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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CrackBerry 119: Your Passport to a must-listen podcast!

What's this? Another CrackBerry podcast? Indeed. As promised on our last podcast, we sat down once again to discuss the BlackBerry Passport, our thoughts on the device, the launch event and even a little bit of the BlackBerry earnings report.

This one isn't crazy long despite some rather lengthy thoughts from Kevin so managed to keep it all under an hour. Join our very own CrackBerry Founder Kevin Michaluk, Simon Sage and me for this must-listen podcast.

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Our most popular hard case for the BlackBerry Z10 is 50% off today!

Sought after for its incredibly slim and lightweight design, the Seidio SURFACE Case slides around your BlackBerry Z10 and features a soft-touch finish, retractable kickstand and access to all ports and buttons. Colors options include black, blue, red and purple, available today for only $16.95. Don't miss out!

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A quick look at some new features coming in BlackBerry 10.3.1

If you own any BlackBerry 10 smartphone right now aside from a BlackBerry Passport and Porsche Design P'9983, you might be getting tired of hearing about BlackBerry 10.3 given the fact current devices won't be getting any version of 10.3 right away. Instead, all in market BlackBerry 10 smartphones will have to wait for 10.3.1 to arrive before they can enjoy all the features that came with 10.3. Sure, it's annoying but if it helps, there's some new features coming with 10.3.1 that even those running 10.3 don't have as of yet, so the wait just might be worth it for those improvements alone.

If you missed it the other day, the BlackBerry 10.3.1 SDK arrived for developers and while not everything in those files should be taken to heart as they could potentially be removed or revamped, the SDK and the device simulators show off some of the additional options and features that could be arriving with 10.3.1 for all in market BlackBerry 10 smartphones and the BlackBerry Classic.

Let's take a quick look at some of the additions.

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verizon

Verizon is backtracking on its plan to begin throttling data hogs on grandfathered unlimited plans on its 4G LTE network today. Originally, the carrier announced that starting on October 1, unlimited customers who use excessive data on a strained cell site may see their data speeds temporarily reduced, but after public backlash the carrier is now reversing its policy so that there will be no throttling.

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Following its rivals, Verizon brings more data to More Everything plans

Following the lead of AT&T and Sprint, Verizon Wireless will now be giving subscribers of its More Everything plans even more data, though you'll have to sign up this month to qualify. More data begins with the 12 GB plan, which will now net you a 15 GB data bucket each month, and goes all the way up to the 50 GB data plan, which through the promotion will double your data to a whopping 100 GB to consume. That's a lot of Netflix streaming to consume each month!

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The BlackBerry hard shell case adds quick and easy protection to your BlackBerry Passport

If you picked up a brand new BlackBerry Passport or are planning on doing so eventually then chances are good that you're also going to be looking into picking up a case to protect your new device. One of the first cases to hit the ShopCrackBerry Store for the BlackBerry Passport was the official BlackBerry Hard Shell and we even showed it off a bit in our own BlackBerry Passport review.

Since then, many folks have asked about it, and considering the fact I've been using it for a while now I figured I'd share some quick thoughts on it for anyone who might be considering grabbing one for themselves to protect their BlackBerry Passport.

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passport

If you live in BlackBerry's home country of Canada, you can now get your hands on the company's new BlackBerry Passport smartphone from many more sources. The device is now on sale via several Canadian carriers, including TELUS Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility, MTS Wireless and SaskTel Wireless.

Previous to today, TELUS Mobility was the only carrier in Canada that was selling the Passport on its network, so if you are still chained to one wireless operator, you should now be able to get the new 4.5-inch square smartphone. Pricing for the Passport with a two year contract will vary. TELUS, SaskTel and Rogers will sell the phone for $250 with a two year contract, while Bell Mobility has priced it at $299 with a two year contract. MTS Wireless is offering the Passport for just $199 with a two year contract.

What do you think of these different contract prices in Canada for the BlackBerry Passport?

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Modern World War 3D

It isn't every day that I find an awesome game in the BlackBerry World new arrivals section. In fact, these days we seem to have more popular gaming options in the Amazon Appstore and that will continue. So when I clicked on Modern World War 3D and saw that it looked good and was free to download I had to get in on the action.

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Sprint doubles data on high-end plans for families and businesses

Sprint has announced that, starting today, they are offering "double the data" on high-end data plans compared to AT&T and Verizon. Sprint's 32GB, 40GB, and 60GB Family Share Pack plans will now offer 60GB, 80GB, and 100GB at no extra cost. Customers must sign up by October 31 in order to take advantage of the offer. Existing customers can take advantage of the promotion by visiting a Sprint retail store or call Sprint customer support.

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BlackBerry

With the BlackBerry Passport now released and the Classic coming later this year, BlackBerry has today announced that they have taken on another board member. As you'll see from the following press release, Mike Daniels has a ton of experience in the industry and will be a great asset to BlackBerry as they continue to drive forwards.

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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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Battery Blowout! BlackBerry L-S1 batteries for Z10 only $12.95 today

Need a spare BlackBerry Z10 L-S1 battery for the road? Or maybe just a replacement for your current cell that's not keeping up with your busy lifestyle anymore. Today you can save 63% off the list price and scoop up these OEM 1800mAh batteries on the cheap! Supplies are limited so get your orders in today.

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