Blackberry and its OS 10 has pretty much hit rock bottom, in the recent stats that have been published. The Canadian Phone manufacturer, has had a fair share of success in the mobile phone industry before the duopoly of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS forced it to bite the dust. But did it really deserve this kind of a downfall?
Blackberry and Nokia both met with similar consequences in their fight for the survival. Blackberry at one point of time, was a mass favourite. It always has been famous for its Business phones. The robust design with the physical keyboard that kept many users knelt down for years , has now somehow lost its footing in this era of touch screen and gesture based interactions with the device. The manufacturer did try to create a different OS of its own .. The BB10 OS. It did have the ability to gain some attention from the consumer. Hardcore blackberry fans however loved the device cause the signature physical keyboard was still a part of the phone. Devices like Q5, Q20, Z10, Z30 and the BB Classic..were all loved by the blackberry lovers. But that one device that made this company stand out was the Blackberry Passport. Now that the Manufacturer has given away its hardware rights to TCL to manufacture devices with its name, lets just revisit this unsung hero.
Blackberry Passport was a revolutionary device, had it got all its fair share of attention from the consumers. The device had an unconventional design , a squarish screen, a robust build, a huge 3450 mah battery that could last at least of couple of days without having to hit the charging port and again a jaw dropping physical keyboard that acted as a huge trackpad. The device was a dream come true for avid physical keyboard lovers. The typing experience would initially take you off due to the combination of screen and keyboard interaction during typing as it had 3 rows of qwerty keypad while having special character and symbols on the touch screen which appeared as a virtual row on the bottom of the screen, But you start liking it as days pass.
The specs were too good to be true . They read as follows
— IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1440 X 1440.
— Capacitive touch 3 – row Keyboard.
— Blackberry OS 10 upgradable to 10.3.2.
— Qualcomm MSM8974AA Snapdragon 801 chipset.
— A quad core 2.26 GHz Krait 400 CPU
— Adreno 330 GPU.
— 3 GB of RAM
— Expandable Memory – Memory Card slot could take a 256GB micro-sd card apart from the 32 GB internal memory.
— A 13 mp rear camera that could take decent pictures with HDR that enhances the pictures to some extent.
With all these the device was practically a head turner. The squarish profile that almost was similar to a country’s passport (hence the name). The Blackberry passport today might have lost its place in the thousands of other devices from its rival manufacturers, but to some , it still calls out. The question today is it still a smartphone of this age? How usable could it be today , as Whatsapp has decided to pull the plug for good by the End of June 2017? How well would it do if bought today?
We have been working hard to find all answers that would give us an insight. Thanks to our sponsor, we managed to get our hands on a Blackberry Passport Silver edition. After 3 weeks of usage, we seem to like it to an extent. We would list out our observations which might help you build an opinion.
- The device runs smooth with the latest OS V10.3.2.
- The keyboard is a pleasure to work on, provided the phone is to be used as a Work horse. Take our word, it can take loads.
- Its not for media-centric people.
- Its very secure. Its rivals stand nowhere close to its security standards. The level of encryption is superb.
- Blackberry’s very own BBM is a good alternative to Whatsapp.
- Its awkward shape does feel a bit odd in the beginning but eventually , we loved the device and will get used to it.
- It has all the necessary apps that you need to use it as a daily driver.
- Its Twitter app is great.
- Its Youtube app solves the purpose despite being just a link to the mobile version of Youtube website.
We have many alternatives to Whatsapp. There is a third party client for Telegram called Bomogram. BBM still is a very good option to be on messaging which infact is very very secure.
Moreover, if Whatsapp withdraws support for BB 10 post June 2017, we can always side load it from the Google Play Store, if you can’t do without the app.
The device has been tested with multiple apps running at the same point of time. Many apps were kept open and it still kept going on.
One might not prefer using the phone for media viewing, but one thing that we have observed is that it has a very good screen , very good sound quality and crisp quality of videos and photos. For all avid Blackberry lovers, if you still have 2nd thoughts, we would say , you shall use this device, make this your daily driver for a week. You will eventually fall in love with this device. Its unique in a way and it shall be appreciated for this. Yeah app lovers, you might want to give it a pass, its a pure business phone with sheer power to do what its made for.
Till the next one…. Peace !!!!