BlackBerry Passport Review

BlackBerry Passport Review

The BlackBerry Passport has finally arrived and it has brought a new twist to the classic QWERTY BlackBerry design.

From the original leaks, to BlackBerry CEO John Chen showing it off, to what is now the official unveiling of the device, the BlackBerry Passport has attracted many people because of its quirky look. Even I had my doubts about the Passport initially, wondering if BlackBerry's design team had lost their minds. But after a while I warmed up to the look of it and began to wonder if BlackBerry was really onto something here with the odd shape, the missing row of keys, and unique trackpad built into the keyboard.

According to BlackBerry, the Passport was built for productivity, and one of the key selling points is that it's a powerful smartphone that is optimized for viewing and input. The large display offers an uncompromising experience for viewing content, reading documents, using maps, managing email and finally, browsing the web.

But does it really deliver all of that? Let's find out in our comprehensive BlackBerry Passport Review!

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EE

EE today announced the mobile network has launched 4G in 18 new towns across the UK, including Sandhurst. This takes the total number of major towns and cities with LTE connectivity through the company to 281 – reported to be over 75 percent of the UK population.

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Vodafone UK to offer the BlackBerry Passport starting October 1st but only to Business customers

Looking for a BlackBerry Passport on Vodafone in the UK? They'll have it starting October 1st as confirmed on their own forums but it comes with catch. When released, the BlackBerry Passport will only be available to those with a business account on Vodafone.

A 'business decision' that could change in the future according to Vodafone reps but for now remains the case. At this point, pricing for the device on Vodafone still hasn't been revealed but we'll update when it becomes available. If you're not willing to wait or don't have a business account though, the folks at Carphone Warehouse will have no issues with getting you a BlackBerry Passport.

You also have the option of telling Vodafone their business decision sucks and is terrible if you wish (and you should) if this actually affects your purchasing options. After all, I'm sure if they get enough flak for it, it'll be a business decision to reverse it.

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A look back on the BlackBerry Passport event in London

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 marked the unveiling of the much awaited BlackBerry Passport. BlackBerry held launch events in Toronto, London and Dubai, simultaneously. A bit like the BlackBerry 10 launch back in January 2013 but this time around there were three separate presentations. At the BlackBerry 10 launch, the main stage with then CEO Thorsten Heins was live streamed to the other events, as well as online. For the BlackBerry Passport event, the Toronto event was live streamed online and John Chen was the main presenter there. In London, where I was, it was headed by Marty Beard and Dubai had Mark Wilson lead presentation.

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New BBM for Windows Phone beta now available!

New BBM for Windows Phone beta now available!

If you're part of the BBM beta for Windows Phone, you'll want to go ahead and get yourself updated. BlackBerry has now rolled out v120.0.0.1 and it's packed full of bug fixes, features additions but alas, as it is a beta there's also some things to be aware of before you hop right into it. Luckily, BlackBerry has provided a full change log for everyone to look through so you can decide for yourself if you want to run a beta.

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Forrester Research names BlackBerry a leader in Enterprise Mobile Management

Over the past three months since the launch of the BlackBerry Fact Check portal, BlackBerry has been taking their competitors to task over some of their claims against the company and their offerings but that's sort of to be expected. To hear other, outside parties also claim BlackBerry is a leader in Enterprise Mobile Management is entirely different and that's exactly what Forrester Research has concluded when they compared the most significant mobile device management vendors.

Forrester Research, Inc. evaluated BlackBerry along with 14 other of the most significant mobile device management vendors. BlackBerry earned the highest score in Strategy as well as Global Presence, and tied for the top ranking in Market Presence, which considers revenue, install base and partners. In addition, BlackBerry received the highest possible score in 12 of the 27 criteria measured by Forrester, including Network Security, Future Vision, and Support.

"Security is our cornerstone and BlackBerry remains laser focused on developing and delivering the solutions enterprises around the globe have come to expect from us," said John Sims, President, Global Enterprise Services, BlackBerry. "Our mobility solutions are in government agencies and enterprises around the world because customers trust the experience we've built over the decades. With current and future BlackBerry offerings, we will leverage our experience in security to create solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers, from cross-platform support for BYOD programs to the management of Internet of Things."

Forrester Research also noted in the report, "Continued investments in collaboration applications and a strong vision that incorporates a strategy for Internet of Things management and automotive support have placed BlackBerry in a Leader position."

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How to access Quick Settings using BlackBerry 10.3

You may well be thinking we are stating the obvious with this post as 'Quick Settings' are certainly not new to BlackBerry 10 and without any apps open you can still perform a downwards swipe from the top bezel.

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BeWeather 10 Pro updated with support for 10.3 and the BlackBerry Passport

If you're not a fan of the included BlackBerry 10 weather app powered by AccuWeather, the chances are good that you're likely using BeWeather 10 Pro as your weather app. It's one of the most popular weather apps on BlackBerry and if you've picked up a BlackBerry Passport, it just got a better.

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In this day and age, our messages play an important role in our lives. Whether it is tracking important emails for work or communicating with friends and family, there are certain conversations and information that need to be tracked or kept for long periods of time. For example, you never know when that brief text from a client may be necessary later on.

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paypal

eBay will spin off its online payment division PayPal into its own separate, and publicly traded, company sometime in the second half of 2015. eBay claims that keeping PayPal around beyond 2015 "clearly becomes less advantageous to each business strategically and competitively."

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Google's Eric Schmidt still loves his BlackBerry Bold 9900

If you've been around CrackBerry for a while, this post may not come as much of a surprise as there is a good amount of history with Google's Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, and his not so secret love for BlackBerry smartphones and their keyboards.

In New York for a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi as well as six others including the heads of Boeing, IBM, General Electric and Goldman Sachs, Schmidt was spotted alongside a BlackBerry Bold 9900 and presumably one of his own companies Android smartphones.

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When you read phone reviews, you don't typically see Fun as a category upon which different devices are rated and compared - it's things like Performance, Design and Battery Life that are the norm. It's too bad really that the fun factor isn't given much consideration. As much as tech products are there to add utility to our everyday lives, given how much we use and rely on tech these days it's a nice bonus if the ownership experience can bring us a little extra joy, too.

Enter the BlackBerry Passport. I have been having an absolute BLAST as a BlackBerry Passport owner these past few weeks. I haven't enjoyed owning a new phone this much since 2005, which is when I got my first BlackBerry (which by the way I felt was BIG and UGLY when I first put my hands on it). And while the Passport is proving to be a solid performing phone once you work through the initial adjustment phase (it takes a few days to get used to the wide body design and three row keyboard), it truly is the fun factor of being a Passport owner that I'm loving the most. Which is kind of ironic really, considering BlackBerry set out to make the Passport the ultimate tool for productivity (and yes, it excels at that too... Instant Actions in the Hub FTW!).

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WhatsApp brings further BlackBerry 10.3 compatibility with latest beta

If you dig testing out beta apps, WhatsApp has a new one for you try out. Appearing in the BlackBerry Beta Zone right now is v2.11.930.2 of WhatsApp and while it's not a huge update, it brings a few bug fixes and improvements including some fixes for BlackBerry OS 10.3 users.

  • Group Exit and Delete are now separate actions
  • Fixed video playback rotation on OS 10.3+
  • Miscellaneous fixes and updates

The update should be appearing for everyone right now, so go ahead and grab it and let us know how it's working out for you. You are still using WhatsApp, right? In related news, WhatsApp looks pretty awesome on the Passport so kudos to the dev team there on having the app ready.

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For those of you who own a BlackBerry and a Pebble, the number of native applications meant for both is small. While that may be true it does not mean that a few talented developers haven't found a way to bring additional functionality for those of us who carry both. This includes the person behind Cast for BlackBerry and MediaX.

If you are not familiar with these applications, Smart Watch Companion is the Swiss Army Knife of Pebble applications. It brings an array of features and notifications to your wrist, courtesy of the integration with Talk2Watch Pro. Users may access weather forecasts, bitcoin/litecoin/stock quotes, generate authentication codes for various websites including Lastpass, Google, Amazon, Evernote, and Facebook, access RSS feeds, set NFC tags for features, and act as a Plex Media Center Controller. If you do not own a Pebble then have no fear, Companion (with NFC) offers the same functionality but optimized for BlackBerry 10.

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passport

There's another way in the UK to get your hands on the new BlackBerry Passport. Expansys is now selling the latest smartphone from BlackBerry for £529.99, which is the same price as the company itself said last week the device will sell for in that country.

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Protect your BlackBerry Q10 in this OEM Leather Case for only $9.95 today!

Hand crafted and finished in genuine leather with a soft inner lining, the BlackBerry Leather Pocket Pouch protects against bumps and scratches. It also recognizes settings and preferences, utilizing power saving technology to help extend the battery life of your BlackBerry Q10. Get yours today for 72% off the list price!

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BBM vs WhatsApp

Here within the CrackBerry community there are always going to be WhatsApp haters, but also lovers. From a personal perspective I think BBM is much better in so many ways, but I still continue to have WhatsApp installed for three or four iPhone users that won't use BBM for whatever reason.

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BlackBerry Passport launched in India, available in stores October 10th

As expected from previous reports, the BlackBerry Passport has now launched in India with pricing set at Rs. 49,990. Customers looking to pick up a BlackBerry Passport can place their pre-orders exclusively at Amazon.in starting today. Additionally, the BlackBerry Passport will be available at BlackBerry Exclusive stores with a gift card of Rs. 5000 along 5000 miles of Jet Airways starting from October 10th. Looking to learn more about the BlackBerry Passport? Read our full review.

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From the Editor's Desk: Passport and onward!

From the Editor's Desk: Passport and onward!

We're almost at the end of September and, as I noted at the end of August, it was a month many of us were looking forward to. For most, it was due to the BlackBerry Passport being launched, but aside from that there were plenty of other nice surprises this month as well and really, the fun has only just begun. Let's take a quick look at what happened this month.

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