Blackberry Passport – Our Review

blackberry-passport02BlackBerry are back with a bang with the unveiling of their latest smartphone, the BlackBerry Passport.

The BB Passport is the world’s first square smartphone and is certain to appeal to loyal BlackBerry fans who appreciate a hardware keyboard and a screen which makes document reading and creation a breeze. Aimed at business professionals, the premium Passport handset has some great features and impressive specs.

The first thing you’ll notice about the BlackBerry Passport is its shape – it really does have a truly square 4.5-inch display. The reason behind the square screen is that it’s the optimum shape for reading and working on business documents such as reports, spreadsheets and emails. In fact you can fit 60 characters onto a line compared to an average of 40 characters for most smartphones so it’s easy to see how this a big advantage for business users.

The 1400 x 1400 LCD screen provides an excellent resolution of 453 ppi and also features a row of additional keys on screen which include numbers and punctuation. Below the display is a traditional BlackBerry QWERTY hardware keyboard which has three rows of keys rather than four, the keys are raised to make it easier to type quickly and accurately.

On the rear of the BlackBerry Passport is a high quality 13-megapixel camera which comes with an LED flash (which doubles up as a torch), 5 x digital zoom, optical image stabilization. The rear camera boasts some great camera modes which include time shift, burst mode, story mode and panorama. There’s also a decent 2-megapixel front facing camera which is capable of recording in Full HD 1080p.

The BB Passport runs on the BlackBerry 10.3 operating system which has been revamped to include some handy new features such as the new BlackBerry Assistant, a virtual assistant not dissimilar to Siri with the added benefit of being able to open secure work documents. BlackBerry’s Hub software has been upgraded and offers ‘instant actions’ which enables you to access and deal with messages and appointments from within the same place. Also new to the BB 10.3 OS is BlackBerry Blend, a useful feature which gives the ability to securely access any content your Passport smartphone (media, documents, messages etc) remotely from a laptop, PC or tablet using a WiFi connection. Any updates or changes made to content will be stored on the Passport handset in real time.

In addition to the impressive features of the Passport smartphone, BlackBerry have made a concerted effort to deliver high specifications on the inside. The Passport is powered by the latest Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.2GHz processor and a huge 3GB of RAM. The battery is an enormous 3450mAh beast which easily powers through 2 days worth of pretty heavy use. There’s also good onboard memory storage with 32GB built-in and the option to expand up to 64GB thanks to the microSD slot.

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