerty keyboard BlackBerry offers, this piece is studded with keys in 3 rows with BB’s trademark Silver Frets between the rows. Only 3 rows mean there is no space for numerals and symbols. But here is where BB proves their worth. A fourth row is visible on the screen and expands to show 3 additional rows. Quite Brainy!
SPECIFICATIONS AND SOFTWARE
They are not fancy and dessert loving just like Android when it comes to naming their OS versions. Unlike Android, which has their OS versions named after some miraculously delicious sweet dishes, BB likes to stay simple and traditional with naming theirs as BlackBerry 10.3.
But they are not simple when it comes to CPU, GPU and chipset.
With Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Snapdragon premium tier processor, it enables sharper image capture and post processing, more immersive 3D gaming and overall improved performance.
The GPU, Adreno 330, is able to cope with even more demanding games and high resolution displays acting as a Nitro boost.
The CPU is clocked at 2.26 GHz with 4 cores running. Adding 3 GB of RAM is like Icing on the cake.
But with a 4.5 square screen, it is not easy to play games and it will take a lot of time for people to get accustomed to this size. Just Saying.
Selfie lover? Yes? Shit! A 2 megapixel front camera @ 720p wouldn’t do? Okay. Nevermind. It also comes with a 13 megapixel rear camera accompanied with features like autofocus, optical image stabilization, geo–tagging, face detection, HDR and what not. Videos can be recorded in 1080p @ 60 frames per second (fps). No need to hire a photographer now. Phew!
If 32 GB internal memory is not enough to save those insanely large sized videos, high definition photos and external data for heavy games, a memory card, Micro SD, slot is made available that can hold a card with a whopping size of up to 128 GB. BONUS!
Let’s see what all we have covered till now. GPU, CPU, chipset, RAM, 1080p recording and a few other things. But all these things are of no worth if battery dies soon. To prevent this, BB made sure to install a power unit that could generate power equivalent to that of a beast’s.
A 3450 mAh Li–Ion, non-removable, battery comes with an endurance rating of 73 hours. Now, relax and exploit the phone to its maximum potential.
With mind blowing ideas crafted into one little device, it is now evident that they are not scared of taking risks even when the market is flooded with Android lovers. This phone can bring its loyal customers back and can force them to have a second thought before buying a new Android phone. After a long time, BlackBerry seems to have taken the right path towards success.
The only turnoff could be the unusual screen size. But hey, who knows what the future could be.
-By Aayush Gupta
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.