It’s packing powerful hardware, a slew of clever features, and a great foundation in BlackBerry OS 10.3, which is poised to give iOS and Android a run for their money – if there are enough apps.
It weighs 6.9 ounces (just under half a pound or 196 grams) which is light, but still feels solid. It’s also 3.5 inches (89mm) wide, which makes it wider than phablets like the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus — both of which offer larger displays.
It’s a very purpose-built screen for doing business things like reviewing spreadsheets and slide presentations. But that makes it not very good at many of the other things that we use our smartphones for today. It’s much easier to navigate a spreadsheet or browse a webpage with the Passport, but reading my Twitter feed requires a lot of scrolling, and videos have annoying black bars eating up half of the display above and below the content.
Below the screen is what makes the Passport a true BlackBerry: it has a honest-to-goodness physical keyboard, something no other modern device offers. It’s a throwback to the keyboards that made BlackBerry smartphones so popular in years past, and BlackBerry says it’s essential for efficient productivity on the go. But the Passport’s three row layout isn’t as good as the older designs. It’s too wide, making it all but impossible to type the simplest words with one hand.
The spacebar is jammed up into the third row of letters, splitting the keyboard and causing all kinds of confusion for thumbs.
The keys are at least clicky and responsive, and the keyboard does have a few unique tricks up its sleeve. The surface of the keyboard is actually sensitive to touch, so you can scroll through web pages or emails by just gliding your thumb across the keys. It’s a weird, satisfying feeling to scroll with the keyboard and it keeps my fingers from blocking the content I’m looking at on the screen. The keyboard can also be used to move the cursor around when typing, but it’s just easier to use the touchscreen for that.
Below are the specs for the passport.
|2G Network||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G Network||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100|
|HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100|
|4G Network||LTE 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600|
|Dimensions||128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm (5.04 x 3.56 x 0.37 in)|
|Weight||194 g (6.84 oz)|
|Type||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||1440 x 1440 pixels, 4.5 inches (~453 ppi pixel density)|
|Multitouch||Yes, up to 10 fingers|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Alert types||Vibration, MP3 ringtones|
|Card slot||microSD, up to 64 GB|
|Internal||32 GB, 3 GB RAM|
|Speed||HSDPA, HSUPA, LTE|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot|
|Bluetooth||v4.0, A2DP, LE|
|USB||microUSB v2.0 (SlimPort)|
|Primary||13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, optical image stabilization, LED flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, face detection, HDR|
|Secondary||2 MP, 720p|
|OS||BlackBerry 10.3 OS|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8974AA Snapdragon 801|
|CPU||Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Messaging||SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM, BBM 6|
|Radio||FM radio with RDS|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS|
|Java||Yes, MIDP 2.1|
|Other Features||– SNS integration
– BlackBerry Assistant
– BlackBerry maps
– Document viewer
– Photo viewer/editor
– Video editor
– MP3/WMA/WAV/eAAC+/FlAC player
– DivX/XviD/MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264 player
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input
Credit: The Verge & GSM Arena