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BlackBerry Passport first look

Posted: , by John V.

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BlackBerry Passport first look

If you haven’t heard it already, RIM managed to make the news today, as the company officially announced that it’s in the process of acquiring German security firm Secusmart, during its BlackBerry Security Summit conference held in New York City today. While in attendance, we managed to get our first look at the upcoming BlackBerry Passport, which is hopefully going to be one of the many next-generation BlackBerry devices we’ll be seeing soon in the future. In fact, there were plenty of executives at the conference sporting the handset in plain sight.

As much as we’re excited to see the smartphone in person, the BlackBerry executives did not allow anyone to handle the phone for a comprehensive hands-on look. Instead, we were merely given a first look at the upcoming smartphone. In person, we got to say that the phone looks just as beautiful as the rendered shots of the handset – almost to the teeth to tell you honestly. Aesthetically, there’s no denying that it follows the BlackBerry design heritage, where it’s a portrait QWERTY phone, but it’s sporting a more aggressive design.

Rather than going with the rounded looks of previous efforts seen with recent BlackBerry smartphones such as the Q10, Q5, and Q20, the Passport flaunts a hard lined design that’s more right angled along the corners. From what we can gather, too, it looks incredibly thin! There’s no denying that the industrial design is more profound with this model, but we’re curious to know exactly how it feels in the hand – more so when it’s rumored to offer a porcelain-like coating with the rear casing.

Typical of a BlackBerry, the Passport employs a portrait style QWERTY keyboard. However, this time around, they’ve minimized the layout by shrinking the row of buttons to a mere 3 – as opposed to the 4 we’re normally accustomed to seeing. Additionally, numbers and punctuations aren’t available through the keyboard, but they’ve been turned into virtual keys that sit above the top row for quick access. And during our demo, we got the chance to see the keyboard be used to scroll through web pages by lightly brushing your finger over the QWERTY.

The executives couldn’t comment about actual specs of the phone, aside from the 4.5-inch 1440 x 1440 display, which looks pretty sharp from our point of view. Needless to say, the hardware is one portion to the overall picture, but it’s surely a good indicator of how it might stack up against the current crop of competition. No word on when the handset will be officially unveiled, but there’s arguing that BlackBerry is hoping that this next-gen device will be a hit to consumers. Don’t forget to check out our first look video below!



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posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:37 16

1. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


I really like the design of the phone

Sharp and boxy

Great for viewing and browsing

This reminds me of Nexus4, which has a slightly wider screen than every other devices

I would love this specs on the Z3 BB

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 21:46

44. cdgoin (Posts: 538; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


nice looking.. but they failed by not having a row of numbers at the top.. or punctuation marks. That will prove to be a fail.

posted on 02 Aug 2014, 01:27 2

46. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


The row of numbers and punctuation appear on screen just above the keyboard when you're using it, depending on what you're typing. I don't see how that is a "fail".

posted on 03 Aug 2014, 14:52

48. cncrim (Posts: 854; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


Oh boy, maybe just you are as Blackberry fan but when I first look at it , and as average consumer I don't it as sexy. It is remind me of LG Vu. Anyway, I willing to bet a lot of money on this phone wont help Blackberry at all.

posted on 03 Aug 2014, 16:48 1

49. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Oh boy, maybe you are just someone who doesn't like BlackBerry in general. You are entitled to your opinion. If you don't like the way it looks, that's fine. I happen to think it's a beautiful phone. I'm also willing to bet a lot of money that this will help BlackBerry, especially in regulated industries. So, how much are you willing to wager?

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:44 4

2. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Great looking device! BlackBerry is definitely going to have a winner with this one, especially in enterprise and regulated industries.

By the way John V:

Nice article, but the company's name is BLACKBERRY now. RIM is no longer the name in use. You should change that.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:53 2

5. Busyboy (unregistered)


True, however if you read the sticker at the back of the phone it does say "Research in Motion Limited" so technically there is validity to either argument.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:57 1

7. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Still, it is no longer the companies OFFICIAL name.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:26

13. berry889 (Posts: 23; Member since: 01 Apr 2013)


maybe they just want to finish up the stockpile of RIM sticker... why bother to produce new one....

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 04:07

36. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 1001; Member since: 29 May 2014)


The sticker just show us that this device exist before JC took leadership. Maybe this phone is on stuck on the 'junk design not to be released' for some reason or another. (read: price too high, can't sell well, just like the Z10/Q10)

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 12:16 1

38. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


You are incorrect, as usual. This phone was just RECENTLY designed. Troll elsewhere, Wahy.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:49 6

3. Busyboy (unregistered)


I hope this brings Blackberry out of the grave its in.

Beautiful phone with a lot of potential!

posted on 30 Jul 2014, 02:27

33. Penny (Posts: 1653; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Yeah, I'm a fan of BB10. I just couldn't bring myself to purchase the Z10 when I was last due for an upgrade because of its almost instantly obsolete hardware and the uncertainty surrounding Blackberry's future. The latter is still an issue to contend with if I ever want to get one in the future.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:50

4. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


The Passport was VERY snappy! Especially moving in and out of "Active Frames" (NOT tiles. That's a WP thing. ABSOLUTELY NO offense meant to WP fans). Web browsing looked great! I cannot wait to get my hands on that keyboard!

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:56 4

6. joe1blue (Posts: 169; Member since: 25 Jul 2013)


The look of the phone says Business period. I like how BlackBerry creates it's own design and style.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 21:59 1

8. lolatfailphones (Posts: 203; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)


That idiot doesn't even know how to explain anything about the phone

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:13 1

10. MC1123 (Posts: 1256; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Yeah! Seriously! He doesn't know his product!

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:38

16. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)


That was my first impression as well. Very unprofessional.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:44 1

19. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I bet he got a pink slip once that video was done.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:02 1

9. ushoda (Posts: 43; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)


great design!!! but i kinda think that this keyboard it's a bit hard to use, too narrow and compressed at the bottom seems to be not such a good combination

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 21:50

45. cdgoin (Posts: 538; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


The missing of numbers and punctuation was a major fail. I WANT a great QWERTY phone and would switch OS' except for that.

posted on 02 Aug 2014, 01:30 1

47. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


The numbers and punctuation are not "missing". They appear when you want/need them as you use the keyboard. No "major fail" here. USE the device first upon its release before claiming its a fail. That's the only way you can truly judge it.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:25 2

12. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


That looks even better in someone's hands.
I'm impressed, BB has a neat little package here.

Kudos BB.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:34 4

14. apiskula (banned) (Posts: 578; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)


That is one ugly phone. Oh well its foes not matter it will not sell anyway. No like people are going to line up for this phone when it goes on sale. I am going to get a real phone like the note 4, not this garbage

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:37 5

15. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Nobody asked. Nobody cares. Please troll elsewhere.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:38 3

17. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


The more I look at it, the more I think the consumer class will become jealous of BB possibly once again.
Am I losing it?

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:43 2

18. meanestgenius (Posts: 12961; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Nah, you're not losing it. You're seeing the phone for the beauty that it is.

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 22:54 1

20. swiekekodok (Posts: 58; Member since: 19 Jul 2014)


Square phone,...like it a lot....just remember my old Nokia E61 (got wrecked)... :(

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 23:00

21. jellmoo (Posts: 1697; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


If I could wait until this phone was released I probably would just to give it a look at.

Alas, I need to use my upgrade now. G3, S5 or Z2... What to pick... What to pick...

posted on 29 Jul 2014, 23:08

23. Busyboy (unregistered)


For accessories, water resistance and gimmicks go to S5 (gimmicks aren't bad but aren't necessary either)
For build quality, looks, sound, waterproof, display & camera (arguably) go for the Z2
For software and high res display go to G3

Btw I own the Z2 and love it

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